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POSTPONED–Iron Five: The Story of the 1963 Loyola Ramblers Saturday, March 14

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POSTPONED–Iron Five: The Story of the 1963 Loyola Ramblers

  • Date: March 14, 2020
  • Time: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
  • Price: $10.00
    $10 general admission, $5 student
  • Rating: Not rated, suitable for all ages
  • Location: Gorton Community Center
    400 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045

Unfortunately due to recent events the our screening of Iron Five: The Story of the 1963 Loyola Ramblers has been postponed until a future date. We are working to reschedule and will keep updated information on this page. Ticket purchasers will be contacted directly. If you have any further questions, please contact our office at (847) 234-6060. Thank you for your support!


Post-film panel with 1963 NCAA Champions John Egan & Jerald Harkness and film director Venturino Liberatore, writer Bill Lindsey and narrator Alaric Martin. The panel will be moderated by local author and sportswriter David Sweet. 

In 1963, the Loyola Ramblers became the first team from Illinois to win the NCAA college basketball championship. But that season — against the backdrop of civil rights firestorms — they achieved another first: they became the first team in history to start a predominantly black lineup. Their story debuted at Chicago’s Black Harvest Film Festival and WGN in fall of 2018, and aired during 2019 March Madness. Liberatore and team members John Egan and Jerald Harkness will be on hand to discuss the historic season and the film.

Directed by Rino Liberatore.




Jerry Harkness, Team Captain & Starting Forward

Jerry Harkness began his athletic career in Harlem, New York leading his team to win the High School City Championship in basketball and capturing the 1000-yard run in track. Harkness received a scholarship to Loyola University Chicago where he led the Ramblers to the 1963 NCAA Basketball title. He was named Consensus All American and Most Valuable Player in the East-West All State game. Mr. Harkness got his degree in Sociology and became the first African American store merchandiser for the Quaker Oats Company.

After a short time with the New York Knickerbockers, Jerry became a member of the American Basketball Association (ABA) Indiana Pacers. While playing for the Pacers in 1967, he made the longest three-point shot in pro basketball history. He held that record for 34 years. It is still the longest shot to win a game.

Following his retirement from the Indiana Pacers, Harkness became the first African American Indiana Sportscaster for television station WTHR-13 for twelve years and the same position with WTLC radio. He was a sports analyst for the Indiana Pacers and Loyola University Chicago. He was also the first African American fundraiser for the United Way of Central Indiana where he spent the next 25 years of his career.

Mr. Harkness is one of the founders of the 100 Black Men of Indianapolis and Indiana Black Expo. He has received numerous awards: NCAA Silver Anniversary Community Service Award, Boy Scout This is Your Life Service Award, The Jefferson Community Service Award, Sports Illustrated Award, Muhammad Ali Award, NCAA Loyola (only team) Inducted into College Basketball Hall of Fame, Captain of the Loyola team recognized by President Barack Obama in the White House. Jerry was inducted into the Indiana, Manhattan and Harlem Basketball Hall Fame and his basketball number 15 is retired at Loyola Chicago.

Mr. Harkness has just written his first book, a memoir called “Connections”. He and his wife Sarah are members of Eastern Star Church. He has two children Jerald and Julie Lyn Arnold. Four grandchildren, Kara, Kiley, Anna Grace and Ashlyn.


John Egan, Starting Guard

John C. Egan is a life-long Chicago area resident. He attended Loyola University from 1960-1964 and was a member of the 1963 Loyola National Championship Team. John graduated in 1964 and then attended Loyola Law School from 1965 -1967. John went on to play professional basketball from 1965- 1967. Admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1967, John became an Assistant States Attorney that same year. He then became a criminal defense attorney in 1971. He currently practices law in the Chicagoland area.

John resides in River Forest, Illinois. He is married to Mary Egan and father to Bridgette, Kate, John, Ryan and Shannon.


Venturino Liberatore, Film Director

Venturino “Rino” Liberatore is a Chicago native and graduate of Northeastern Illinois University. He began a career in advertising as Creative Director at Eisaman, Johns and Laws, named “Midwest’s Hottest Agency” by the Chicago Tribune. In 1995 Rino started his own TV production company, Two Olives Films directing numerous commercials for high profile clients and a feature film titled “The Opera Lover”, that aired on Showtime.

His 2019 documentary titled “The Iron Five” was a selection to the Black Harvest Film Festival and broadcast on WGN. Rino is currently a member of the Art Faculty in several North Shore communities, teaching film, photography and painting.

Honors for his work include Best Picture for his feature at the Newport Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Wilmette Art Festival for Paintings.


Bill Lindsey, Writer

As an advertising copywriter, Bill Lindsey has crisscrossed the country a number of times in his career. In addition to conceiving, writing and producing national, award-winning campaigns for a number of blue-chip clients (among them Bud Light, Coors Light, McDonald’s, Audi, Suzuki, Westin, et al.), he’s also written for a number of iconic Chicago sports teams: Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Blue Demons and, of course, the Loyola Ramblers. He also penned a six-part television documentary on minor-league baseball, “The Show.” Bill also mentors young creatives: as a teacher at Chicago Portfolio School, a guest speaker at university arts departments (including Loyola and Notre Dame). Bill lives in Evanston with his wife Regan, 5-yr. old daughter Ryan, and twin 3-yr. old boys Caden and Kieran. So, if you see him yawning, it’s not that he’s disinterested – he’s just really, really tired.


Alaric Martin, Narrator

Alaric Martin is a well known post production specialist with a national following editing many award winning TV commercials and documentaries. He has 30 years of experience and has awards from Emmy, Telly and Addy. His documentary pieces have ranged from stories about the famed African American army regiment known as the Buffalo Soldiers to a piece that told the story of America’s greatest stock market crashes back in 1987. While continuing his editorial and producing career, he is also helping to mold future talent in the industry as an adjunct instructor at Flashpoint College.


David Sweet, Panel Moderator

David Sweet has served as a columnist for NBCSports.com, SportsBusiness Journal and The Wall Street Journal. He has also authored two books, “Three Seconds in Munich:  The Controversial 1972 Olympic Basketball Final,” and “Lamar Hunt: The Gentle Giant who Revolutionized Professional Sports.”


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Film and Event Refund and Cancellation Policy: There is no refund given for unused film or event tickets.

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