St. Anthony mythological use gym reopens as song hall

Shawn Christie is a server during Cellar 335, a new bar and grill in a groundwork of White Eagle Hall, a century-old building on Newark Avenue in Jersey City. He is 28; tattoos engage on both arms. Rings hang from his nose and eyebrow. He is on a time during 6:30 p.m. when Bob Hurley, a basketball manager during circuitously St. Anthony High, and his mother Chris, a team’s scorekeeper, expostulate over after practice. They travel down 4 stairs into a space that evokes a dim romance, complicated on reds and blacks. On unprotected brick, graffiti murals brew with 7 class of moss. The Hurleys splash it all in, eyeing repurposed church pews, request candles and tiki-style cocktails on tabletops. They remember where a weight dais used to be and how we could once hear a stroke of bouncing basketballs above. Hurley points out that rabble barrels were once stored where congregation now enter. Christie approaches them.

“Have we ever been here before?” Christie says.

“Oh, we’ve been here for many years,” Chris says.

“Dude, dude,” Bob says. “I was here in 1968 a initial time. Where were you?”

St. Anthony basketball manager Bob Hurley reckoning out successive steps

“Well, have we been here given all that’s been finished to a restaurant?” Christie says. “It was basketball, right?”

“So I’m a coach,” Hurley says. “We used to use here.”

“We had a integrate people come in here,” Christie says. “They wanted to take a debate of a kitchen. They used to play basketball here.”

Hurley nods. He is 69, white haired and a leader of some-more than 1,200 games. A member of a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he grows sentimental per an aged gym in a gentrifying city. He is wakeful of a behaving humanities space being refurbished here in White Eagle Hall, a three-story edifice with faces of Polish luminaries looking down on whirring traffic. He recalls wall-to-wall battles upstairs, no frills, no fouls, a four-point line on a court, bingo cards drifting and a lifted decibels of his aria, a multiple of sneakers squeaking and Hurley squawking. He is best famous for his uncontrollable brio and ability to authority a space. Twenty-eight of his teams won state championships; 8 went unbeaten. More than 150 Friars played Division we in college; 7 finished a NBA. White Eagle, as he knew it, was a magnet and a landmark owned by a St. Anthony of Padua bishopric on Monmouth Street. The bandbox was a place where players, from his sons Bobby and Danny to Lloyd Daniels, dismissed off threes before channel half justice and warranted building browns on all-out dives by radiators. Prospectors parked on a sidewalk. No matter a sweat, no one dared ramble into a groundwork showers.

Basketball powerhouse St. Anthony High to close, says Bob Hurley

“The place wasn’t kept clean. There was no maintenance,” Bob says. “God knows what kind of diseases one could get from attempting to take a showering here.”

“We put a weight room in,” Chris says. “Tried to debonair it up.”

Hurley knows all a reliquary’s quirks. He is a reason civic and suburban aspirants answered White Eagle’s summons call, chasing lax balls behind a entertainment screen into crawlspaces and fighting onto a lobby’s mottled building past a phone counter out front. He remembers defenders trapping round handlers, forcing them into corners underneath stairwells. He sum non-negotiable contracts and night curfews. Tattoos were taboo. Piercings were prohibited. Each gym rodent schooled that one belligerent sequence was inviolable: if we played, we helped put adult folding tables for bingo and took them behind down, yet that is all past. The complicated lifting was finished during a serene days, and his organisation changed to a atmospheric licence propagandize gym down a retard from St. Anthony High, also owned by a parish, in 2000. White Eagle was already unwell by then, and fell into serve disrepair. Abandonment drew vagrants until a Brooklyn-born developer with a Ukrainian mother who is an artist purchased a gymnasium for $1.1 million in 2012. Lights of varying colors peep on a yellow section exterior.

“We’ve driven by 3 times a week peeking during changes,” says Bob, whose teams used on a initial building for 32 years. He was a trial officer afterwards and has given retired. He is also St. Anthony’s boss as a enrollment drops to 160, down from 263 a decade ago. The propagandize struggles annually to accommodate financial demands. Successful with fundraising in a past, donor tired has set in. He recognizes a irony in White Eagle re-opening as St. Anthony High is set to close.

