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St. Patrick

Bryce Aiken?is back from his third and final official visit to Miami and will be closing in on a decision soon.

"Miami has everything you could ask for in a school with a strong balance of academics and athletics," he told SNY.tv.

Tags: Miami, Recruiting, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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ELIZABETH, N.J. -- Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley continues to find gems before other schools do.

On Thursday, Hurley landed a verbal commitment from?Cyril Langevine, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound power forward from New Jersey power St. Patrick's, who appears to have a huge upside going forward.

Tags: Articles, Rhode Island, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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ELIZABETH, N.J. -- It was approaching 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon and a group of high-major Division 1 assistant basketball coaches began assembling on the gym floor of the Mickey Walker Center, where the basketball team from The Patrick School was about to run an open gym on an unusually hot September day.

Indiana assistant Chuck Martin, Georgetown assistant Kevin Broadus, Arizona assistant Book Richardson and Boston College assistant Scott Spinelli, along with Hofstra head coach Joe Mihalich, all came to devote an hour and a half to watching the loaded team from the school everybody knows as St. Patrick.

Most of the coaches came especially to watch one young man: 6-foot-11, 235-pound junior center Nick Richards, ranked the No. 2 big man nationally in the Class of 2017 by 247Sports.com.

Tags: Articles, Recruiting, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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ELIZABETH, N.J. -- With his last official visit coming up this?weekend to Miami, Bryce Aiken?is coming close to a college decision.

The 5-foot-11 point guard from the PSA Cardinals and St. Patrick's High School plans to make his decision within a couple of weeks after the Miami trip.

Tags: Articles, Recruiting, Seton Hall, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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The?Cleveland Cavaliers feature three players who played high school ball in New Jersey in?Kyrie Irving (2), J.R. Smith (5) and Tristan Thompson (13). Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

This was at?5 a.m. on a spring day in 2007 when Tristan Thompson and Myck Kabongo, two young basketball players from Ontario, Canada, jumped into a rental car with their coach from the Grassroots Canada AAU program, Ro Russell, and embarked on a seven-hour drive to St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, N.J.

The two players?didn't know much about the school - other than it had produced an NBA guard.

Tags: Articles, Hurleys, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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Seton Hall has landed a commitment from UMass transfer Derrick Gordon,?the first openly gay player in Division 1 men?s basketball.

He will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer, giving the Pirates some backcourt depth after losing transfers Sterling Gibbs (UConn) and Jaren Sina (George Washington).


Nick Richards?added an offer from Kansas on Tuesday to go with one from UCLA.

"[Kansas assistant] Norm Roberts called Nick after school and offered him on a conference call," St. Pat's coach Chris Chavannes told SNY.tv. "Norm said [coach] Bill [Self] told him to offer him after seeing him in Lexington."

The 6-foot-10 2017 big man who runs with Expressions Elite also has?interest from North Carolina, Villanova and UConn, among others.

Tags: Kansas, Recruiting, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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St. Benedict's Prep has played in the ESPN national high school basketball tournament virtually every years since its inception.

And this year the Gray Bees are once again hoping for an invite to the event, now known as the?DICK'S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament, which runs in New York April 2-4.

Traditionally, national powers like Montverde (FL) Academy, Huntington (W.V.) Prep, Henderson (NV) Findlay Prep and Oak Hill (VA) Academy are among those playing in the event.

Tags: St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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The idea that Rutgers basketball can somehow be "fixed" by a magical savior has floated around for years and years.

It's been a popular theme since at least the time I started working for New Jersey newspapers in 1997.

Kevin Bannon, Gary Waters, Fred Hill Jr., Mike Rice and now Eddie Jordan have all tried to get New Jersey's state university turned around.

Tags: Articles, Rutgers, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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The complexion of basketball in Union County and New Jersey statewide may have just changed after Nick Richards transferred to The Patrick School in Elizabeth.

