Jersey City, New Jersey based St. Anthony High School has announced that the high school would be closing its doors at the end of the school year. Despite having one of the most prestigious and successful high school Basketball programs in the United States, the school is closing due to a lack of funds and financial issues.

Funding and financial problems

Over the past couple of years St. Anthony High School has faced slowing enrollment, which has been cited as the primary reason behind the lack of funds that led to the closing of the high school and its basketball program.

The school already had one of the smallest student bodies in the state and most of the surrounding area live at or below the poverty line. In recent years the school had to raise funds to stay open, but despite raising $1.5 million this year it got concluded that this amount was inadequate to keep up with operating costs and debt payments to the Archdiocese.

The projected enrollment for the upcoming 2017-18 school year was also not enough to cover the costs of keeping the school open, despite the $1.5 million extra that got raised. The school has also been hurt by the changing population of Jersey City, lack of interest in attending a Catholic program and competition from public and charter schools.

The legacy of St. Anthony basketball

St. Anthony's basketball coach and current school president Bob Hurley is a legendary high school basketball coach. He is one of only four high school basketball coaches to be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Hurley began coaching the team all the way back in 1972, has amassed over 1,200 wins and had 8 undefeated seasons.

He has led his teams to 28 state championships as a head coach and added two more back when he was an assistant. They have won the Tournament of Champions 13 times and were named national champions 4 times. Over 150 St. Anthony players have played in Division I basketball programs and 7 players have gone on to play in the NBA, including current Spurs guard Kyle Anderson.