CHICAGO — A South Side community gathered Saturday to rename a basketball court and honor a local legend.
The court at 72nd Street and South Dobson Avenue in the city’s Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood has a new look and a new name.
It will now be known as the Bryan Leach Memorial Court.
Leach was a local streetball legend and Simeon High School standout. At the 1992 Pro-AM, the lighting-quick Leach beat out NBA all-star Tim Hardaway 72-73.
Hardaway was on hand to honor his friend along side Leach’s family.
“It just brings back so many memories when you stand out here on this court,” Hardaway said. “All you can think of is Bryan Leach. When he came out here a lot of magic happened.”
In February 2017, Leach passed away at the age of 50. The community lost an important mentor who passed along his motto, “one love” to generations of Chicagoans.
“Bryan was a significant influence in the neighborhood,” Manissa Clark, Leach’s former partner said. “He is well deserving of this honor.”
Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) agreed and said, Leach was a “legend in the neighborhood, legend on the basketball court.”
Leach is now memorialized on a playground court where he made a difference, one young life at a time.
“He loved this community. It was his heart,” Clark said. “He spent countless days and hours in this neighborhood with the children and mentoring young adults. And he loved this neighborhood.”