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Saints Perform Miracles

On large screen televisions in living rooms and bars across the United States Wednesday night, sports fans got to learn first-hand about the “Miracle of St. Anthony,” and the Saint who made it all happen – Bob Hurley.

The introduction of Bob (Bob Hurley Wins Best Coach at ESPYS 2017) captured some of the man’s dedication to his players, and his success.  It didn’t capture what he did for the thousands of students who attended St. Anthony High School and didn’t play basketball, which was equally impressive.

We chronicled the plight of the school at the hands of the Newark Archdiocese here (Faith? I Lost Mine Last Week.) a few months ago.  It is widely rumored that the Archdiocese will receive about $15 million for the land St. Anthony’s is built on.  We speculated what might be done with the proceeds.  My bride has a great idea on how a portion should be spent, which I will close with.

Immediately after the Archdiocese decided to shutter the school, Bob Hurley went into a full court press, calling other schools asking them to take his students.  The 140 or so freshmen, sophomores and juniors at St. Anthony will be attending schools like Mater Dei, Roselle Catholic, Ranney, St. Peter’s Prep, Marist, Don Bosco, Immaculate Conception, and Christ the King – all because Bob got on the phone and pitched for his students.  And amazingly, almost all – with a few exceptions – will be charged the same tuition the students paid to attend St. Anthony.

And his coaches are moving on as well…to Perth Amboy, Marist and one out to Sacramento.

What’s next for Bob?  He can’t leave Jersey City.  He’s forming a non-profit organization, cut a deal with the City to rent a gym in downtown Jersey City and start an after school program for kids who need someplace to go to stay off the streets.

“It’s going to be a grass roots thing,” he said.  “I want them to learn how to play, but also have exposure to other sports.  We’ll run some clinics for them, bring in some speakers, provide education about the dangers of drugs…things these kids down here need.”

That’s the real “Miracle of St. Anthony.”  It’s “The Guy” who for almost his entire life – along with his wife Chris – dedicated himself to helping a community…and students…who needed help.

And what was the thanks the Archdiocese gave him?  The day after the last day of school Bob went back to St. Anthony to walk through the halls one more time…and found that the locks had already been changed.

Now to that to that great idea from my bride to the Archdiocese:  take a portion of the $15 million and pay for the high school education of those 140 students who just lost their school…and their Saint.  It’s a small consolation, but for all those students, it will help.

IPZ Board Member Bob Hurley Wins ESPY for Best Coach

Bob Hurley, former St. Anthony basketball coach, honored at ESPY Awards

He isn’t coaching hoops anymore, but the accolades keep on coming for Bob Hurley.

The former head of the storied boys basketball program at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, which closed earlier this year, won the Best Coach Award at the ESPYs Wednesday night.

Hurley, one of two Basketball Hall of Famers who only coached at the high school level, went 1,162-119 and won 28 state titles to go along with four national championships in his 45 seasons running the show at St. Anthony’s.

“It’s really a great honor to be here tonight,” Hurley said during in his acceptance speech. “Getting this award alongside all these iconic coaches, but even more specifically it’s a great honor to be representing all these great coaches.”

He then thanked his family, including his sons, URI head coach Dan Hurley and Arizona State’s Bobby Hurley, who were in attendance, for making what he has always referred to as “the miracle” of St. Anthony’s possible.

“It’s a great honor to be representing all these coaches in the high school ranks,” Bob Hurley said. “Because every athlete that has come up on this stage tonight, no matter what sport they play, each one of them had a coach in high school, junior college, or maybe even before who played a critical role in their development as an athlete and it’s the whole person part that I have always taken a lot of pride in.”

View the original article by Nicholas Parco at the NY Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/basketball/video-bob-hurley-st-anthony-basketball-coach-honored-espys-article-1.3322143

The Ringer: Bob Hurley

St. Anthony’s Unanswered Prayer

Over 45 years, Bob Hurley turned his Jersey City basketball program into an unlikely national power. Now, after 28 state titles and decades of staving off closure, St. Anthony is shutting its doors, and the Friars family is trying to cope with running out of miracles.