The 6-foot-10 2017 big man?left St. Mary's High School on Long Island to enroll at the defending Union County champion powerhouse. He will join guards?Bryce Aiken and Jamir Harris and African big men?Bul Ajang and?Buay Koka under coach Chris Chavannes.

"I don't like saying this about kids early," Chavannes told SNY.tv. "He is a stud. Future Kentucky-type player."

Tags: St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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Dupree McBrayer, the fast-rising, left-handed guard from The Patrick School in Elizabeth, N.J., plans to spend a year at prep school before enrolling in college beginning in 2015.

"I decided to go [to prep school] because I think an extra year of development [will help] for my body and for my game, too," the 6-foot-4, 165-pound guard told SNY.tv by phone Wednesday. "I still have weaker parts of my game."

McBrayer, who played very well for New Heights at the Pitt Jam Fest last weekend, said he's undecided on where to attend prep school and will huddle with his mother, his mentor and Patrick School coach Chris Chevannes before picking one.

Tags: Articles, Recruiting, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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From Bob Hurley to Chris Chavannes to Dave Boff, the top high school coaches in New Jersey all agree on one thing as March Madness heats up.

This year's New Jersey Tournament of Champions will be as wide open as perhaps it's ever been in the 25-year history of the event.

Whereas in past years two or maybe three teams have been the heavy favorites to be the last team standing, as many as six or seven programs could win it all this year.

Tags: Articles, Roselle Catholic, St. Anthony, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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UNION, N.J. -- Dupree McBrayer is a New York native who has played high school ball in New York, Las Vegas and now New Jersey.

And on Saturday night the uncommitted 6-foot-5 senior guard poured in a game-high 25-points as The Patrick School won the Union County championship with a 62-54 victory over Linden at Kean University.

"I didn't see it coming," said?Chris Chavannes, The Patrick School coach who succeeded the legendary Kevin Boyle and won his second straight Union County title and the school's 18th overall. "Usually with Dupree, you have to chastise him to shoot the basketball and to be aggressive offensively. One of the problems we had in the two losses to Linden was our guards were back on their heels. We weren't attacking them. That's what we wanted him to do today."

Tags: Articles, Seton Hall, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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Kevin Boyle and defending ESPN NHSI champion Montverde (FL) Academy will come to New Jersey in February to play two of the Garden State's top teams.

Boyle, the longtime St. Patrick coach who mentored?Kyrie Irving?and?Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, among others, won his first national championship last April when Montverde beat St. Benedict's Prep in the ESPN championship game.

In the Metro Classic at Kean University Feb. 15-16, Montverde will play Isaiah Briscoe and Roselle Catholic the first night and Kentucky pledge Karl Towns Jr. and St. Joe's-Metuchen the second night.

Tags: Articles, Montverde Academy, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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ELIZABETH, N.J. ?-- Bryce Aiken remembers sitting in the stands at the Rutgers Athletic Center watching the star-studded St. Patrick teams of Dexter Strickland, Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist when they played in big-time games against arch-rival St. Anthony.

"I was kind of young, but I remember the intensity of the game, how packed it was and the players that were on the court,"?the 5-foot-10 Aiken told SNY.tv Monday after practice at the Mickey Walker Community Center.

"I like how they played and Kyrie obviously, everyone likes him."

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EDITOR'S NOTE:?Due to the weather, Huntington Prep will not be playing in this weekend's PrimeTime Shootout at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic.

Much of the talk in New Jersey high school basketball circles in recent weeks has centered around traditional powers St. Anthony and St. Benedict's Prep.

Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley and St. Anthony won 83 games in a row before coach Mark Taylor and St. Benedict's ended that streak last Friday at the Prudential Center.

Tags: Andrew Wiggins, Articles, Huntington Prep, St. Anthony, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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The last time Kevin Boyle and Dakari Johnson were involved in a basketball game in the state of New Jersey, they lost the mythical national championship to coach Bob Hurley and arch-rival St. Anthony in March 2011.