St. Anthony’s prolonged highway to success

Bob Hurley with his mother Chris.

Bob Hurley with his mother Chris.

(Bryan Pace/for New York Daily News)

“Is it unequivocally cool-looking upstairs?” Chris says.

“Awesome, amazing,” Christie says. “It’s finished. We’re watchful for them to announce a initial show.”

“I was usually looking by a window on a belligerent floor,” Chris says. “There used to be a phone counter there.”

“I unequivocally wish to see when it pops off, when it unequivocally pops off,” Christie says.

Hurley voted into hoop Hall

“I still demeanour during that building from when it was descending down,” Bob says. “Nobody wanted it.”

Christie informs them that he is not their server. He was usually settling them.

“Sorry!” Bob says.

“Sorry!” Chris says. “Sorry we tortured you!”

Jersey fable Hurley wins 1,000th

“No, I’m jealous,” Christie says. “I wish to hear what’s going on! I’ll have a manager come.”

Peter Arnone, a manager, introduces himself. He recognizes Bob, listens to tales about feeling Polish weddings from a ended epoch and inquires about their cocktail tastes. He suggests Zombie Priest Punch. It consists of Bacardi 8, El Dorado 151, Appleton 12-year-old Jamaican rum, pineapple, passion fruit, absinthe and angostura bitters. Hurley and his mother sell looks. It comes with dual straws.

“Sounds like a play,” Bob says. “I cruise out of a timeout we run that.”

Players and coaches would smoke-stack and pierce tables and chairs for renouned Bingo nights.

Players and coaches would smoke-stack and pierce tables and chairs for renouned Bingo nights.

(Kevin Armstrong/New York Daily News)

Spicy cornbread, avocado boiled rice and lime-soy garlic wings are served.

Legendary NJ HS manager Bob Hurley Sr. would cruise Rutgers coaching job

“A small fun,” Arnone says. “Obviously we had a lot of fun here.”

“Mostly upstairs,” Bob says. “Down here was a cleaning and a weight room, lockers, storage areas.”

“Welcome back,” Arnone says. “Welcome to a small oasis underneath a streets.”

* * *

There is a framed black-and-white sketch of White Eagle that collects dirt in a closet during St. Anthony High, a half mile from a hall. It facilities a full blueprint of a space full with wooden bingo tables being set up. Players lift 3 chairs during a time. The photographer’s vantage indicate is from a patio above a gym’s entrance. Out of perspective is a basket merged to a balcony. Its edge measures usually subsequent 10 feet high and becomes a elite basket for guards to asperse on. The conflicting basket is anchored on a entertainment with a radiator weighing it down. No dunks are authorised on it. In all, there are 63 folding tables with wooden tops. Players lift them from a entertainment to a hardwood with an “A” in a core justice circle. Upon entering, any caller comes opposite dual difference on a square of paper: “BINGO RULES.”

“We always used Sunday mornings, holding tables down since they had bingo Saturday nights,” Hurley says. “There were always college coaches assisting us mangle down tables. Ohio State manager Eldon Miller was limping around one morning in 1981 when he recruited my ensure Mandy Johnson. After practice, we pronounced to his assistant, ‘What’s wrong?’ He walks with me and says, ‘When we mislaid final night to Northwestern, Coach Miller kicked a locker, pennyless his large toe.’ But he still came, helped with tables. That’s real. Coaches aren’t genuine like that anymore. They’re all CEOs. Instead of looking like wimps, a coaches would assistance us take them down.”

There was a motto: “Don’t come in here with any diseased s–t.” Hurley mislaid count of a kids he kicked out years ago. Public haranguing is a unchanging partial of his coaching style; players engrossed and abided. If Hurley didn’t like a settlement or gait of play, he introduced restrictions. There were games yet dribbling. There were also games when one was forced to glow with usually his diseased hand. To burst higher, Hurley had them wear Strength shoes: plyometric sneakers with a height merged to a sole. They were ostensible to build calf muscles and supplement 5-10 inches to a player’s vertical. Hurley experimented with games that enclosed dual players in Strength boots and 3 in basketball sneakers. There were no dilemma threes due to genuine estate constraints and a balcony’s overhang. The justice totalled 75 feet prolonged and 38 feet wide. Up and down they went. Focus was elemental in a midst of run outs and discerning releases. A time was always running; any indicate was tallied.

