In the mid-1960s, two Chicago area high school basketball teams played each other to see which would be Illinois champs.
Marshall from Chicago’s West Side and New Trier from just up the road in Evanston.
Marshall’s teams then were a powerhouse, and won as expected in 1965.
In 1966, the two teams faced each other again in a rematch, and that game ended before the final horn after spectators brawled in the stands.
GameChangers reunites the players from both teams to watch rare game 8mm film clips from those games, played against the backdrop of racial tensions in the city and suburbs.
GameChangers airs on Weigel Broadcasting’s independent WCIU this Sunday night at 9.
Through the nonprofit GameChangers ’65-’66 Foundation, the Marshall and New Trier alumni are separately using private screenings and basketball to bring together present-day teams from the city and suburbs to connect the past with the present and further show how basketball can break down barriers and build bridges between different communities.
“This story is unique in many ways, as it is rare to bring two teams back together 50 years to the day after a contentious rivalry,” said Joe Dondanville, who is the writer, director and producer of GameChangers.
“What has transpired over the last couple of years while we were making this film is nothing short of magical, and it was my privilege to tell their story and I’m honored to call them all friends.”
“On the same weekend a new boys state champion will be crowned, we are honored to share this important chapter in local basketball history,” said Steven Farber, WCIU’s SVP of operations.