NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suggested Friday that the commissioners of the four major pro sports leagues could donate money to save St. Anthony High School, known for being a basketball powerhouse.
The Jersey City Catholic school, which bears the stamp of Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley, will close in June because of declining attendance and rising costs.
Hurley has said the school, which opened in 1952, needs $500,000 in the bank and nearly $2 million to cover debts.
Appearing on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show, Christie noted that if the commissioners of the NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball and NHL each cut a $125,000 check, they could cover the $500,000.
And if they won’t step up, Christie hopes someone else will.
“There’s got to be a wealthy person in the New York/New Jersey area who would write a half-a-million-dollar check to St. Anthony’s to help to endow that place,” the governor said. “And I’m asking somebody who’s out there to do that because it’s an extraordinary place, and I’ve visited it as governor. What Bob Hurley does there in the classroom is extraordinary, and it’s a place that teaches values, too. And we want that for all of our kids.”
St. Anthony has won 28 New Jersey state titles and four national championships. It has sent more than 150 players to Division I basketball programs.
Christie added that he believes if New Jersey had a voucher program that allowed inner-city kids in failed school districts to choose a private school instead, St. Anthony would not be closing. He said, however, the state’s teachers’ unions would not allow such a program.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)