“Kids would come home from a NBA or college — David Rivers, Jerry Walker, whoever — and be treated like dog poop,” Hurley says, “because it was all about, ‘We don’t give a s–t where we play or who we are. It’s winners here.’”

Outsiders entered with eyes widened. Most were fervent to infer estimable of a lapse invite. Teens reported to a Eagle from all over Jersey City and Hudson County, from Pavonia Avenue to a Duncan Projects to Lincoln Park. Word widespread that a best runs in a tri-state could be had on site. Chris Jent, a brazen from Sparta, N.J., and teammate of Bobby’s on a N.J. Roadrunners AAU team, sped adult a New Jersey Turnpike in his grandmother’s white Chevy Caprice Classic, switching onto a shoulder to pass cars in sequence to be on time to assistance set adult in sequence to secure a spot. Pat Sullivan of Bogota pieced together rides, swapping between his hermit Matt and New Jersey Transit buses. Kenny Atkinson, bouncing around Europe as a pro, gathering a Ford Fairmont 60 miles any approach from Northport when home. Daniels cruised adult from a Shore in a white Mercedes Benz 500. Hurley told Daniels that Foster Park, a challenging Flatbush battleground, was “suburban” by comparison.

“You had to hoop a ball, my man,” Daniels says. “No longhorn s—ting there.”

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use limited to low res record max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

A pointer that still hangs in a window by White Eagle’s use entrance.

(Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News)

The open-gym report was sacrosanct: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 3-5 pm. To select sides, all players postulated opening to a justice lined adult from smallest to tallest. They counted off 1-2-3-4-5 and steady a numbers until adequate teams were picked. Games went to 13 for a half, 25 for a final. No fouls were called until diversion point. There was no atmosphere conditioning; an electric fan circulated prohibited air. If we lost, we hold a zephyr on a stairs outside, relegated to examination buses flitting by, capricious if we would get another game. Former Friar Carlos Cueto is a gym fable for personification on after blood spilled from his nose. Bob Knight, a manager of Indiana, was in a gym that afternoon with Mickey Corcoran, who coached Bill Parcells in high school. The conduct Hoosier watched as Cueto confirmed his leap prolonged adequate to allege a round while trapped by Rodrick Rhodes and Jermaine Womack. Contact was made; blood followed. Cueto sprinted into a bathroom, pressed tissues adult his nose to fixed a upsurge and re-entered. Knight incited to Hurley.

“I adore this f–king place,” Knight said.

Many applaud a meritocracy. Only one reflects on a mirrors. Bill Raftery, a former Seton Hall conduct manager and stream college basketball broadcaster for CBS and Fox Sports 1, binds an matchless memory. It pre-dates Hurley and traces behind to 1959 and Raftery’s career during St. Cecilia’s of Kearny, N.J. Raftery was already en lane to being a Garden State’s all-time heading schoolboy scorer, and he knew how to negotiate courts with surprising contours and random character. St. James in Newark hosted a games in a hospital. St. Michael’s in Jersey City offering a linoleum floor. St. Michael’s in Union City was in a bank on Broadway. At St. Michael’s in Jersey City, Raftery once scored a layup and movement carried him out a pathway into a hall. Opposing fans sealed him out. But zero surfaced a White Eagle Hall knowledge — and one tainted call in particular.

“Phil Miller is a ref. we expostulate to a basket. There are mirrors on a wall,” Raftery says. “St. Cecilia vs. St. Anthony. Miller is underneath a basket. Whistle blows. Phil goes, ‘Offensive foul, pull off.’ we go, ‘Phil, we couldn’t see it.’ He says, ‘Oh, yeah, we saw it by a mirror.’ He calls a tainted on me around mirror. Those were a gyms.”

A hallmark still hangs in a window by White Eagle’s use entrance.