Now, nearly two years later they will make a triumphant return to the Garden State.

Boyle, Johnson and their Montverde (Fla.) Academy teammates are ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPN after winning the prestigious City of Palms Classic. Their next stop after winning that event will be the Holiday Hoops for Troops event at Roselle (N.J.) Catholic Jan. 2-3.

Tags: Articles, Montverde Academy, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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DeAndre Bembry, a 6-foot-6 Class of 2013 small forward out of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, will be contributing periodically to?ZAGSBLOG?during his senior season. Here?s his third entry:

I would like to thank every school that was interested in me.

Tags: Articles, Player Blogs, St. Joe's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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Isaiah Lewis, one of the top 2013 point guards in the Northeast out of St. Patrick High School, will be contributing periodically to?ZAGSBLOG?during his senior season. Here?s his third entry.?

What's up, world?

It's Isaiah and I'm here just to let you all know how my recruiting has been going.

Tags: Articles, Player Blogs, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Famed St. Patrick High School will reopen as The Patrick School this fall instead of closing due to financial reasons.

"We are definitely open," basketball coach Chris Chavannes told SNY.tv, adding that the school will re-open at 555 Morris Ave. in Elizabeth, less than a block from Kean College.

Chavannes said the team will remain a member of the NJSIAA and will remain in the Watchung Conference of the Union County Conference.

Tags: Articles, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- St. Patrick High School is a tiny, red-brick Catholic school of about 150 students located in the rugged inner-city of Elizabeth, N.J.

Although it was supposed to close its doors for good after this school year due to financial struggles, school officials hope to keep it open by moving it to another, as yet undetermined location in the port city.

Tags: Articles, Kyrie Irving, Michael Gilchrist, NBA Draft, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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When last we saw Dakari Johnson on the high school circuit, he was a member of the Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick team that lost the mythical national championship ?game to Kyle Anderson and St. Anthony in March 2011.

That squad also featured Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is now less than two weeks away from becoming a lottery pick in the NBA Draft.

When that season ended in disappointment and heartbreak for the Celtics, the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Johnson left New Jersey and followed St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle down to Montverde (Fla.) Academy.

Tags: Articles, Montverde Academy, St. Patrick, USA Basketball, Adam Zagoria
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Kyrie Irving, who began his high school basketball career at tiny Montclair (N.J.) Kimberley Academy and finished up at powerhouse St. Patrick, will be named the NBA Rookie of the Year, according to reports.

Irving, who led all first-year players in scoring at 18.5 points per game, will receive the award Tuesday, the AP reported.

"I would imagine it's something you dream about as a kid working out with all the time and effort you put in," former St. Patrick and current Montverde (Fla.) Academy coach ?Kevin Boyle?told SNY.tv. ?"He was blessed with some talent but what people don't realize is he's an example of a guy who really loves to play and really worked hard. He put a lot of time in the gym.

Tags: Articles, Kyrie Irving, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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How would you like to coach a team that included Kyle Anderson, Shabazz Muhammad and a whole bunch of other future NBA players?

That's exactly the position Montverde (Fla.) coach Kevin Boyle is in this week as he leads Team USA into Saturday night's Nike Hoop Summit game.

Tags: Kyle Anderson, Montverde Academy, St. Patrick, Video, Adam Zagoria
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NEW ORLEANS -- Basketball seems to come easy for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the hard-charging Kentucky freshman from Somerdale, N.J., who is projected as a Top 3 pick in this year's NBA Draft.

But speaking to reporters and in front of cameras -- a requirement for high-profile athletes -- hasn't always been so easy.

Gilchrist, 18, has battled a stutter for much of his life.

Tags: Articles, Kentucky, Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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Editor's Note: This is an updated version of this story. It originlally mentioned that a St. Patrick player was considering transferring to Peddie, but that was an error. It is a another player --DeAndre Noble Haywood of Paterson Eastside ?--who is considering Peddie.**

NEW ORLEANS -- St. Patrick basketball coach Chris Chavannes believes his school will be open next season and that the basketball team will feature Seton Hall commit Aquille Carr.

