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Wednesday, February 8

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Film Thu Mar 25 2010

The Street Stops Here

hurley.jpg

The streets of Jersey City are littered with drugs, violence, and influences that could easily take a promising young man and swallow up his potential. That street ends at the steps of St. Anthony High School, where Bob Hurley has coached the Friars basketball team to 24 state titles in 35 years, and has sent all but two of the hundreds of players that cross his court on to college. The Street Stops Here, which held its Chicago premiere at the Chicago History Museum on March 24, is an uplifting documentary about a team that is fighting not only to win, but to succeed in the greater game of life. Lucky for them, they have a legendary coach who refuses to accept anything less.

Teamworks Media, a Chicago-based company that produces sports and entertainment based video content, uncovered the fascinating story of the St. Anthony Friars through their first documentary, The Demons Within, which focused on the 1999-2000 Depaul Blue Demons basketball team. Rashon Burno was the point guard of that team, and a graduate of St. Anthony High School. After a visit to Jersey City and a meeting with the coach in a bingo hall that served as the team's gymnasium, Teamworks Media saw a story that could touch the lives of those who heard it, and assist the school with its constant struggle to keep its doors open through fundraising and donations.

Bob Hurley's alternating ability to scare the shorts off his players in practice and his unwavering compassion for the dedicated team, might make you look at that hard-ass high school teacher or coach in a different light. As a lifetime Jersey City resident and a former probation officer, his apparent mean streak stems from a painful knowledge of what could happen to these boys if he fails to teach them discipline and work ethic. In a world full of people who will claw their way to the top of their respective professions, it is incredibly refreshing to see a man so committed to his mission that he sticks with his high school coaching position, even after three nominations to the Basketball Hall of Fame and countless offers to coach at the college level.

The Street Stops Here combines tense locker-room moments, heartbreaking scenes of financial struggle, and thrilling game action to capture every angle of The Friar's pivotal season -- one that could end with either the first seniors to ever graduate St. Anthony without a state title, or the position as the most winning high school basketball team in the country. It's impossible to watch this movie and not feel the passion and motivation that Coach Hurley instills in every one of his players.

The Street Stops Here, directed by Kevin Shaw and produced by Krista Saponara, premieres on PBS on March 31 at 9pm. If you would like to make a donation to the school, visit the St. Anthony's fundraising website.

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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