Ronald Roberts has been a busy young man for the last month.
The former St. Peter’s Prep basketball star and recent St. Joseph’s University grad has been traveling the country, attending one workout for an NBA team after another. It’s almost been a whirlwind journey.
“I’ve been to 14 different teams,” said Roberts, who was at the Brooklyn Nets’ training facility in East Rutherford to work out for the Nets prior to the NBA Draft. “I was in Los Angeles yesterday working out for the Lakers and now I’m here today. It’s been a little crazy. I did Toronto, Philadelphia and Detroit in three straight days. I’ve been traveling so much. I didn’t get to see much, because I had to keep going.”
But the 6-foot-9 skywalker, who has thrilled many with his high-flying dunks, including a YouTube video that has been viewed by more than 100,000 people, wasn’t complaining about his hectic schedule one bit.
“It’s an once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Roberts, the Bayonne resident. “It’s been exciting. It’s really been like a dream come true. Teams definitely like my athleticism. That has helped me a lot.”
Roberts said that he watched the New Jersey Nets growing up.
“I really didn’t have a favorite team, but I liked watching Jason Kidd and Vince Carter,” Roberts said. “I used to follow them. I came here and saw all the Nets banners on the wall and I was impressed.”
Roberts averaged 14.4 points and nearly eight rebounds per game last season for St. Joseph’s, leading the Hawks into the NCAA Tournament, losing in overtime to eventual national champion Connecticut.
Roberts is not projected as a first round draft pick, but may get selected in the second round. He was poised to watch the draft with his family in Bayonne.
“I’m being optimistic,” Roberts said. “I’m open to anything. I think right now that I can get into the NBA and see what I can do. Coming to these workouts definitely boosts my stock. I can show some people what I can do. I can get my name out there a little more. I never stopped working and I’m trying to get better.”
Incredibly, Roberts first attended Bayonne High and was cut from the junior varsity team as a freshman. He then transferred to St. Peter’s and became an All-State player.
“My coaches at Prep, like Coach [Mike] Kelly, Coach [Todd] Decker and Coach [Ken] Teschlog, really got me going,” Roberts said. “I owe a lot to them. I really came a long way. I don’t think I would have made it if it wasn’t for them.”
Roberts didn’t know that he was the first Prep product to get a little taste of NBA life in more than 40 years.
“I didn’t know the history,” Roberts said. “It’s a great honor. I’m proud to represent St. Peter’s Prep. They changed my career around. I guess it can speak to younger kids that they should never give up. I didn’t even make the JV team and I finished as the No. 3 player in the state. For all the young kids, I hope it tells them to never give up, work hard and put yourself in the position to be successful. Everything has gone by so fast.”
Roberts felt comfortable working out with the Nets, who also worked out former Syracuse star C.J. Fair and former North Carolina standout James Michael McAdoo Wednesday, even though the Nets did not have a draft pick in either round prior to the scheduled draft on Thursday.
“It was good to be able to go back home in 20 minutes after the workout,” Roberts said. “I didn’t have to go anywhere far. I was excited about this. It’s been a great ride. You never know where I might end up. But at least I’m getting my name out there.”
And who knows? Roberts just might embark on a professional basketball career…
Speaking of the NBA Draft, former St. Anthony All-American Kyle Anderson was expecting to hear his name called in the first round, somewhere between the 16th and 22nd pick. We will have more with Anderson and his NBA destination in next week’s editions…
Speaking of St. Anthony, the school has decided to make a radical move and elevate legendary basketball coach Bob Hurley as the new “Head of School,” as the release from the Archdiocese of Newark read. The archdiocese first sent out a release that Hurley, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, was going to be the school’s president, but later changed the wording of the release to call Hurley the “Head of School.”
It means that Hurley will be now be involved with everything in the school, from administering the faculty, monitoring all students’ grades as well as fundraising.
It looks like a work of desperation by the archdiocese, trying to use the school’s most notable and respected piece as a way of keeping the school open. But the Archdiocese of Newark has made it clear that they really don’t want to be in the business of education with the rash of school closings in the area. In all honesty, the archdiocese would love to close the doors of St. Anthony and sell the property, which has an incredibly high value.
For now, Hurley gets the responsibility of doing everything at the school and it’s a move that spells desperation more than anything…
We’re happy to report that the rumors of Mike Rooney’s demise were greatly exaggerated last week here. The legendary basketball star called to state that did not have a heart attack as reported last week and that he’s healthy and fine and causing havoc to everyone as always.
“I am in the last two minutes of the game,” Rooney said. “But I’m still here.”
And that’s great news, because Rooney is truly one of the greatest characters in Hudson County sports history…
Jersey City firefighter Kevin McSorley continues to play great golf. He shot a round of 74 at Roxiticus Golf Club last week to qualify for the New Jersey State Golf Open at the Essex County Country Club July 15-17…
It’s time for summer camps and clinics for kids. One of the best is the free All Access to Life Foundation Football Camp, run by former University of Nebraska All-American Rich Glover. The camp will be held at Caven Point Cochrane Field July 8-9. There will be buses provided by Jersey City Recreation with pickups at all four Jersey City public high schools with pickup times at 8 a.m. and return trip at 12:30.
For more information about registration for this fine camp, call (201) 423-9961. Jersey City youngsters don’t often get instruction from a legend like Glover, a two-time Outland Trophy winner and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame who played in the NFL with the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles. It should be a must for the youngsters…
Hudson Catholic is holding its first-ever girls’ basketball camp for girls aged 5-17. The camp will be held at the school from July 14-17 and will feature instruction from both Hudson Catholic head coach Pete Vincent and Hudson County Hall of Famer Alice DeFazio. For more information, call Vincent at (201) 200-3373 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or DeFazio at (201) 320-5500…
Marist is holding it baseball camp July 17-18 under the guidance of coach Ron Hayward from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Several of Marist’s former players, now either in pro ball or college, will serve as instructors. For more info, contact Hayward via e-mail at email@example.com...
The Hudson Reporter Male and Female Athletes of the Year will be featured in the next two editions of the Reporter. It marks the 22nd year that the Hudson Reporter Newspapers will honor the top athletes in the area…-Jim Hague
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.