ORANGE, NJ -- Robert 'Bobby' Hurt wasn't just a kid from Orange, NJ, he was a basketball legend in the making when he first became a student at Seton Hall University. This past Saturday, his legacy and contributions were honored.
His family was on hand during the ceremony to receive the posthumous recognition in his honor.
Hurt, who was the first African-American basketball player at Seton Hall University, had been an Orange High School standout. While in high school in 1948, he had led his basketball team to the County and State Championships. As a junior and senior in high school, Hurt had also gone on to play for the All-State teams.
After graduation, he was then recruited and given a full scholarship to play at Seton Hall. Whereas, in 1950-51, Hurt was named to the All-East team and received honorable mention for All-American.
According to his family, Hurt graced the courts with basketball legends such as Wilt Chamberlin and Oscar Robinson.
Nearly a year later, his path changed when Hurt was called into military service where he subsequently received the Purple Heart for Distinguished Valor. When he returned from the war, Hurt went on to complete his degree from Seton Hall in 1956 and dedicated the rest of his life to the service of the youth.
Professionally, he then went on to coach, serve as recreation director and teach Physical Education classes in Newark.
Hurt worked for the Jewish Education Center in Elizabeth, Avon Avenue School and Montgomery Pre-Vocational School. While at the latter, Hurt earned the distinction of being named 'Coach of the Year' in 1965, 1967 and 1970.
Hurt also was instrumental in starting the Grass Roots Basketball League and the Evening Basketball League, as well as the Avon Avenue summer league, where many basketball players used the opportunity to hone their skills.
After more than 37 years of service, Hurt retired from the Newark Public Schools. A few years later, in 1995, at the age of 65, Hurt passed away.