St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey is closing down. It’s a sad day for anyone who knows anything about high school basketball, because the Friars have been a dominant force on the prep hardwood for darn near four decades. Head coach Bob Hurley has led the program to 28 state championships and four national titles in 39 years at the school. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.
In addition to creating a championship pedigree, Hurley has sent more than 150 players to Division I basketball programs on scholarships and produced five first-round picks in the NBA Draft. Here’s a look at the five best players to pass through Hurley’s program.
5. Rodrick Rhodes
Rhodes is one of the greatest “what ifs” in basketball history. He is one of the most talented players to never “make it.” An immediate star for the Friars, he was a three-time Parade All-American, and led the team to state titles in 1989 and 1991. He was considered one of the nation’s top recruits as a senior, many believed he was even better than Jason Kidd, who was the same age.
Rhodes went to Kentucky to play under Rick Pitino and spent three years in Lexington. But Pitino asked him to redshirt his fourth year, and Rhodes took offense. He decided to transfer to USC for his senior season. He spent the 1996-97 campaign with the Trojans, where he averaged 14.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game.
He was taken with the 24th pick in the first-round of the 1997 NBA Draft, but wound up having a disappointing professional career. He lasted just three seasons in the NBA before decamping for Europe. He has been a collegiate assistant and a high school head coach over the past few years.
4. Roshown McLeod
McLeod led St. Anthony to three state titles and is considered one of the best talents to pass through the school’s hallowed halls. He went to St. John’s out of high school but wound up transferring to Duke after his sophomore season. For the Blue Devils, he averaged 15.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game as a senior in 1998. He also hit 41.1 percent of his 3-pointers.
McLeod was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 20th pick in the first-round of the 1998 NBA Draft. He played just four NBA seasons though as an injury ended his career prematurely. He has been a collegiate assistant coach and a high school head coach over the past few years.
3. David Rivers
Rivers led St. Anthony to three state titles during his high school career and wound up attending Notre Dame in 1984. He was a third-team All-American in 1987 and a second-teamer in 1988. He currently ranks fourth in school history with 2,058 points, is second in assists (586) and steals (201), and fourth in 3-point percentage.
The Los Angeles Lakers selected Rivers with the 25th pick in the 1988 NBA Draft, and he played professionally for 13 seasons. His career in Europe was far more notable, as he was the best player on Greek powerhouse Olympiacos for several years, including earning Euroleague Final Four MVP honors in 1997. He is considered one of the greatest players in the club’s storied history.
2. Bobby Hurley
The coach’s son could play a little bit. Hurley led St. Anthony to four state titles in high school and in his senior year the team finished 32-0 and won a national title. He earned MVP honors at the McDonald’s All-American game as a senior.
In college at Duke, we all know his story. Hurley led the Blue Devils to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1991 and 1992, and was the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player in 1992. He earned All-American honors in 1992 and 1993. His No. 11 jersey hangs from the rafters at Cameron Indoor Stadium and he remains one of the most iconic players in Duke history.
Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, but he played just five seasons in the league. A car accident during his rookie season caused life-threatening injuries and he was never the same. He’s now the head coach at Arizona State.
1. Terry Dehere
Dehere was best friends with teammate Bobby Hurley and led the Friars to state championships in each of his four prep seasons. He went to Seton Hall from 1989 through 1993, where he flat-out dominated the Big East.
He left school with the conference record for career points (2,494) and school records in 3-pointers made and attempted. He also holds single-season records for 3-pointers and 3-point percentage. He’s still second all-time on the Big East scoring list. He was named Big East Player of the Year in 1993, and was first-team All-Conference in 1991, 1992 and 1993. His number 24 jersey was later retired by Seton Hall.
The Los Angeles Clippers made Dehere the 13th pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, and he wound up playing in the league for six seasons.
Honorable mention: Josh A. Moore, Ahmad Nivins, Tyshawn Taylor, Terrence Roberts, Kyle Anderson, Hallice Cooke