Coaches keep images in their minds to offer a support of reference. They remember observant graffiti and a glow shun on a front by a bingo pointer and desiring they were in a wrong spot. There was no approach a nation’s tip organisation used inside. St. Joseph’s University manager Phil Martelli remembers a initial time he visited. It was a trickery for a swift and a crafty. Hurley’s kids probed any crevice. He relished that any recruiter was on a pursuit when station opposite a wall. Everyone knew a many dangerous chairman in a gymnasium was any visitor who suspicion it was a intelligent thought to move a crater of coffee inside. All was inbounds.

“Makes me cruise we’ve mislaid a way,” Martelli says. “Basketball used to be outdoor on asphalt, shirts and skins, not that prolonged ago. Now we weigh in A/C, we fly to Vegas to watch a Jersey organisation play a Philly team.”

* * *

Ben LoPiccolo bought and renovated a century-old hall.

Ben LoPiccolo bought and renovated a century-old hall.

(Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News)

“There were damaged windows, a floors were sagging, beams were falling, it was abandoned,” says Ben LoPiccolo, a CEO of an eponymous growth group. He stands in White Eagle’s lobby, by a sheet counter assembled from pieces of a 26-foot tabernacle that once stood inside St. Boniface Church on First Street, and sum erosion he happened on when he initial walked a gymnasium in 2004. “It was unequivocally uninhabitable, dangerous usually to travel through. Your feet would penetrate by a floor. There were areas where we had to fasten off. It was flattering bad.”

LoPiccolo complicated it with used patience. Raised by entrepreneurial immigrants from Italy, he spent time in Brooklyn, Queens, Italy and Hackensack as a youth. He was in a marketplace to build condos when White Eagle was put adult for sale. St. Anthony of Padua bishopric still owned a gymnasium during a time. The cost was too high.

“I went home and said, ‘Honey we found a theatre,’” he says. “It’s a impiety to take out this entertainment and spin it into condos. I’ll never hear a finish of it, we know? we left it alone. we said, ‘I’m usually going to be travel away.’ we told her we would adore to rise it into a theatre, yet it’s too costly to make it work.”

His wife, Olga Levina, heads a Jersey City Theatre Center as a artistic director. He kept lane of a area during a 2008 financial pile-up and successive recession. He afterwards watched a genuine estate marketplace drop, as well. In 2012, he concluded to buy a gymnasium that had been assembled circa 1910. Polish immigrants and craftsmen built it underneath a caring of Father Peter Boleslaus Kwiatowski. In further to basketball practices, a space hosted weddings, recitals, banquets, strike rallies and protests. Polish celebrations enclosed singing of “Sto lat.” By a time LoPiccolo took over, a blue scoreboard was still on one wall. Baskets survived, as well, yet a dump roof above a justice mislaid panels over time. Hallowed belligerent looked prepared to be hollowed out. LoPiccolo started to slice divided wood-panel walls to strech a strange red section of a structure. Above his conduct was a revelation.

“You could see that there was some sum adult there,” LoPiccolo says. “I didn’t know if it was stained potion or whatever it was. But a church pronounced to me before we bought it: ‘There is stained potion adult there. Before we close, we wish to take it out.’”

LoPiccolo agreed. He insisted a church lift out a dismissal of a glass, though. If it was not left by a shutting date, afterwards a church would pledge it. As a shutting date neared, LoPiccolo called and asked if a church had private a glass. The church conceded it all, observant it was too costly to take out. LoPiccolo also schooled that a dual skylights were tarred over on a roof, expected a surety magnitude during World War II to black out a intensity German bombing target.

“We didn’t know it was this nice,” LoPiccolo says. “We had no idea.”

There are dual hand-crafted, stained-glass skylights now manifest that Hurley never knew about. One commemorates Frédéric Chopin, a exemplary song composer, and a other honors Marcella Sembrich, an internationally eminent show star. She sang 11 seasons with New York Metropolitan Opera. The potion was private mirror by pane. It was afterwards brought to a studio in Bergen County. An endless replacement slight was carried out. Light now shines down to a floor.

“I remember stains on glass,” says high propagandize basketball talent evaluator Tom Konchalski, who mostly visited a gym. “I do not remember stained glass.”

