GREENVILLE — South Lafayette street in Greenville will be busy during the coming weekend with lots of basketball fans and players.
The Gus Macker tournament will start Saturday in downtown Greenville, with 174 teams signed up for the two-day event, according to “Gus Macker” himself, Scott McNeal.
“Similar numbers from last year,” he said. “We’re looking like it’s going to stay in that range. The fact that we have as many teams is positive.”
There will be a few changes from last season’s Macker, McNeal noted.
“One of the things we’re working on is changing the way the site is laid out a little bit,” he said. “We’ve had the Army as a sponsor for the last couple of years. Jet’s Pizza is also doing four or five Mackers for us. They’ll be at the main tournament and they’ll be selling pizza on site.”
Last season’s tournament was under nice weather, but this year’s tournament is looking to be under hot conditions. McNeal said they’re going to be ready for that.
“We’ll be working a lot to keep everybody hydrated,” he said. “We’re going to have more drinks available. It’s not supposed to get into the triple digits. The buildings and courts layout will be helped for shade.”
So far the other tournaments haven’t been affected too much by the heat, noted McNeal.
“For us we’ve been kind of lucky,” he said. “Last weekend we had a tournament in upstate New York and they caught the backside of that heat. The weekend we (in Michigan) were in the 100s they were in the 90s for Friday and Saturday.”
There will also be some other events that will take place, such as the Shots Galore contest and three different dunk contests — one for ages 3-6, one for juniors ages 7-13, and the open dunk contest. The hot shot contest is also taking place.
But the main attraction will be the courts in downtown Greenville, McNeal said.
“We’re just excited to be downtown. It’s a great setting,” he said. “It’s nice because of the width and they shut down the main drag. Some towns don’t shut down their main street but Greenville makes sure it happens.”
Opening ceremonies are set for 8 a.m. Saturday.
“We’re trying to make the opening ceremonies more entertaining,” McNeal said. “Not only ‘Gus’ will be there but the Big Boy and the Yellow Jacket will be there.”