Chasing Perfect: The Will to Win in Basketball and Life

Chasing Perfect: The Will to Win in Basketball and Life

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by Bob Hurley
     
 

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The inspiring story of the most famous high school basketball coach in America.

In 40 seasons as the head coach of St. Anthony High School, a private parochial school in Jersey City, New Jersey, Bob Hurley has established a standard of excellence and achievement without peer, and remarkably, he has done this at a high school with a total student body

Overview

The inspiring story of the most famous high school basketball coach in America.

In 40 seasons as the head coach of St. Anthony High School, a private parochial school in Jersey City, New Jersey, Bob Hurley has established a standard of excellence and achievement without peer, and remarkably, he has done this at a high school with a total student body enrollment of about 230, with no gymnasium, and with an operating deficit that threatens to shut the place down each year. Hurley himself sweeps the floor before each home game. Despite the long odds against them, Hurley's teams have captured 26 state titles and four consensus national championships, all behind an astonishing career winning percentage of .905.
     In Chasing Perfect, Hurley opens up his tool box and shares some of the championship strategies he's developed to help lift his players up and out of Jersey City. The narrative centerpiece will be each of St. Anthony's seven undefeated seasons, with sketch profiles of some of the most memorable players, making some of the most memorable plays in St. Anthony history. Along the way, he'll offer empowering insights to help coaches and players to elevate their games, while empowering the rest of us to walk a more purposeful path. Part memoir, part coach's notebook and part reflection on the St. Anthony players it has been Hurley's privilege to coach, Chasing Perfect will stand as a compelling barometer of life in and around the hardscrabble streets of Jersey City, set against the backdrop of one of the most enduringly competitive high school basketball programs in the country.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A thoroughly enjoyable account of an amazing coach and a school that does more with less." - Booklist

“Having grown up in New Jersey and in the sports environment, I have long been aware of St. Anthony’s and the excellence that is a requirement to both play and study there. Chasing Perfect tells you all about these requirements and the efforts made by Coach Hurley, who has personally sacrificed for the greater good of the young people whose path he crossed.” –Bill Parcells

“Some guys become basketball coaches in the pros with all the million dollar players and million dollar stadiums, and some become coaches in college basketball and get everything they need.  But this fellow here, Bob Hurley, has spent most of his life coaching at a poor parochial school in the toughest part of Jersey City.  He’s been there 40 years.  There’s only 230 students, no gym, no budget, nothing.  But this coach makes it happen…changes young lives, makes them champions.  It’s a great story about a great man named Bob Hurley.” –Regis Philbin

“For decades Bob Hurley has been an inspiration to the world of basketball. Chasing Perfect is an outstanding memoir about what it takes to be great.” - Coach K. 

“As a long-time admirer of Coach Hurley and his commitment to the players of St. Anthony’s, I loved Chasing Perfect as a compelling glimpse inside his toolbox. From the intensity Coach instills in his players to his tireless passion and commitment to winning, this book takes the nuances of basketball and illuminates the larger life lessons as only a coach could. This is a must-read for every coach, player, and fan of the game.” –Jeff Van Gundy

Kirkus Reviews
Twenty-five state championships, four national championships, seven undefeated seasons: With the assistance of veteran co-author Paisner (co-author: Nobody's Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History, 2011, etc.), Hurley tells the stories behind his remarkable success. What are the numbers that a coach or athlete must garner before they are eligible to write the how-it's-done guide to utter domination in the sport and in life? Without question, Hurley has met the requirements over his 40-plus seasons as head coach at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J., and a quote from Vince Lombardi at the beginning dispels the notion that Hurley is selling the idea that perfection can be achieved. Throughout, the author espouses the values of preparation and hard work in stories that span his career in coaching. Books from former coaches, proclaiming to deliver the secrets to success in sports, are a dime a dozen, but Hurley's entry stands out as an example of how some of the older standards for sport--such as humility, the embrace of endless hard work, ignoring the trappings of success and the "bigger is better" mindset that leads athletes to put the bling before the ring--are still worthy standards to follow. Hurley often trained with the high school students he was coaching, to teach them that nobody, not even the coach, was above bettering themselves physically. At the same time, he writes, he questioned the impact it would have to erase one of the "lines" between the coach and the players, wondering if the benefits would outweigh the potential costs. Hurley's writing walks a fine line between unadorned and overly conversational, but the messages come through clearly, and fans of Friday Night Lights, as well as sports fans in general, will enjoy the author's memories.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307986887
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
03/19/2013
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
313,876
File size:
5 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Having grown up in New Jersey and in the sports environment, I have long been aware of St. Anthony’s and the excellence that is a requirement to both play and study there. Chasing Perfect tells you all about these requirements and the efforts made by Coach Hurley, who has personally sacrificed for the greater good of the young people whose path he crossed.” –Bill Parcells

“Some guys become basketball coaches in the pros with all the million dollar players and million dollar stadiums, and some become coaches in college basketball and get everything they need.  But this fellow here, Bob Hurley, has spent most of his life coaching at a poor parochial school in the toughest part of Jersey City.  He’s been there 40 years.  There’s only 230 students, no gym, no budget, nothing.  But this coach makes it happen…changes young lives, makes them champions.  It’s a great story about a great man named Bob Hurley.” –Regis Philbin

“For decades Bob Hurley has been an inspiration to the world of basketball. Chasing Perfect is an outstanding memoir about what it takes to be great.” - Coach K. 

“As a long-time admirer of Coach Hurley and his commitment to the players of St. Anthony’s, I loved Chasing Perfect as a compelling glimpse inside his toolbox. From the intensity Coach instills in his players to his tireless passion and commitment to winning, this book takes the nuances of basketball and illuminates the larger life lessons as only a coach could. This is a must-read for every coach, player, and fan of the game.” –Jeff Van Gundy

Meet the Author

BOB HURLEY has amassed 26 state championships and more than 1000 wins in 40 years as a coach at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.

DANIEL PAISNER is the coauthor of over fifty books, including Serena Williams's On the Line, Denzel Washington's A Hand to Guide Me, and books with Whoopi Goldberg, Ron Darling, and Montel Williams -- all New York Times best-sellers.

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