"We sent a letter to parents, the student body and to alumni that we are going to be independent of the Archdiocese [of Newark] and we are in the process of putting that together," Chavannes told SNY.tv Sunday in confirming a report by The Star-Ledger. "We're very confident that we'll be able to get that done in the near future."

Tags: Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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Ohio State is the only team in this Final Four without a player from New Jersey's powerhouse St. Basketball trio of St. Anthony, St. Patrick and St. Benedict's.

But that's apparently not for lack of trying.

"Well, we have recruited that area and you can see our success rate since we're the only one that doesn't have one," Ohio State coach Thad Matta said Monday on a conference call.

Tags: Articles, St. Anthony, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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LOUISVILLE, ?Ky.?-- Derrick Gordon and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are former teammates at St. Patrick High School and brothers for life.

Like all competitors, they put their relationship on hold for a couple of hours Thursday night when they faced off in the NCAA Tournament at the KFC Yum! Center.

But now that the game is over and No. 1 overall seed Kentucky is moving on, Gordon would like to see his friend and former teammate cut down the nets next month in New Orleans.

Tags: Articles, Kentucky, Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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On the same night St. Anthony ran its two-year long winning streak to 60 games, it's chief rival for the last two decades, St. Patrick, played what could be the last game in school history.

UCLA-bound point guard Kyle Anderson scored 34 points to lead the Friars to a 90-24 rout of Oratory Prep in the New Jersey North Non-Public B quarterfinals in Jersey City.

Anderson eclipsed the 30-point plateau for the second straight game, having gone for 35 in Saturday's win over Medford Tech.

Tags: Articles, St. Anthony, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- The Cavaliers-Knicks game Wednesday night wasn't billed as the "St. Benedict's Prep Alumni Game," but it easily could have been.

The two teams featured three players who competed under former St. Ben's coach Dan Hurley in Knicks guard J.R. Smith and Cavs big men Samardo Samuels and Tristan Thompson.

Throw in former St. Patrick star Kyrie Irving and the game actually featured four players from the two North Jersey prep powerhouses.

Tags: Articles, Old Knicks, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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For nearly two decades, St. Patrick and St. Anthony forged one of the most bitter and hotly contested high school basketball rivalries in the nation.

A year ago, the two North Jersey schools were undefeated and ranked first and second nationally when they met in the unofficial national championship game at Rutgers.

St. Anthony beat St. Patrick in that game and went on to claim its fourth mythical national championship.

Tags: Articles, Hurleys, St. Anthony, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- Kyrie Irving?is actively working to help his alma mater, Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, out financially, but Al Harrington and Sam Dalembert are not, Celtics head coach Chris Chavannes told SNY.tv.

"We have faith that Kyrie will help St. Patrick," Chavannes said, referring to the Cavaliers rookie point guard and the No. 1 overall pick in last year's NBA Draft. "They have been very pro-active."

The same is not true of St. Patrick alums Harrington, whom St. Pat's principal Joe Picaro used to drive to school, and Dalembert, Chavannes said.

Tags: Articles, Kyrie Irving, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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During his 20+-plus years as the head coach of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, Kevin Boyle ran one of the top programs in the nation, producing players like Dexter Strickland, Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Rutgers and Seton Hall often tried to land those players, and sometimes, as in the case of Shaheen Holloway (Seton Hall), they succeeded.

But more often than not, Boyle's top players went to places like North Carolina (Strickland), Duke (Irving) and Kentucky (Kidd-Gilchrist).

Tags: Articles, Florida, Montverde Academy, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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DeAndre Bembry, one of the top small forwards in the Class of 2013 out of Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, will be contributing periodically to?ZAGSBLOG?during his junior season. Here?s his first entry:

My name is DeAndre Bembry and I go to St.Patrick High School in Elizabeth, N.J.

