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sports&recreation THE OBSERVER | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2013

Local hoop enthusiasts get tips from Hall of Fame coach Hurley

SPORTS VIEW Contact Jim at Ogsmar@aol.com

Riverside County Park will be home to both NA, QP this season If you take a drive around the area’s high school playing facilities, you will basically find a local array of excellence--Fields of Dreams so to speak. Most of the area’s high school fields have undergone major renovations and restorations over the last few years. We’ve seen the construction of a brand new Harrison High School and its state of the art stadium. It’s an athletic facility that draws raves from people all over New Jersey and has been utilized as a home field for other local schools in need. We’ve seen the major renovations made at Harvey Field in Kearny two years ago, complete with its FieldTurf surface. The same can be said for Franklin School Field, where Kearny plays baseball and practices soccer. Belleville just recently had a major renovation to Belleville Stadium, complete with FieldTurf and a restoration of the long-standing concrete bleachers. The Nutley Oval had an overhaul a few years ago and remains one of the finest in the area. Five years ago, Lynd-

hurst was fortunate to gain the new recreational facility that is used for baseball, softball as well as boys’ and girls’ soccer. The Lyndhurst High School main field was renovated with FieldTurf three years ago. Now, there’s a new athletic facility in the area that will become the home of both Queen of Peace and North Arlington football and soccer teams this fall. Both schools recently announced a deal with the Bergen County Parks Department to utilize the brand new state-of-the-art facility inside Riverside County Park South on the Lyndhurst/North Arlington border. It’s a blessing for both schools, considering that last fall, Hurricane Sandy turned all of the schools’ fall programs into vagabonds, searching for fields to practice and play on. For example, Queen of Peace did not have a home field for football last fall. The Golden Griffins played three home games at Harrison and a fourth--ironically against neighboring rival North Arlington--at Belleville Stadium. see VIEW page

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Photo by Jim Hague

The Mullins brothers, 7-year-old Matheus and 8-year-old William, of Kearny had a ball at the Hoopsville Cares basketball camp in Jersey City.

from July 6 through last Sunday. They learned all aspects of the game of basketball while learning also about hard work, integrity, It all started three years ago, leadership, honesty, education, when Ron Lagman approached Kearny resident Julius David to see sportsmanship and dedication. On Sunday, the youngsters were if he could run a basketball clinic given a treat, as Hall of Fame with the Filipino community in basketball coach Bob Hurley of St. mind. Anthony High School gave a guest “Filipinos love basketball,” lecture. Hurley commanded the David said. kids’ attention and by the end of the It was the birth of Hoopsville hour-long session, he had the kids Cares, a basketball teaching noneating out of his hands. profit organization, run solely on All summer long, Hurley has charitable contributions. “Ron was able to get some spon- been traveling, coaching and organizing at camps and clinics. He had sors, but whatever else we get, it comes from donations,” said David, just returned from the Pennsylvania a long-time youth basketball coach Poconos the night before, where he and currently the freshman coach at conducted a camp strictly for young St. Anthony High School in Jersey girls, to make it back to his native City. “We started out with 10 or 15 Jersey City to give the lecture. “I do six weeks of camp during kids.” the summer and I do maybe two or This year, more than 65 youngthree lectures a week,” said Hurley, sters, ages 7 through 13, went to the METS Charter School in Jersey who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in City every Saturday and Sunday By Jim Hague Observer Sports Writer

2010. “I guess I’ve been with about 7,500 kids throughout the course of the summer.” Hurley was asked if it ever gets tiring. “This is all I do now,” Hurley said. “My life is all basketball. I still love going into a gym and doing things off the top of my head. I have to remember the ages of the kids as I do it.” Some of the youngsters didn’t know who Hurley was. One asked, “Who are you?” “Who am I? I’m the guy whose picture is on the wall over there,” Hurley said, pointing to a giant banner honoring Hurley for winning the 1,000th game of his coaching career last year. But there were others who were in awe of Hurley. “It’s amazing to be with a Hall of Fame coach,” said Julius David Jr., the camp director’s 12-year-old see Hoopsville next page

Aug. 14, 2013 Edition of The Observer  

Serving Kearny, Harrison, East Newark, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, Belleville, Nutley and Bloomfield in our 126th year.

Aug. 14, 2013 Edition of The Observer  

Serving Kearny, Harrison, East Newark, North Arlington, Lyndhurst, Belleville, Nutley and Bloomfield in our 126th year.