Basketball Powerhouse Saint Anthony High School To Close In Jersey City

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Financial troubles have forced the closing on a historic Catholic school in Hudson County.

As CBS2’s Otis Livingston reports, it’s the end of an era.

Saint Anthony High School in Jersey City, which opened in 1952, will be closing at the end of the academic year because it failed to raise enough funds to remain open.

The basketball powerhouse put New Jersey on the national map and made Bob Hurley Sr. a Naismith Hall of Famer. 

This is not the first time St. Anthony had to scramble to meet a deadline. The number of students has dwindled and so has tuition.

This time, it was a $10 million hill to climb or suffer the same fate as other Catholic schools in New Jersey: closure.

Here are some of the staggering numbers under Hurley Sr.’s leadership as head basketball coach and president of the school: 28 state titles, and 13 of the 28 Tournament of Champions have been won by St. Anthony. Hurley Sr. was named USA Today National Coach of the Year three times. More than 200 players have gone on to play college basketball, with more than 150 on scholarships.

But this is not just a basketball story, Livingston reports. There are more than 100 non-basketball players who go to St. Anthony and will now have to find a new school.

“I think we can help to transition them into something that the family will be OK with. It’s the kids here who come from the inner city, who are here because it was an opportunity to get out of the neighborhood and come here, being a safe place… those kids now are the ones we’re the most concerned about,” Hurley Sr. said.

Hurley Sr. has been the chief fundraiser, battling to keep the school open for years.

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