PATERSON, NJ - When  Paterson Catholic shut its doors this year, Myles Mack - considered by scouts one of the best high school guards in New Jersey - had to decide where he would play his senior season. But it really wasn't a very difficult choice.

Mack knew that St. Anthony's of Jersey City wanted him. With Hall of Fame Coach Bob Hurley Sr. and more state championships than any other school in New Jersey,  St. Anthony's is the place where many kids dream of playing.

 

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“I expect to make my team become better,'' said the 5-foot, 10-inch point guard, "and I thank St. Anthony's for welcoming me with open arms because I was upset that Paterson Catholic closed.” 

 

Hurley is happy to have Mack. He expects the Patersonian to be a leader on the team. “I think he's as good a guard as there is in the state,” Hurley said.

 

At Paterson Catholic, Mack went up against St. Anthony's in the state playoffs the last two seasons. In 2009, he had 21 points to lead Paterson Catholic to a 60-55 win, but he struggled this March, scoring just nine, when the Friars knocked off the previously-undefeated Cougars, 63-49.

 

Mack had company on his transfer to St. Anthony's. Cougar teammate Kyle Anderson, a junior from North Bergen who's considered among the top juniors in the state, made the commitment to St. Anthony's even before Mack did. The two of them say they are having an easy transition to their new school. “Both are small schools so I'm getting really comfortable here quickly,” said Anderson, a 17-year-old forward.
 
Mack and Anderson will be looking to help St. Anthony win its 26th State Championship under Hurley, who recently was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, only the third high school coach to earn that honor. “We've played against both kids, each one is in their elite level for their position,” Hurley said, “and the addition of the two of them to our team has had an unbelievable impact.''
 

Mack was born and raised in Paterson. First, he lived in the city's Northside section, on North 4th Street, and later he moved to the Eastside section, on 18th Avenue. He use to play in the city's church league as well as for his elementary school, Norman S. Weir, before he went to Paterson Catholic. With the transfer to St. Anthony's, he endures an hour-long one-way commute each day, taking an NJ Transit train from Paterson to Hoboken and a light rail train into Jersey City.

 

Mack has elected to stay in New Jersey for college. He's part of a heralded recruiting class at Rutgers. “I just wanted to stay close to home so my family can see me play,” Mack said.

 

"We are extremely excited to welcome Myles to the Rutgers family," said Rutger Coach Mike Rice, in a Star-Ledger story. "One of New Jersey’s own, by way of Paterson, Myles will surely be a fan favorite with his grit, passion for the game and ability to put the ball in the hole. He has all the tools to succeed the day he steps on campus."