By Phil Anastasia
Doane Academy boys' basketball coach and athletic director Dan Williamson wants to raise the profile of his program.
What better way than to host the best high school basketball program in the state and one of the best in the country?
Doane Academy, the little private school on the banks of the Delaware River in Burlington, will host St. Anthony of Jersey City in the season opener for both teams Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Rest assured the game will be a sellout -- there isn't room for more than around 150 people in Doane's tiny gym in the shadow of the Burlington-Bristol Bridge.
"He was looking for a game and nobody wanted to play him," Williamson said of St. Anthony coach Bob Hurley. "I said I would play him as long as it was here. It's a great opportunity for our program."
Williamson has been steadily building the Doane program. The school formerly known as St. Mary's Hall went 21-4 last season and won a NJSIAA non-public B state tournament game.
Williamson said his team features senior guard Chris Scott and a pair of talented junior forwards in 6-7 Marcos Baez and Jeffrey Sterling.
Williamson knows his team is in deep water against St. Anthony. But the coach thinks it's a great opportunity.
"If we can compete, it does a lot for our program," Williamson said. "This is another step for us. It changes the type of kids that wants to come here and play basketball."
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org