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The Miracle of St. Ant...
 
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Adrian Wojnarowski
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The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  1,935 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
In a city mired in endless decay, where the youth suffer through all the horrors of urban blight, hope comes in a most unassuming form: a tiny brick schoolhouse run by two Felician nuns where a singular basketball genius takes teenagers from the mean streets of Jersey City and turns them into champions on the hardcourt. Coach Bob Hurley had been working miracles at St. Ant ...more
Hardcover, 390 pages
Published January 19th 2006 by Turtleback Books (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Michelle
Dec 10, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, sports, non-fiction
I can’t remember ever finishing a book and immediately going online to donate money. I donated to a Catholic school no less when the most generous religious description of me would put me on the outskirts of agnostic. Not to mention, the son of this book’s subject is a basketball player I’ve always despised. I have changed my opinion.

Bob Hurley is the longtime basketball coach of a down-and-out Catholic school in sketchy Jersey City, New Jersey. This place is so bad even the associated church cu
...more
Tom
Feb 09, 2010 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm convinced that there has got to be another way to reach troubled inner-city teenagers than Coach Bob Hurley's preferred method of profanity-laced verbal dressing downs. His style is likely not what I would employ if thrust into a small basketball program in decaying Jersey City.

That being said, there is clearly a method to his madness. This book crescendos from a simply angry Hurley in the opening chapters for whom I felt no real affection, to a Hurley who has succeeded in bringing yet anot
...more
Rachel
I'm a sucker for sports stories, but this is probably the best I've ever read. Not only is the writing phenomenal (definitely going to check out Wojnarowski's columns), but the story of Bob Hurley is incredible. The combination of Hurley's discipline, family values, the importance he places on a college education, and his loyalty to his students is unbeatable. I've always been attracted to strong disciplinary figures and situations, and the story has honestly given me a new perspective of compet ...more
Aaron Maurer
Nov 30, 2012 Aaron Maurer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I have owned this book for quite some time now and finally decided to give it a read. I am so glad I took the time to read. It was a perfect read for me as I coached through my first year of coaching girls basketball.

I loved reading the struggles and ups and downs of this team as they worked their way to a perfect season. At the end of the day, this book reminded me that no matter where you coach or where you are from at the end of the day kids are kids. The difference is that they all come with
...more
Jeremy
Jul 29, 2013 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, 2014
As inspirational of a sports story as you will ever read! Wojnarowski follows around the St. Anthony basketball team as they try to find themselves, understand a coach who won't ever let them settle for anything but the best and live in a world that gives them nothing.

