Leaving a Legacy

Blending art, sports, history, and culture, the Chicago Icons and Local Legends exhibit celebrates the impact of teachers and students, political leaders and local residents, elite athletes and youth coaches.

Further, it serves as a reminder that we are not an athlete OR artist, leader OR follower, coach OR player, teacher OR student. Like these individuals, we have the capability to be BOTH.

The Garfield Park community has a rich history. One that has seen Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in its pulpits, Isiah Thomas in its school desks, Nettie Bailey at its blackboards, and Tim Hall on its fields.

We welcome you to explore the exhibit, to discover the history of our community, and to learn about the individuals who have left a lasting impact.

Legends 19

MARK AGUIRRE

NBA ALL-STAR

Mark Aguirre attended Westinghouse High School, just one block from the Breakthrough FamilyPlex. Many media sources call him the greatest high school basketball player in the history of Chicago. He went on to be an All-American at Depaul University, National College Player of the Year, and was the first overall pick in the 1981 NBA Draft.

Legends 20

NETTIE BAILEY

EDUCATOR

Cliff and Nettie Bailey lived on the 3400 block of Fulton and served the Garfield Park community for 27 years as teachers and coaches. Nettie Bailey taught at Beidler Elementary. Today, Breakthrough's afterschool program is named in her honor: The Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program.

Legends 21

CHANCE THE RAPPER

MUSICIAN

Chancelor Bennett is a Grammy-Winning hip hop artist from Chicago. He attended Jones College Prep in the downtown area. He is known for deeply caring about Chicago, his neighbors, and donates millions to increase opportunity across the city.

Legends 22

DANNY CRAWFORD

NBA REFEREE

Danny Crawford grew up on the 3400 block of Carroll Ave. and attended elementary school in East Garfield Park. He is a famous professional basketball referee with over 2,000 games of experience. He has officiated numerous NBA All-Star and Finals games.

Legends 23

ANTHONY DAVIS

NBA ALL-STAR

Anthony Davis Jr. is an American professional basketball player. He is a six-time NBA All-Star, and has been named to three All-NBA First Teams and three NBA All-Defensive Teams. Davis was born and raised on the south side of Chicago and attended Perspectives High School.

Legends 24

DOROTHY GATERS

CHAMPIONSHIP COACH

Dorothy Gaters is a graduate of Marshall High School, where she has spent over 40 years coaching basketball. She has coached top athletes including WNBA MVPs, players, and Olympic athletes.

Legends 25

TIM HALL

LEADER & COACH

Tim Hall was born and raised in Garfield Park. He attended Faraday Elementary and Marshall High School. In addition to creating and leading the Garfield Gators, he is a prominent DJ on the westside and owns a barbershop. He is the 2015 AYF Champion of the Greater Game, 2016 Gridiron Coach of the Year, and in 2018 was inducted into the American Youth Football Hall of Fame.

Legends 26

LONDON JOHNSON

MUSICIAN

London Johnson was Breakthrough's first student in December 2000. After college, she became a music teacher at Marshall High School. Her life and career were cut short by a rare form of cancer. She was part of the heart and soul of Breakthrough and her legacy lives on. Today, a core program is named in her honor: The London Johnson Arts and Technology Academy.

Legends 27

MICHAEL JORDAN

NBA ALL-STAR

Michael Jordan is a basketball legend. He was the third overall pick in the NBA draft and played for the Chicago Bulls. As a Bull he won six World Championships and five MVP Awards. Jordan is a 14-time All-Star selection and a 9-time all-defensive team selection. Many call him the Greatest of All Time.

Legends 28

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR

ACTIVIST

Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader, pastor, and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, inspired by his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1966 he lived on the westside of Chicago and fought for fair housing.

Legends 29

COMMON

MUSICIAN

Lonnie Corant Jaman Shuka Rashid Lynn, better known by his stage name Common, is an American rapper, actor, writer, philanthropist, and activist. He was won numberous Grammy, Golden Globe, Academy, BET and CMT Awards during this long career. He was born in Chicago and grew up on the south side. Today he is a philanthropist and community activist using his fame to promote improvements in our society.

Legends 30

WILLIE MORRIS

PASTOR

In 1968, a pivotal year in American history, Reverend Willie Morris began working at Marrillac House as the leader of their afterschool program and director of the famous basketball leagues. While hundreds played, several professional players such as Isiah Thomas, Mark Aguirre and Michael Jordan all particpated in his programs.

Legends 31

BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT

Barak Obama served as America's 44th President from 2009 to 2017. He is the first African American president of the United States. Born in Honolulu, Obama went to Harvard Law School and eventually came to Chicago as a community organizer. From there then was elected to political office in Illinois and eventually as our country's President.

Legends 32

MICHELLE OBAMA

FIRST LADY

Michelle Obama was First Lady of the United States from 2009 - 2017. Mrs. Obama attended Chicago's Whitney Young High School. Michelle is an advocate for women and girls, as well as healthy living.

Legends 33

CAPPIE PONDEXTER

WNBA ALL-STAR

Cappie Pondexter is a legendary All-American basketball player from Marshall High School. She is a 2008 Olympic Gold Medal winner with Team USA and is voted one of the top 20 players in the history of the WNBA.

Legends 34

DERRICK ROSE

NBA ALL-STAR

Derrick Rose is a professional basketball player for the Detroit Pistons. He played one year of college basketball for the Memphis Tigers before being drafted first overall by his hometown Chicago Bulls in the 2008 NBA draft.

Legends 35

ISIAH THOMAS

NBA ALL-STAR

Isiah Thomas was born in Chicago, grew up on the westside, attended Our Lady of Sorrow Elementary School, and was involved at Marillac House, both in East Garfield Park. In 1981 he was the second overall pick in the NBA draft, went on to star for the Detroit Pistons, and is a 12-time All-Star and 2-time NBA World Champion.

Legends 36

DWAYNE WADE

NBA ALL-STAR

Dwyane Wade was born in Chicago, IL and grew up on the south side of Chicago. He was selected fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft. He went on to be a 13-time NBA All-Star and won three World Championships. He scored over 27,000 points during his NBA career.

SEE THE GALLERY AT THE BREAKTHROUGH FAMILYPLEX

FamilyPlex

3219 W Carroll Ave

Monday-Friday, 7am-10pmSaturday, 9am-4pmSunday: Closed