MLK Dream Classic tourney featured 42 basketball teams from Chicago, across country

ByLarry Snyder via WLS logo
Monday, January 21, 2019
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Forty-two basketball teams from across the country participated in the three-day 2019 MLK Dream Classic.

Boys and girls basketball teams from across the Chicago area and country participated in the 18th annual MLK Dream Classic.

The three-day high school basketball tourney was started by Dorothy Gaters, the head coach at Marshall High School.

"The music that we play (is) a celebration of Dr. King. We have posters, our program book. So all of this is really a reminder to our young people, and anyone else that comes, that the reason why we are out of school today is to celebrate this great man," Gaters said.

The event, which ran this weekend and Monday, started in 2001 when Coach Gaters got eight teams together.

This year, 42 teams participated.

Gaters wanted to both honor Martin Luther King Jr. while also showcasing upcoming athletic superstars.

"We think we represented the things Dr. King wanted to happen during his lifetime. This is a diverse event. We have city schools, suburban schools, private schools, charter schools. We have black teams, white teams, so we think we exemplify that," Gaters said. "Through sports, it's been a great opportunity for me to have a platform to do what we're doing this weekend."