The justice that doubled as a rising pad for an doubtful dynasty was also preserved. Laid down in a customary tongue-and-groove flooring, any house was private cautiously. Pieces were brought to a storage garage and left there for dual and a half years. The hardwood was repurposed and creates adult 3 bar counters and patio flooring now. LoPiccolo refers to it as “that special floor, enchanting floor,” and describes a new aspect in a place. First, dual layers of petrify were poured. They lay on 600 springs to besiege sound systems when bands blast on a entertainment that has been extended external with stairs on both sides. Likewise, when ballet or entertainment is performed, sound from a restaurants subsequent will be cancelled out.

“It fundamentally is a floating room,” LoPiccolo says. “No relate in here.”

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use limited to low res record max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

The entertainment inside White Eagle Hall.

(Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News)

Warm bodies and amplified sound are entrance soon. Costs from merger and construction were about $6.2 million. LoPiccolo is prepared to acquire customers.

“There were some days when we wish to give up, and afterwards we would cruise about guys like Bobby Hurley and contend to myself, ‘It has been a place of never giving adult and relocating ahead.’ There is some sorcery in here.”

Levina walks a backstage area, indicating to a showering performers will use and a staircase that leads to a patio above. The iron railings are strange and she strides opposite a aged hardwood. The strange tin roof was sandblasted and restored. It was so crisp that it would usually tumble detached on touch. LoPiccolo used baking soda with a technique that peels off paint yet any damage. Levina sighs.

“Homeless people had taken over,” she says of initial visiting. “There were newspapers on a floor, food and hair. All a stories were about homicides. we was like, ‘Ben! Let’s go from here. Are we certain it is safe?’”

She looks out a third-story bureau window during One World Trade Center. She talks about her tour from Kiev to Belarus, from nights during Brooklyn Academy of Music to Jersey City’s elaborating scene.

“Chopin! In Jersey City!” she says. “You substantially can’t find that in Poland, yet here it is. The dreamers have it!”

* * *

There is a genocide in a Friar family to announce. Hurley requests quiet.

“I’m not utterly a same today, we need to be,” he says, resting on a chair before 17 players on a hardwood building by a easterly baseline inside Hudson County Schools of Technology. The players sight their eyes on him. “You’ll review about Richie Wejnert if we review any of a yearbooks. Richie was a loyal tough worker. we sat with him 3 weeks ago. we spent a day with his family today. He’s being buried tomorrow during 57 years old. He died of cancer. we don’t caring today. What we usually gave we is all we got. We have a good staff, and you’re rarely motivated, aren’t ya? Let’s go.”

It is Feb 23. The Friars are in a state playoffs. This is a gymnasium that a module uprooted to when it over White Eagle. There are banners celebrating Hurley’s 1,000th win on Feb 2, 2011, final season’s organisation that went 32-0 and one with a year of any of a 28 state championships that a propagandize won. The left side of a hardwood is emblazoned: COACH HURLEY’S COURT. The Friars horde games here. They did not during White Eagle. They were an derelict organisation behind then, Hurley perpetually regulating his focus feet during places like Mount Carmel and Sacred Heart, St. Peter’s College and a Armory on Montgomery. There was Public School No. 28 in a Heights, as good as Public School Nos. 11, 17, 25 and 27.

“He didn’t do some-more with less,” Martelli says. “He did some-more with nothing.”

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use limited to low res record max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi

Details of one of a stained potion inside White Eagle Hall, that was once a church.

(Anthony DelMundo/New York Daily News)

There is no pretension from 2017 that will attest to that. Hurley’s organisation falls in a sectional final to Hudson Catholic, a propagandize that stands by a Armory, dual weeks later. His indicate ensure R.J. Cole, a program’s latest thousand-point scorer, will attend Howard next. Sophomore ensure Alex Rice is deliberate a rising prospect.

Offseason workouts start roughly immediately. The Monday-Wednesday-Friday stroke remains. Hurley hones his generous honesty. He drops into a defensive stance; one actor wears a T-shirt that says, “Sideline, Baseline, No Middle.” There is usually one folding list and 4 chairs. Six rims are accessible for a shirts and skins. Off to a side, on a basket screwed into a dust retard wall, Hurley’s grandson, Gabe, spins his round and curls around it. He siphon fakes, rips a round by and drives. He finishes with his right palm and hurries to do it again.

