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Hurley To Headline CRC Clinic

September 26, 2012
By RICK THORP - Staff Writer (rthorp@news-register.net) , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Of the 314 individuals enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 88 are coaches.

And, of those 88 coaches, just three - Ernest Blood, Morgan Wooten and Bob Hurley Sr. - have been inducted because of their prowess on the prep hardwood.

Hurley, a 2010 honoree, will be the latest Hall of Famer to speak at the Cancer Research Classic Basketball Clinic at Wheeling Jesuit University.

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''I like to tell stories related to what I'm doing,'' the legendary St. Anthony High School boys' coach said from his Jersey City, New Jersey, home earlier this week. ''In the time I'm there, I like to warm up with a story, talk about a particular drill. But the best thing I can give is information overload and let (clinic attendees) sort through and see what they like most.''

Hurley will be one six speakers at the clinic, which begins at 8:15 Sunday morning inside WJU's McDonough Center. Registration begins at 7:30.

Other speakers include Wheeling Jesuit's own men's coach, Danny Sancomb, Penn men's coach Jerome Allen, Colgate men's coach Matt Langel, Robert Morris men's coach Andy Toole and Syracuse men's assistant coach Mike Hopkins.

It's another star-studded lineup put together by Sancomb and Dr. Gregory Merrick, head of Wheeling Hospital's Urologic Research Institute. The lineup in the past has included West Virginia men's coach Bob Huggins, former WJU, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers coach Jim O'Brien, Pitt's Jamie Dixon, former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian and Hall of Famers John Chaney of Temple and C.Vivian Stringer of Rutgers.

If you're a basketball fan, it's the place to be.

And you don't have to only be a high school coach to attend. Merrick said the clinic is open to all coaches (middle school, AAU, CYO, travel teams, etc.) along with anyone who has an interest in basketball, including parents who just want to work with their children.

Cost is $85 for adults and $40 for students in grades 7-12. Registration includes a coaching clinic long-sleeved Nike T-shirt, portfolio and box lunch.

Sure, there will be plenty of Xs and Os discussed. But topics such as player development, practice drills and practice organization will also be discussed.

Hurley is supposed to talk about the latter, but he hopes to convey much more.

No better to do that than Hurley, who has coached at St. Anthony for nearly 40 years and has led the program to more than 1,000 victories and 26 Garden State titles.

So why hasn't Hurley been lured by the bright lights of the college stage?

''A bunch of times I could have done it,'' he said. ''During the last 25 years I've had a bunch of people talk to me about it.''

So why didn't he do it?

''I found a place where I'm comfortable and identify with the kids,'' he said. ''I just found there was all this unrefined talent I could help.''

Hurley, the father of former Duke All-American Bobby Hurley and Wagner College coach Danny Hurley, is seen as everything from a coach, to teacher, father figure, advisor and mentor.

He wouldn't have it any other way.

''It's satisfying for all basketball coaches,'' he said. ''You think in some way your values permeated them to a certain extent during their time playing.

''It doesn't always translate into a basketball career, but where they're producing, being responsible and giving back. There is some bond.''

Hurley, New Jersey born and bred, has a special connection with his community and the young people of it. He enjoys nothing more than seeing one of his players mature on the basketball court and off it.

But these days, his time is more limited and he has to do more with less.

''Our state limits us quite a bit,'' he said. ''We start the Monday after Thanksgiving and continue through early March, if we make it that far.

''High school coaches are educators and are in it for the right reasons. The people the kids see out of season are not pros. They might have the player's best interest. It's become a serious issue and I don't know if the federations have addressed it enough.''

Hurley believes society is racing teenagers into adulthood too fast.

''We're not allowing kids to be kids as long as they should be,'' he said. ''Now there are kids who are 11-years-old going to national tournaments and being ranked in the fifth or sixth grade. All the attention has to affect them.''

So how would Hurley advise parents to monitor the athletic maturation of their sons/daughters?

''Keeping things in perspective is the most important thing,'' he said. ''Everyone would like to be good at something. I think they should work as hard as they can, enjoy the process.

''They need to have balance in their lives and be well-rounded.''

Rick Thorp can be reached via e-mail at rthorp@news-register.net

 
 

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