I am a 6-foot-6, 195 pound transfer from North Carolina from a school called Rocky River. The school was brand new and so was the team.

Tags: Articles, Player Blogs, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Even though his team came up short against Teaneck Sunday in The New Year's Jump Off, St. Patrick junior small forward DeAndre Bembry put on one of the day's more impressive performances.

The 6-foot-6 Bembry tallied 21 point, 7 rebounds,?4 blocks, 4 steals and 4 turnovers in St. Pat's narrow 65-63 loss to unbeaten Teaneck.

Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard and associate head coach Shaheen Holloway were among the coaches on hand, along with St. Joe's head coach Phil Martelli, Wagner coach Dan Hurley and Boston University?head coach Joe Jones.

Tags: Articles, Recruiting, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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HACKENSACK, N.J. -- After not playing each other for more than a decade, St. Anthony facing off against St. Benedict's could now be an annual affair.

"It's a good game for us," Hall of Fame St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley told SNY.tv Sunday after his team won its 40th straight game, 51-50, over St. Benedict's at the New Year's Jump Off at Hackensack High School.

"We want to play Jersey games. I'm an old guy, I don't want to do?much traveling.

Tags: Articles, Hurleys, St. Anthony, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Dexter Strickland sat quietly in a corner of the North Carolina locker room in Rupp Arena Saturday afternoon.

After talking about all the "little mistakes" that led to No. 5 Carolina's 73-72 loss to No. 1 Kentucky, Strickland said he wants the rematch.

"Oh, absolutely," the former Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick star told SNY.tv. "Absolutely, we gotta get them."

Tags: Articles, Kentucky, North Carolina, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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Kyrie Irving returned to his alma mater Tuesday night and he brought more than his jaw-dropping basketball skills.

He brought some valuable lessons for the young St. Patrick players as well as a promise to donate some of his earnings to the struggling Catholic school.

"He's very, very helpful in so many ways," St. Patrick coach Chris Chavannes told SNY.tv. "And he's made his promise to also help out the school financially in the very, very near future."

Tags: Articles, Kyrie Irving, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpsnVK-HO10&w=470&h=315]

Hours before Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was to sign his National Letter of Intent to Kentucky last November, his uncle, Darrin, collapsed of a heart attack at 42.

"My sister-in-law called and said that DeAnte, his son, found him passed out," Cindy Richardson, Michael's mother, says in the film "Prayer For A Perfect Season," which airs Oct. 25 at 9 p.m. on HBO.

Tags: Articles, Kentucky, Michael Gilchrist, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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ELIZABETH, N.J. -- Dexter Strickland has already won a championship in high school.

Now he's a member of a North Carolina team ranked No. 1 in the college basketball preseason and seeking an NCAA championship.

"It feels good [to be ranked No. 1], and also it brings a little pressure," Strickland said earlier this week during a run at St. Patrick. "But at the same time we need that to help us have motivation during the season.?Everybody's coming out for us, and everybody has us marked down on the calendar, but that's a good thing for us.

Tags: Articles, North Carolina, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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ELIZABETH, N.J. -- The stars have shone brightly at St. Patrick High School over the years.

Al Harrington, Sam Dalembert, Shaheen Holloway, Derrick Caracter, Corey Fisher, Dexter Strickland, Kyrie Irving, Michael Gilchrist, Derrick Gordon?and Dakari Johnson have all come through the small New Jersey Catholic school in recent years.

But after losing to St. Anthony in last year's unofficial national championship game at Rutgers, Gilchrist departed for Kentucky, Gordon went to Western Kentucky and the 6-foot-11 Johnson followed head coach Kevin Boyle out the door to Montverde (Fla.) Academy.

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During Bob Hurley's first year as head coach of Jersey City (N.J.) St. Anthony in 1973, the Friars beat St. Patrick in the North Jersey Parochial C championship game and the right to go to the state final.

