The University of Chicago Medicine and the WNBA’s Chicago Sky officially broke the Guinness World Record for the largest basketball lesson, which took place during this year’s inaugural #ChicagoFit Health and Fitness Festival.
An audit showed 1,442 people attended the July 8 lesson, which took place at Soldier Field. That bested the previous record, which had been held by the National Basketball Association. In 2017, the NBA hosted a clinic in India for 1,150 people.
The attempt was certified by Michael Empric, an adjudicator from the record-keeping organization, immediately after the attempt.
“We are passionate about breaking records not only on the court but also in the community,” said Watchen Nyanue, vice president of marketing partnerships at the Chicago Sky. “This is an exciting day for the Chicago Sky and the entire City of Chicago. We’re deeply committed to women’s health, preventive care and serving the community, which makes UChicago Medicine the perfect partner for #ChicagoFit since we both believe in the importance of helping Chicagoans stay active and healthy this summer.”
In addition to the record-breaking basketball clinic, the #ChicagoFit festival also featured free health and wellness screenings, along with appearances by the entire Chicago Sky team, local celebrities and civic leaders. The Chicago Bulls, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bears hosted stations with prizes, giveaways, activities and mascot meet-and-greets.
The event, in its first year, was designed to promote the principles and practices of fitness and healthy living to all Chicagoans. The event included free health and wellness assessments and screenings. In addition to the world record attempt, the Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks, White Sox and Bears hosted activity stations.
A number of notable Chicago athletes attended including: Israel Idonije, former Chicago Bears defensive end; Bob Love, former Chicago Bulls forward; Aja Evans, Olympic bronze medalist in bobsled; and Bradie Tennell, Olympic bronze medalist in figure skating.
“The Chicago Sky and UChicago Medicine wanted to do something that brings our shared values to life, and we felt this health and wellness event would further serve our collective community,” said Sharon O’Keefe, president of the University of Chicago Medical Center. “We are determined to get everyone of all ages moving, excited and inspired for getting fit and living healthy.”
The two organizations announced a multiyear partnership in February 2018 that named the academic health system as the official medical provider and a major sponsor of the team. In addition to preseason cardiac screenings for the team, UChicago Medicine is providing comprehensive player- and patient-centered services in orthopedics and sports.
View photos from the world record event!
Thank you to University of Chicago Medicine and our supporting sponsors; AARP, AON, Body Armor, Harmony a WellCare Company, Mini, Orbitz, Pangea Real Estate, Ryan Specialty Group, and Walgreens.