Coach Bob Hurley understands what it's like living in Jersey City, as he grew up there himself. But he also understands that these kids need to get out of Jersey City. For them, basketball is the way. Hurley is constantly on them,
...more
Daniel Bondi
Jun 10, 2015 Daniel Bondi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a biography of Bob Hurley, but it was the best biography I ever read! It takes us into the inner city New Jersey where we learn to love a basketball team that I honestly never thought would win. Not only was this book a real page-flipper, but it also taught me some key values of life in an uplifting way. After every mistake a character in the book makes, they always find a way to get back up. At some points in the book I laughed, other times I cried, but I will always love this boo ...more
Duffy
Feb 20, 2008 Duffy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, the best sports book I have ever read. Unprecedented access for Wojnarowski, and Bob Hurley, Sr. is as compelling a central figure as any author could hope to have. A must for any true sports fan, not just basketball.
Patrick Laney
Feb 13, 2017 Patrick Laney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: basketball, 40
As good a book about basketball as has ever been written and one that goes well beyond the court. Bob Hurley is a legend in high school basketball but his real legacy is the value he has placed on staying in one place to transform lives for 50 years. "Miracle" is not really a miracle but the telling of old values that still matter in a world that has changed and keeps changing. What does not change is Bob Hurley teaching hardened kids to play man-to-man defense better than any coach at any level ...more
Craig Thomas
Feb 20, 2017 Craig Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books I've ever read. It's a must-read for any coach on any level or anyone who has anything to do with sports. Digs deep into the New Jersey basketball lore in and around Jersey City, Newark and other surrounding areas. Kind of what Moneyball did to baseball this book does to high school basketball.
William Johnson
One of the biggest debates is whether sports is truly just a game or not. There are those confusing NBA commercials where they say ‘basketball is just a game. But sometimes it isn’t.’ Pro athletes, who clearly represent the majority of basketball players in people’s households (due to the exposure, etc), seem to embody this debate mainly because of their large contracts and the seemingly simple nature of their jobs (shoot a ball into a net and go home to a mansion). People forget the endless tra ...more
Sean
Mar 27, 2009 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Friday Night Lights of hoops.” Is what the Miracle of St. Anthony has been called. The book goes to the town of Jersey City and takes you into a season with the legendary high-school basketball coach and his 2003-2004 team. It was a season in turmoil, disappointment, and triumph. Bob Hurley, a coach with an endless understanding of basketball shows the urban teenagers from the rough streets of New Jersey to a hard-court where anything is possible. He has worked every miracle possible for hi ...more
Hezekiah
Living in poverty is a constant stress on one's psyche and mentality. It can breed into you a defeated nature and hopelessness. Without the help of someone or the community, the youth can fall into precarious situations and repeat the past. In Jersey City, a man by the name of Robert Hurley (known as Bob Hurley) uses basketball to not only win games but to also prepare his students for life. He challenges them to difficult tasks and grueling practices that only serves to strength their resolve a ...more
Glenn Rome
Jan 26, 2013 Glenn Rome rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Growing up in Hudson County I was familiar with the people, places and things mention in The Miracle of St. Anthony. Before reading I had respect for Coach Bob Hurley, but after reading this book, Coach Hurley should be up for Sainthood. A probation officer by day, Coach Hurley has been the head coach at St. Anthony's for at least 4 decades. He not only is a winning coach, but he also is a recruiter, fund raiser, etc. His players have gone to Division I schools, the NBA, Europe to play ball and ...more
Kevin Florio
Aug 14, 2012 Kevin Florio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tiny brick schoolhouse run by two Felician nuns where a singular basketball genius takes teenagers from the mean streets of Jersey City and turns them into champions on the hardcourt. Coach Bob Hurley had been working miracles at St. Anthony High School for over thirty years, winning state and national championships and offering his players rescue from their surroundings through college scholarships, when he met his most dysfunctional team yet. In The Miracle of St. Anthony Adrian Wojnarowski ...more
Adrian
May 28, 2012 Adrian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: coaching
As a coach in California, I can say that this read about a grizzled old vet kept me riveted. This man is a true Godsend for this school and community. Him being a hardass is exactly what this community needs. Anyone who can walk right up a gang and threaten them to leave one of his players alone, is doing a great job. The players that suit up for him, have nothing else but the streets to turn to if he isn't allowing them to play ball. Sure he gets top level players, but talent is nothing without ...more
Karen & Gerard
Mar 11, 2008 Karen & Gerard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: athletes, coaches, teachers
Recommended to Karen & Gerard by: my husband
Inner city basketball team coached by Bob Hurley —best high school coach in small, broken down parochial school. Kids all had problems and he taught character and perseverance as well as basketball. Coaching tips:

*Always keep the bar high and require respect.
*Never let anyone slide—keep on them all the time.
*Coach all the players, not just the best.
*Make kids earn your respect and ignore them until they do.
*Give everyone a role—even those on the bench.
*Use drastic measures (wrestling practice) t
...more
Brandon Blitz
May 23, 2008 Brandon Blitz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite book of all time. It follows legendary high school basketball coach Bob Hurley Sr. and his St. Anthony's team through the 2003-2004 season. Hurley, also a probation officer, is as tough on his kids as possible because that's the only way they'll survive. Coming from the worst parts of New Jersey, these kids thrive under Coach Hurley and learn how to be successful. Most end up going on to play college basketball. St. Anthony is a national Contender year in and year out and Hurley turn ...more
Kevin
Dec 25, 2014 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the start of the 2003 St. Anthony's Friars season to the it's conclusion, Adrian Wojnarowski takes the reader on a journey of disappointment, redemption, and inspiration led by one man, who refused to give up on his players. Coach Bob Hurley treated his players as much more than that, now regarded as one of the best coaches to ever do the job, Wojnarowski tells the tale of one coach who went beyond his duty to make sure the students of St. Anthony high school had a future for themselves out ...more
Erich Haux
Jan 16, 2014 Erich Haux rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found coach Hurley's tale of rough inner city coaching to be not only inspiring but unique. Growing up in Jersey City, and working as a probation officer in the most dilapidated,crime filled neighborhoods of the city molded him perfectly to coach his players to success on the court and in life in general. With coach Hurley's tenacious coaching strategy, and the benevolent actions of the Felician sisters, they are able to save the school from closing permanently. During his toughest year, the 2 ...more
Blaine Morrow
I remember Bobby Hurley, but haven't read much about his father. Clearly, I didn't have a clue about the family or what made Bobby such an amazing player. This book shows the coach and father - good and bad - and his 2004 team, which went undefeated and earned recognition as #1 in the country. The players - high school kids trying to grow up in the mean streets of Jersey City - handle adversity, intense pressure from their coach, parents' expectations, academic problems, and tough opponents. The ...more
Becky
Sep 14, 2014 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler alert

