Jersey City Catholic school with famed basketball program fights to stay open

The name Bob Hurley Sr. is synonymous with St. Anthony High School. The longtime basketball coach has been a spokesperson for the Jersey City school, and now his voice is as important as ever.

St. Anthony is known for its national powerhouse basketball program. Over his last 49 seasons, Hurley has won 28 state championships and sent more than 150 players to Division 1 programs.

Since 1992, the school has had a 100 percent graduation rate. The valedictorian has been on the team each of the last two seasons. So that long success both on and off the court is a perfect backdrop for the larger story. This could be the end. The inner-city school has struggled with fundraising for years, and the deficit has caught up.

The small Catholic school is set to close its doors for good at the end of the 2017 school year unless it can raise about $600,000 by June 30.

In midst of this daunting reality, Hurley is ever the optimist. He has three fundraisers planned over the next few months, with the hope that even those without St. Anthony ties will pitch in to save not just this program, but a school that he says changes lives.