A few years ago, a group of local gay basketball players rented out the gym at Margate Fieldhouse on Monday nights, so they could play more outside of league play and work on their skills.
It was organized by the late Greg Walsh and intended for beginner level players to improve their skills.
In early 2010, Marcus Han stepped in to organize the Monday night action.
Flash forward to the present. "Monday night basketball has now turned into something quite special for me," Han said. "We call it the Ghetto Gaysian Basketball Camp (GGBC), based on one of my nicknames and the creative mind of Matty Levin.
"The skill level is a mix of good recreational level players and intermediate level players. It is not as competitive as league play, which makes it a fun atmosphere. It is meant to keep people in basketball shape in the offseason and allows practice time."
GGBC also has been a way to introduce new players to the local, gay basketball league, Han said. "It allows new players to meet many of the influential members in the league and start building connections. The best part of the GGBC is the social aspect. Many friendships have been formed or strengthened."
The off-the-court camaraderie often spills into Big Chick's for $1 burger night.
"The GGBC has been an amazing experience and it is in large part because of the network of great people connected with it," Han said. "We allow guests, so anybody interested in checking it out or playing is always welcome."
Han admitted he's a "lower intermediate" level player. "I am not the most athletic player, but have a better than average understanding of the game that enables me to be an effective player."
Han is ever-present on the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association (CMSA) fields of play.
"CMSA has been such a positive influence in my life," he said. "CMSA has provided me a safe environment to play the sports that I love. It does not matter that I am not a great athlete. I still get a strong sense of achievement from participating. The social aspect of CMSA is also profound as I have met many of my friends through the sports leagues and much of my free time is devoted to CMSA events.
"CMSA has contributed to the development of my physical health, social life and emotional well-being."
Han was a recent winner of the Greg Walsh Award, presented for service to the basketball league. "It was a complete surprise to me and an honor to be recognized by some pretty amazing people," he said.
Playing sports, playing computer games, and reading
Attending Loyola University Chicago to obtain a Master's degree in social work
Favorite sports team
San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Yankees and Northwestern University
Favorite sports to watch
Basketball and football
Favorite TV show
RuPaul's Drag Race
The South Park Movie, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and Memento
Four people (living or dead) who you'd like to have dinner with
"Martin Luther King Jr., Buddha, Bradley Cooper, and my dad"