CBS News featured a story on their “60 Minutes” program of long-time St. Anthony High School basketball coach, Bob Hurley, in a wonderfully done videomultimedia piece. Hurley, the inspirational coach of inner city kids from all over parts of New York and New Jersey for more than 40 years, has become the backbone behind a very small parochial school in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Along with a 13-minute video, cbsnews.com also features a four-page article to go along with another one-minute extra to culminate the multimedia piece. The written aspect is essentially the script for the video. Each quote from Hurley can be seen in the written piece, whether it is in the sit down interview with Steve Kroft, or from a clip of Hurley yelling at the top of his lungs to his young players.
I believe this format allows for the written piece to compliment the video extremely well. The piece was very well written, making the transition from text to video, effortless. A person visiting the CBS website is able choose to either watch or read, all while getting the same exact information just in that person’s preferred medium.
One thing that stood out to be about the way the piece was written was how it started and ended. The video begins with the tip-off of the 2011 New Jersey Non-Public Class B championship game between No.1 St. Patrick of Elizabeth, New Jersey, and St. Anthony. Kroft begins his narration with the fact that St. Anthony has culminated 23 state championships and three national titles with Hurley at the helm, accompanied with other various statistics about St. Anthony.
After a well-done introduction, the story blossoms into more of a background of the school, as well as on Hurley and his coaching methods, but ends right back where it started, at the championship game. The video shows clips of the fourth quarter, which St. Anthony outscored St. Patrick 23-5 in, en route to a blowout victory for St. Anthony. The win not only secured the school’s 24th state title, but its fourth national title as St. Anthony was nationally ranked second in the country, while St. Patrick was the top-ranked team. I thought this was a very clever way to bring an ending to a story that featured a whole lot more than just the game of basketball.
It told the story of a man who deferred the lucrative offers of college basketball, an opportunity to prove himself to the rest of the world as a basketball coach, because of a private school and a better opportunity for himself, that he believes in.
“I think my wife and I found that over the years you just found so many kids that were here that (when they come into school, you saw something in them,) this potential. And you wanted to see it out.”
Bob Hurley saw something at St. Anthony that was more than just basketball. It possessed a challenge for himself in attempting to stir inner city kids in the right direction, groom them into promising young adults, and eventually guiding them to a college education.
In Hurley’s 39 years at St. Anthony, the long-time head coach has had only two players not go onto college; truly an amazing statistic for a coach considering the circumstances.
For nearly 40 years, St. Anthony has never received an annual stipend of more than $9,000, an unfortunate problem that many parochial schools have to deal with.
“The school’s financial shortfall $1.2 million each year, and Hurley is the engine that propels the fundraising effort.”
Bob Hurley has not just been a basketball coach at St. Anthony high school for four decades. He has been regarded as anything from a father figure to a fundraiser, and everything in between. As Sister Felicia put it best,
“He’s indispensible and in addition to helping us financially, he’s a role model for the kids and a father figure.”
Without the timeless effort that Bob Hurley has put into his basketball team and a tiny parochial school in inner-city New Jersey, there would be no St. Anthony High School.