Across the next four decades, St. Anthony and St. Patrick fashioned one of the most intense high school basketball rivalries in the nation, accounting for a combined 16 New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles.

Part of the peculiarity of the rivalry was that the two powerhouses, located just 14 miles apart in North Jersey, usually had to play one another to advance out of the North B bracket and into the State final. Hurley and former St. Patrick coach Kevin Boyle developed their own personal and heated rivalry along the way.

Tags: Articles, St. Anthony, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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ELIZABETH, N.J. -- Only a handful of onlookers were there Monday evening when Kyrie Irving drained four straight 3-pointers, two from midcourt, in the bandbox that is the St. Patrick High School gym.

"He's shooting the shot from halfcourt like it was [nothing]," said Darrian Collins, a rising 5-foot-9 junior guard from St. Pat's.

Tags: Articles, Kyrie Irving, St. Patrick, Video, Adam Zagoria
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St. Anthony had its documentary.

Now it's St. Patrick's turn.

One year after The Street Stops Here chronicled Bob Hurley and St. Anthony's run to a perfect season (2007-8), Prayer For A Perfect Season will appear on HBO Oct. 25.

Tags: St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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Editor's Note: I apologize in advance that the video cuts out in the middle of this interview. There are quotes in the bottom of the story that don't appear in the video.

AKRON, Ohio -- Dakari Johnson is one of the premiere big men in the country, even though he's just a rising sophomore.

Tags: Articles, St. Patrick, Syracuse, Video, Adam Zagoria
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Jason Boswell, a 2013 small forward from Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, will transfer to Trinity (Conn.) Catholic.

"I have agreed to attend Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford, Conn.," Boswell said by text.

"Trinity Catholic has a strong academic program which offers great basketball opportunities," a source close to Boswell added. "His commute will be significantly reduced to approximately 30 minutes as opposed to the 2 hours traveled each day to Elizabeth.??He is looking forward to?contributing to the continued success of Trinity? Catholic under the direction of an iconic coach, Mike Walsh."

Tags: St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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NEWARK, N.J. -- Tristan Thompson said Wednesday he was looking forward to dunking on Kyrie Irving in the NBA.

Now that the two are teammates with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thompson will only get to dunk on Irving during practice.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Irving, the former St. Patrick and Duke star who was taken No. 1 overall by the Cavs, said of playing with the 6-9 Thompson, selected minutes later at No. 4.

Tags: Articles, Kyrie Irving, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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NEW YORK -- Tristan Thompson was asked Wednesday if there was a certain NBA player he was looking forward to dunking on once he joins the league.

"Hmm," the 6-foot-9 Thompson pondered, "I probably want to dunk on Kyrie."

Thompson still owes one to Irving from their days as New Jersey prep stars.

Tags: Articles, Kyrie Irving, St. Benedict's, St. Patrick, Adam Zagoria
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Dakari Johnson, perhaps the top player in the nation in the Class of 2014, could be on the move.

After spending his freshman season at Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick under head coach Kevin Boyle, the 6-foot-10 Johnson toured Blair (N.J.) Academy earlier this week.

"He visited on Monday," said Blair coach Joe Mantegna, who coached NBA players Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls and Charlie Villaneuva of the Detroit Pistons.

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Chris Chevannes is a humble and soft-spoken man who is still coming to grips with the fact that he is succeeding a larger-than-life personality as head coach of the No. 2 boys basketball team in the nation.

Chevannes, the Vice Principal at Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick, learned on Thursday that he had become the interim coach at St. Patrick after Kevin Boyle announced he was moving on to Montverde (Fla.) Academy outside Orlando.

"We've been very good friends and he brought me here," Chevannes, speaking to SNY.tv in his first interview since taking over, said of Boyle. "I've basically been under his tutelage for all these years. Without question, how could you not be [honored and humbled] with the success that he's had here and the development that he's done over the years here?"

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