A few minutes before 7 on a warm May night in Jersey City, New Jersey, the first of 200 or so guests arrive for what one event organizer calls “the final celebration of life” for the fabled St. Anthony High School basketball team. They climb up the brownstone steps to White Eagle Hall, the old gym about a mile from the school itself, where head coach Bob Hurley’s Friars, who never had a home gym of their own, practiced for the better part of three decades until 2003. As the attendees pull open the mahogany doors and walk into the main hall, they mostly gasp. They remember White Eagle as a dingy, cramped gym, but a $6 million renovation that began in 2012 and concluded this spring has produced an ornate concert venue. During the renovation, a crew wiping away grime on the ceiling discovered two handcrafted, stained-glass murals, and they ripped up the basketball court and refashioned it as bar counters and balcony flooring. Now, the onstage guitarist, sensitive to the occasion, plays only slow, acoustic jazz and blues.

“Well,” a woman says to her friends as they enter the hall, “they turned the temple of basketball into a whorehouse.”

Hurley, red-faced and beaming, hovers near the entrance and greets seemingly all of the former players, parents, boosters, and fans attending the program’s last supper with a deep-throated, “Look what the cat dragged in,” or, “Good to see you,” and a clap on the back or a hug. “We have so many memories in this place,” the Hall of Famer Hurley exclaims when a longtime St. Anthony booster hands him a wooden-framed, black-and-white photo of a former Friars team.

Read the full story here: https://theringer.com/2017-basketball-st-anthony-high-school-closing-bob-hurley-legacy-3bdea1a5f0

MIAH SPENCER SIGNS WITH TOP TEAM IN POLAND

IPZ Athlete Will Play for AZS AJP Gorzów

WARREN, NJ, June 19, 2017 Miah Spencer has signed a professional contract with AZS AJP Gorzów (Basket Liga Kobiet – the highest-tier league in Poland) for the 2017-2018 season.

“Playing professional basketball is something I’ve always dreamed of,” said Spencer. “I’m just thankful for those who have helped me get to this point in my career. This is a great opportunity and a new start to my career. I’m excited.”

Spencer – a First Team All-ACC selection – averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game for the North Carolina State Wolfpack this past season.

“It’s always amazing seeing an athlete’s hard work pay off and Miah is no exception,” said IPZ’s Managing Director of Basketball Shawn Farmer. “She is such a talented player and we are excited to see her compete for a top-tier program like Gorzów.”

View Eurobasket’s announcement of Spencer’s signing here.

About IPZ: InterperformancesUSA (IPZ) is a family-focused management, representation, and consulting firm, built on the integrity of its professionals, and developing whole life solutions for its clients. The firm is an alliance with Zito Partners. For more information, visit www.ipzusa.com.

About Zito Partners: Zito Partners builds, energizes and defends brands. A boutique firm representing a select group of clients from a range of industries, Zito Partners believes in a “ready, aim, fire” approach – understand the client…develop the appropriate strategy against the key target constituencies…and execute against the plan. And through its strategic alliance with Ketchum, Ketchum Zito Financial, Zito Partners is assisting additional clients with their financial communications needs. For more information, visit www.zitopartners.com.

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Media Contact:

Kyrsten Van Natta
(862) 205-9841
kyrsten@ipzusa.com

ALEXUS COOPER INKS FIRST PROFESSIONAL CONTRACT

IPZ Athlete Signs with CS B Teleorman Alexandria

WARREN, NJ, June 15, 2017Alexus Cooper has signed a professional contract with CS B Teleorman Alexandria (Romania-Liga Nationala) for the 2017-2018 season.

“It’s truly a blessing to have signed my first professional contract,” said Cooper, who competed collegiately at Eastern Kentucky University. “IPZ has made the process enjoyable. I am eager to begin my professional career in Romania and am grateful for the opportunity.”