Gabe is seven. His T-shirt is from a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. It reads: “Run. Score. Repeat.”

His sister joins him. She is five. Her name is Anna. She wears a T-shirt from a gymnasium of fame, as well. It reads: “Losing Is Not An Option.”

* * *

Construction is ubiquitous opposite Bob Hurley Sr. Way from St. Anthony High. Cranes lift beams; group in tough hats scream orders during a Marin Residences site, a plan that encompasses 300,000 retard feet. It is rising in between a city’s flourishing skyline and three-story brownstones, yet a midday hubbub does not confuse Hurley. He arrives during propagandize around 2 p.m. on Wednesday, and informs St. Anthony expertise and staff that a propagandize will tighten for good on Jun 30. Fundraising a final few months is brief of a income indispensable to prove debts to a Archdiocese and work a school. Hurley and administrators spent years staving off a closing, yet they are 40 students brief on enrollment and incompetent to pledge $500,000. The propagandize announces that it “could not means itself as a viable educational institution.”

“It was a same sack Peter to compensate Paul slight that we’ve been going by a final 25 years,” he says.

Hurley binds behind tears. He mentions a Felician sisters who helped run a propagandize for years, a 9 uninterrupted state titles a Friars won and a initial try to lift supports off of a program’s success. That was in 1989. The organisation went 32-0. Enrollment was 306 and fee cost $1,350. A fundraiser was hold to buy a section for a intensity gymnasium after gaining prominence. No gym ever came, and income was constantly an emanate as a propagandize attempted to keep a fee during $6,100. Hurley donated checks given to him for conducting clinics to a school. In a final year, there was speak of a bishopric offered a schoolhouse in sequence for a high propagandize to tarry and relocate. Rosemary McFadden, a trustee, insists it usually wouldn’t work.

“This is a unequivocally profitable square of property,” she says. “Look around during what is happening. At some indicate or other it is going to be sold.”

Hurley looks worn, yet his face regains tone when he talks about aged times. He marks all of a changes. There are several properties between a propagandize and White Eagle with signs on fences surrounding them. The posts read: “DANGER! DEMOLITION IN PROGRESS.” Workers produce nails into wood; saws buzz. About 7,000 units of housing are underneath construction; another 19,000 have been approved, per a bureau of Mayor Steven M. Fulop.

“The rebirth is during full blast,” says Anna Siniscalchi, who works during Second Street Bakery nearby White Eagle. She is 77 and takes orders for sausage bread on a section oven. She recalls St. Anthony’s players entrance in after workouts. “Some of a strange residents are still here. They should do a weddings during White Eagle again.”

Hurley refers to a school’s retard as “a woosie neighborhood” now. For a few years, he had changed to a new place in a Newport neighborhood, yet he re-routed to Paulus Hook since he felt a transitory proletariat lacked a loyal village feeling. He talks about aged travel corners and holding a No. 9 train from Greenville to St. Peter’s Prep as a tyro decades before a light rail came to town.

“I wish people to remember a approach it unequivocally was,” Hurley says, “this place and a outcome it had on kids.”

In a behind of a St. Anthony Auditorium, Cueto, a fable with a bloody nose, listens. He catches adult with Hurley’s mother and they inspect photos of All-Americans like Rhodes and Bobby. Chris Hurley mentions removing everybody together during White Eagle someday soon. The gymnasium opens dual days after with a opening by Nimbus Dance Works, and comedian James Judd is scheduled to take a entertainment successive weekend. Cueto laughs. At a jubilee of Hurley’s 50 years with St. Anthony final fall, Cueto had black T-shirts finished up. They read: STRAIGHT OUT OF WHITE EAGLE.

“I’ll go. we usually don’t know if we can travel in there to eat,” he says. “If we go in, we wish to slice my shirt off, get prepared for basketball and go to war.”

Tags: high propagandize basketball girl sports incline hurley jersey city new jersey Send a Letter to a Editor Join a Conversation: facebook Tweet

Short URL:

Posted by on Apr 9 2017. Filed under High School. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by