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The Miracle of St. Anthony
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The Miracle of St. Anthony

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  1,295 ratings  ·  65 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
ebook, 416 pages
Published January 19th 2006 by Penguin Group US (first published 2005)
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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
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
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,
Aaron Maurer
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
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
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
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.
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
Erich Haux
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
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
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
“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
Kevin Florio
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
Glenn Rome
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
Anthony Harris
This book is an very very inspirational book. It's far more than an sports book. This book is about overcoming obstacles, shaping lives, supporting teammates and the community, and creating a legacy in the process.Like how does a team that doesn’t have a “home” gym become one of the best in the country? This is the kind of sports story that will give even the most lackadaisical sports fans goose bumps.

This book also explains a lot about a team and a coach that has Grit. A team with no home gym b
Jeff Achée
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
Karen & Gerard
Mar 11, 2008 Karen & Gerard rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Brandon Blitz
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
Joe Reto
While trying to put myself in Hurley's shoes during this read I found out how tough his job is despite all of the antional media attention. Jersey City is alot worse than I knew before reading this book. I tell people:If Michael Jordan and Bob Hurley had a popularity contest in Jersey City Hurley would win the contest. This is not so much a book about basketball but a book about leadership. It's an amazing read about the most important man in Jersey City NJ!
Graham Lemon
This book explains how the fantastic high school basketball head coach, Bob Hurley, coaches his boys, into men.
Although this book dealt with basketball 24/7, there were many moments in the book where it was bland and lacking a story.
Andrew Kahn
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
super book ! well written. very dynamic, real-life, inner city kids, where both the school and the students are fighting for their lives. The sacrifices, the struggles the triumphs, and tragedies. a sports book yes and no. A real-life book. after the first 50 pages I felt it really took off. Would make a wonderful movie.
B Burns
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
Frank B-muzik
Great story of how one can make a difference one student at a time while developing life long connections.
Dave Bolton
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
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
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
Ms. Dunn
One of my favorite nonfiction sports books.
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
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
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