In her senior year with the Colonels, Cooper averaged 12.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game, while shooting 36.2 percent from three-point territory.

“We – at IPZ – are thrilled for Alexus,” said Shawn Farmer, IPZ’s managing director of basketball. “She’s an amazing player and person; she has worked so hard for this moment and I can’t wait to see what she will accomplish in Romania.”

About IPZ: InterperformancesUSA (IPZ) is a family-focused management, representation, and consulting firm, built on the integrity of its professionals, and developing whole life solutions for its clients. The firm is an alliance with Zito Partners. For more information, visit www.ipzusa.com.

About Zito Partners: Zito Partners builds, energizes and defends brands. A boutique firm representing a select group of clients from a range of industries, Zito Partners believes in a “ready, aim, fire” approach – understand the client…develop the appropriate strategy against the key target constituencies…and execute against the plan. And through its strategic alliance with Ketchum, Ketchum Zito Financial, Zito Partners is assisting additional clients with their financial communications needs. For more information, visit www.zitopartners.com.

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Media Contact:

Kyrsten Van Natta
(862) 205-9841
kyrsten@ipzusa.com

MIAH SPENCER PICKS IPZ

All-ACC First Team Selection Chooses InterperformancesUSA for Representation

WARREN, NJ, April 18, 2017 – Miah Spencer, point guard for North Carolina State University and a First Team All-ACC selection this past season, has signed with InterperformancesUSA (IPZ), the company announced today.

Hailing from Decatur, GA, the 5’8 guard broke into the Wolfpack’s starting lineup in her freshman campaign and never looked back. As a sophomore in the 2013-14 season, Spencer was named a captain. She was then awarded All-ACC Second Team honors in her junior year as she posted a season stat line averaging 14.1 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per contest.

In Spencer’s final year with the Wolfpack, she averaged 12.8 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game. These numbers earned her All-ACC First Team honors. She had her best scoring performance of the 2016-17 season against Texas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on March 19, when she poured in 31 points.

Spencer is the only player to have scored more than 1,500 points and dish out more than 450 assists in NC State history. Throughout her four years with the Pack, Spencer played in every contest which landed her at #6 in the school’s record books with 129 games played. The point guard also ranks in the top 15 in six other categories: #1 from the stripe with 428 free throws made, #4 in passing with 496 assists, #4 in getting to the line with 545 free throws attempted, #5 from beyond the arc where she shot with 36 percent accuracy, #12 in scoring with 1,585 points, and #13 in steals with 185.

“I signed with IPZ because I know that they have my best interest in mind,” said Spencer. “Everything about them is so genuine and real, nothing is sugar-coated. I’m very excited to start my professional career and cannot wait to see what the future holds.”

“Miah has a promising future and her best basketball is ahead of her,” said Shawn Farmer, IPZ’s managing director of basketball. “She is a tremendous leader on and off the court. Miah is a high-caliber player who blooms where she is planted and will succeed wherever she lands. Any organization would be thrilled to have her.”

About IPZ: InterperformancesUSA (IPZ) is a family-focused management, representation, and consulting firm, built on the integrity of its professionals, and developing whole life solutions for its clients. The firm is an alliance with Zito Partners. For more information, visit www.ipzusa.com. 

About Zito Partners: Zito Partners builds, energizes and defends brands. A boutique firm representing a select group of clients from a range of industries, Zito Partners believes in a “ready, aim, fire” approach – understand the client…develop the appropriate strategy against the key target constituencies…and execute against the plan. And through its strategic alliance with Ketchum, Ketchum Zito Financial, Zito Partners is assisting additional clients with their financial communications needs. For more information, visit www.zitopartners.com.

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Media Contact:

Kyrsten Van Natta
(862) 205-9841
kyrsten@ipzusa.com

TYRELL NELSON CHOOSES IPZ

All-Big South Honoree Signs with InterperformancesUSA

WARREN, NJ, April 13, 2017 – Tyrell Nelson, a forward who was a double-double machine for Gardner-Webb University, has chosen to be represented by InterperformancesUSA (IPZ), the company announced today.

