The late Bill Lovett (top) star guard and leading scorer on East Orange High School’s 1964 basketball team would have been so proud to play for his son Billy Lovett (below) who successfully coached the East Orange men’s varsity for the past three seasons
Billy Lovett is talented personable and smart. He is also a veteran of big time college basketball at Fordham and the beneficiary of the tutelage of legendary high school hoops coach, Bob Hurley, Sr. at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, NJ.
Mr. Lovett brought those considerable credentials to his native city to take the coaching the reins of the once proud–but lately floundering–basketball program at East Orange Campus High School.
He also brought the estimable legacy of his father, Bill Lovett, a tough, quick, smart and very accurate shooting guard who graduated East Orange High in 1964.The elder Mr. Lovett, who died in 2002, would have been so very proud of his son.
With the same talent that went 2-18 the year before he arrived, Billy Lovett transformed the Jaguars into a winning team that won league championships and contended for county and state titles.
More importantly, his teams performed meaningful community service, and his players hit the books as well as the hardwood.
Team members found their way onto academic honor rolls, into the National Honor Society and onto college campuses ready to compete in the classroom as well as on the court.
Mr. Lovett took an active interest in his players’ welfare. He invited one young man, who had no other place to live, to stay with him and his family. In so doing he saved the student from the street and showed him what a cohesive, loving family looks like. But this act of (perhaps life-saving) compassion violated some inane regulation, and Mr. Lovett was suspended for several games. The incident and the politics that went with it left a sour taste, so after three remarkable campaigns Billy Lovett will move on.
Lovett’s leaving will be East Orange’s loss. But with his talent and commitment there will be, no doubt, other opportunities for Billy Lovett to teach basketball and, more importantly, to touch lives.
10 thoughts on “Billy Lovett: His Dad Would Be Proud”
Great story, Steve. How did you find out all of this relevant and important info re. Bill Jr.? It truly will be EO High’s loss. Thanks for sharing.
It was written by me, Donnie, Steve. Somehow my name did not show up.
Very nice write-up! I was a year behind Bill Sr. and remember him as a great guy. Good to see the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Best of luck to Bill Jr….
Great story the sad thing is the kids at East Orange will suffer for the actions of misguided adults with political agendas. Great Coach leader and mentor. Best of luck Billy Lovett Jr.
All of the Lovett children back in the 60’s were good examples of well raised student athletes.
Billy Sr.’s father believed participating in sports and school activities helps disciplines and helps students into being better future adults. Billy Sr. served in the military too Billy Jr. was able to sit by both great men and be taught about their family’s community pride, sports and ones personal betterment. As a youth I lived across the street from them and witnessed and benefited from this family too. Billy Jr should know many people thank him and wish him well.
Best of luck in the future Billy. Keep doing great things with these young adults, that is your gift.
The Billy Lovett’s are great human beings and shining examples of what all of us should strive to be in life! Inspirational to others…Living examples of how you want your children to be. I played with Bill Lovett Senior all through High School..My father coached him in his freshman year. .He was a great friend. A fabulous competitor. and truly inspirational to all around him. Everyone whos lives he touched became better….What more can you ask of anyone. God Bless the Lovett family!
Tim Lewis —firstname.lastname@example.org
I grew up with Billy sr and his brother (uncle) Jimmy. Age wise I was sandwiched between the two. Billy was older and Jimmy was younger. Billy’s SR, dad Mr Lovett, was a regular at Elmwood hitting balls for us to shag during my little league years. He was a big influence in helping us to navigate through our youth, he gave great advice. Billy was a star on the varsity when I was playing JV basketball and I looked up to him. I even tried to mimmick his trot. I watched Billy jr turn around a troubled EO program only to become victim to some political agenda…. Can’t believe we still find a way to hurt our own
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Kenny, I very much appreciate your thoughtful response to my essay. Thank you!