INDIANAPOLIS – After officially being introduced as a member of the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2010 Monday morning, longtime Jersey City resident Bob Hurley put it all into perspective.
“Other than my marriage and the birth of my children and grandchildren, this is the biggest moment of my life,” said Hurley, the legendary St. Anthony High School coach, who became only the third boys’ high school basketball coach to ever gain induction.
“This is proof that it can be done,” said Hurley, who has captured 984 victories, 24 NJSIAA state championships, nine NJSIAA Tournament of Champions crowns and three mythical national crowns in his storied career. “This is proof that you can reach this pinnacle from the high school level. Hopefully, there will be others that will now follow me here.”
It capped a whirlwind weekend for the Hurley family. Last Wednesday, the documentary “The Street Stops Here,” focusing on the St. Anthony undefeated national champs of 2008, premiered on national television on PBS. Earlier that morning, Hurley received word that he gained induction to the Hall of Fame after three nominations, but he had to maintain a vow of silence about it.
“Do you know how hard that is to do in Jersey City?” Hurley told a horde of reporters after the announcement was made. “I wanted to tell everyone. I wanted to tell the Russian gas station attendant where I buy my gas. I wanted to tell all the toll takers on the Turnpike. But I had to keep my word and tell no one.’’
On Monday morning, it was also learned that Hurley’s son, Danny, was named as the new head coach at Wagner College on Staten Island -- and that Danny’s older brother, former Duke All-American Bobby, was going to join his brother as an assistant coach.
Ironically, it was also in Indianapolis where Bobby Hurley earned his finest moment as a college player, earning Most Outstanding Player of the 1991 NCAA Tournament, leading Duke to the national title. Duke was slated to face Butler for the national crown Monday night.
“I think we’re all living a very charmed life lately,” Hurley said.
Hurley was joined on the Hall of Fame podium by legendary players Larry Bird (representing the USA Dream Team of 1992), Scottie Pippen, Walt Bellamy (representing the USA Olympic team of 1960) and Cynthia Cooper.
For more about the historic day, read Jim Hague’s report in The Jersey City Reporter and his column in all editions of The Hudson Reporter this coming Sunday, in the print editions or here at www.hudsonreporter.com --Jim Hague