I understand the writer was given access to write this story and possibly could be biased somewhat, but there was a lot of detail that sounded factual and I liked the way he wrote the story. I loved that going to the championship, he discussed the New Jersey turnpike as a remind of the victories they had brought them there. I love the sport of basketball and the intensity of athletes and coaches. I found myself googling to find out more about the players as they moved on from St. An
...more
Bskidmore
This book described one particular season of the infamous coach Bob Hurley, who might be one of the top high school basketball coaches of all time. I like how Coach Hurley would sometimes purposely build in trials and challenges for his players (i.e., cramped locker rooms, long games played back-to-back with minimal rest), b/c he knew it was good for their character. He was always more concerned with their character, and how they were changing for the better, than anything. He would call a rough ...more
Dave Bolton
Mar 27, 2011 Dave Bolton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like sportswriting, even if it can be a bit breathless in tone. Adrian Wojnarowski's column length articles are prime examples -- they always feel a bit too epic for the limited number of words. In this full length setting, however, it is perfect. I couldn't put this book down, even when I really, really, had important other things to do. Reminded me of Feinstein's A Season on the Brink, but with even greater human ramifications. Anyway, recommended if you like basketball and sports. Update: r ...more
B Burns
Sep 22, 2008 B Burns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone who likes sports books, or has an interest in basketball, coaching, discipline, hope, hard work, tough love, success, or just understands that non-fiction is often more interesting. I started paying attention to this high school team when I started reading USA Today, which published a national ranking of hs teams, in 8th grade. Shortly after, Bobby Hurley became a household name, which brought more notoriety to St. Anthony's and their coach Bob Hurley Sr. They have remaine ...more
Jeff Achée
Dec 25, 2014 Jeff Achée rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In short, this book is a life-changer for those that work in athletics. It makes you understand the power that sports can have on the lives of young people and communities, especially in those that need it the most. Adrian's telling of the story is nothing short of masterful and I think that everyone that has played basketball on any level understands the importance of each and every lesson taught by Hurley. Such a great book. No doubt, I'll be coming back to this one occasionally throughout the ...more
Matt
Feb 05, 2009 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good read about the most famous high school coach in the country, Bob Hurley. The writer is excellent and he does and great job of portraying all the "characters" as 3 dimensional people. Some will think Hurley is an ego maniacal lunatic focused only on winning at all costs; or some will argue he gives lost kids structure and purpose and the chance to escape poverty by attending college. Love him or hate him, he's an interesting pro/antagonist.

PS - If anyone wants the book, I'll send i
...more
Jared
May 28, 2008 Jared rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book follows legendary high school basketball coach Bob Hurley Sr. and his St. Anthony's team through the 2003-2004 season. Hurley, fomerly a probation officer, is tough on his kids because he knows that is the best way for them to learn and survive. Coming from the tough blocks in jersey city, these kids thrive under Coach Hurley and learn how to be good people first and then good basketball players. Most end up going on to play college basketball which is quite an honor and difficult to d ...more
Andrew Kahn
Feb 25, 2014 Andrew Kahn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had a lot in common with my last pre-March Madness book (Play Their Hearts Out): the writer shadowed one team, giving readers access to all things on and off the court; reviews called it the "Friday Night Lights of high school basketball;" the type was tiny and filled every available millimeter on the page; and it was really good. Despite growing up in New York, I didn't know too much about Bob Hurley. I sure do now and he really is the last of his breed, a coach who doesn't put up wit ...more
Anthony
Feb 27, 2010 Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great, great book. Fascinating story about the St. Anthony boys basketball program during the 2003-2004 season. The book is a wonderful, in depth, behind the scenes story and high school basketball's premier powerhouse. I think of Fall River Dreams as the Friday Night Lights of hoops, for nothing more than the fact that its a parallel story about how a town that gets behind a high school sports team and lives and dies with its triumphs and defeats. Saying that, I still feel as if this book is ...more
Joshua
Dec 27, 2009 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book started slowly, but it didn't take long before I was sucked in. I was completely ignorant of the incredible career of Bob Hurley, and his unprecedented run with St. Anthony. It was refreshing to read about a coach/school more focused on working with local kids, and making them the best they can be, rather than trying to put together all-star teams from top college recruits. I think Bob Hurley has proved that hard work, tough love, and perseverance can truly make a difference to less fo ...more
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