The 6-foot-7 Charlotte, NC native has received honors since his freshman campaign when he was named to the Big South All-Freshman Team in the 2013-14 season. The following year, Nelson was recognized on the NCCSIA All-State Second Team. Nelson earned Second Team All-Big South Honors in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

In the forward’s senior campaign, he averaged 12.9 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Over his collegiate career, Nelson posted 25 double-doubles and broke into the top 10 of Gardner-Webb’s record books. He ranks #5 in rebounding with 870 boards, and #8 in scoring with 1,651 points.

“I chose IPZ because of the complete team they have,” said Nelson. “They have people who are good at their job and know the right people to make my dreams of becoming a professional basketball player, a reality. I put my complete trust in them.”

“Tyrell is a solid and dependable forward,” said IPZ Managing Director of Basketball Shawn Farmer. “His size allows him to overpower defenders in the paint and get to the basket, as well as position himself in order to secure rebounds. Tyrell has a bright future ahead of him and IPZ is thrilled to have him.”

About IPZ: InterperformancesUSA (IPZ) is a family-focused management, representation, and consulting firm, built on the integrity of its professionals, and developing whole life solutions for its clients. The firm is an alliance with Zito Partners. For more information, visit www.ipzusa.com.

About Zito Partners: Zito Partners builds, energizes and defends brands. A boutique firm representing a select group of clients from a range of industries, Zito Partners believes in a “ready, aim, fire” approach – understand the client…develop the appropriate strategy against the key target constituencies…and execute against the plan. And through its strategic alliance with Ketchum, Ketchum Zito Financial, Zito Partners is assisting additional clients with their financial communications needs. For more information, visit www.zitopartners.com.

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Media Contact:

Kyrsten Van Natta
(862) 205-9841
kyrsten@ipzusa.com

ALEXUS COOPER SIGNS WITH IPZ

InterperformancesUSA Grows with Addition of Eastern Kentucky Guard

WARREN, NJ, April 4, 2017 Alexus Cooper, a standout guard for the Eastern Kentucky Colonels has chosen InterperformancesUSA (IPZ) for representation, the company announced today.

Hailing from Rocky Mount, NC, the 5’8 guard was named to the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2015-16 as a junior. In her senior season, Cooper was named to the 2016-17 CoSIDA All-District Team.

On her senior night, Cooper tied her career-high of 26 points connecting on eight of 12 three-pointers against Tennessee Tech. Cooper put together an impressive senior campaign, as she ranked in the top 15 of five categories among OVC leaders. Cooper ranked #4 in minutes played averaging 34.3 per game, #5 in three-point field goals made per game with 2.4, #8 in steals per game with 1.6, #9 in three-point percentage shooting 36%, and #13 in scoring, averaging 12.7 points per game.

“I’m so excited to be working with IPZ,” said Cooper. “With such promising success, I couldn’t imagine being elsewhere to begin my professional career. I know they only want the best for their athletes; I’m fortunate to be a part of the IPZ family.”

“I’ve had the luxury of working with a lot of basketball players over the past 15 years, but Alexus is one of – if not the – most hard-working and intelligent athletes I’ve worked with,” said Shawn Farmer, IPZ’s managing director of basketball. “Alexus has outstanding character and I look forward to seeing what her future holds.”

About IPZ: InterperformancesUSA (IPZ) is a family-focused management, representation, and consulting firm, built on the integrity of its professionals, and developing whole life solutions for its clients. The firm is an alliance with Zito Partners. For more information, visit www.ipzusa.com.

About Zito Partners: Zito Partners builds, energizes and defends brands. A boutique firm representing a select group of clients from a range of industries, Zito Partners believes in a “ready, aim, fire” approach – understand the client…develop the appropriate strategy against the key target constituencies…and execute against the plan. And through its strategic alliance with Ketchum, Ketchum Zito Financial, Zito Partners is assisting additional clients with their financial communications needs.  For more information, visit www.zitopartners.com.

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Media Contact:

Kyrsten Van Natta
(862) 205-9841
kyrsten@ipzusa.com

KELILA ATKINSON JOINS THE IPZ FAMILY

InterperformancesUSA Represents Wake Forest Guard

WARREN, NJ, March 31, 2017 – Kelila “KayKay” Atkinson, a 5-foot-10 guard out of Wake Forest University has chosen to be represented by InterperformancesUSA (IPZ), the company announced today.

Atkinson is a native of Woodbridge, VA, and began competing with the Deacons in the 2013-14 season. In her collegiate debut on November 22, 2013, Atkinson tallied 20 points, five rebounds, two blocks, and two assists.

Unfortunately, Atkinson suffered setbacks due to injuries and was unable to compete during the 2015-16 season and was subjected to limited playing time in her senior campaign.

During Atkinson’s senior night on February 26, 2017, “KayKay” put up 15 points, brought down six rebounds, and had two blocks against the Louisville Cardinals. Over Atkinson’s career at Wake Forest, she shot 41 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc.

“As I leave the chapter of college and enter into the workforce, I aspire to do my best,” said Atkinson. “I want to be the best competitor, team player, friend and advocate that I can possibly become. I want to inspire youth in any capacity that I am capable. I want to enjoy every moment of being a member of IPZ. Their motto embodies what I value…Family. Integrity. For Life.”

“Kelila is the whole package, not only is she an outstanding athlete, but an amazing person as well,” said IPZ’s Managing Director of Basketball Shawn Farmer. “I watched Kelila play prior to her injuries, and WNBA scouts were raving about her. She is an exceptionally talented player whose college career was interrupted by injuries, but is now healthy and will be a productive player in the pros.”

About IPZ: InterperformancesUSA (IPZ) is a family-focused management, representation, and consulting firm, built on the integrity of its professionals, and developing whole life solutions for its clients. The firm is an alliance with Zito Partners. For more information, visit www.ipzusa.com.

About Zito Partners: Zito Partners builds, energizes and defends brands. A boutique firm representing a select group of clients from a range of industries, Zito Partners believes in a “ready, aim, fire” approach – understand the client…develop the appropriate strategy against the key target constituencies…and execute against the plan. And through its strategic alliance with Ketchum, Ketchum Zito Financial, Zito Partners is assisting additional clients with their financial communications needs.  For more information, visit www.zitopartners.com.

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Media Contact:

Kyrsten Van Natta
(862) 205-9841
kyrsten@ipzusa.com

How To Make It Overseas

Randy Reed Shares His Story on Becoming a Professional Basketball Player

Prior to signing with IPZ, Randy Reed was persistent in his pursuit of making his dream come true – to become a professional basketball player.

Reed finished out his collegiate career at the University of Omaha in March 2016, but knew he wasn’t ready for his time on the hardwood to come to a close.

One year later, his dream is a reality.

Reed signed a professional contract with Jeunesse Sportive d’El Menzah in September 2016. Since arriving in Tunisia in early October, Reed has put together an impressive rookie season, averaging more than 20 points per game. In February, he was selected to the all-star game in which the best foreign players squared off against the Tunisian National Team.

He shared his formula on “How to Make it Overseas.”

  1. Immediately after finishing college career, get a highlight tape and full game film.
  1. Get in contact with agents, owners, consultants, and players, gathering as much information as possible.
  1. Go to an exposure camp. If you perform well at your first, only play in that one and be sure to get film from it. It’s not recommended to participate in more than two.
  1. After finding an agent, wait patiently and grind. Grind every single day. Do a ton of research on the different styles and rules of FIBA basketball.

As a rookie without the biggest college or the greatest stats, it can be very frustrating, but you have to trust God and trust the process. Stay humble and stay hungry. Remember the dream and learn from the people before you that seeing another country for an extended period of time is incredible. A lot of people never leave their state – let alone the country – and even less people are able to play the sport they love professionally.