Gus Macker draws more than 170 teams to Greenville

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 10:18 am on Monday, July 16, 2012

All Day Every Day’s Evan Karatkiewicz, right, guards a Lake City player during Saturday’s competition in the Greenville Gus Macker tournament. — Daily News/Chip Burch

GREENVILLE — Downtown Greenville was a busy place this weekend as the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament took to South Lafayette Street for a little ballin’.

More than 170 teams were on hand to play in the tournament, which was interrupted briefly by a rain shower Saturday afternoon.

But Scott McNeal couldn’t have been happier with the turnout.

“The opening ceremonies went great and we had a good crowd,” McNeal said.

Saturday started out with charity checks being presented, followed by basketball being played by all ages.
“I think the whole community likes it,” McNeal said.

Snap Fitness’ Brittany Lyman, right, sets a pick for teammate Devon McQueen, left, on Lanny’s Ladies’ Kelsey Pollock during Saturday’s competition in the Greenville Gus Macker tournament. — Daily News/Chip Burch

Greenville Chamber of Commerce president Candy Kerschen does.

“As far being an event organizer, the event went very smoothly,” Kerschen said. “A lot of the work happens up front. Most of our scurrying around the last week or two.”

So does Greenville Parks and Recreation Director Kris Berry.

“We’ve had a great crowd,” Berry said. “The heat caused some intensity but everyone’s been good and it’s beautiful downtown.”

The 174 teams is down a little from last year, Kerschen noted.

“We have a very large youth turnout for the games,” she said. “We fluctuate year to year. Last year we had about 196, which was the highest year in as long as I remember. But we’re up over the last five years.”

There was no women’s adult division this year because of not enough teams signing up. But the youth numbers made up much of the difference.

“The team count is pretty close to last year,” McNeal said. “We’re happy with that.”

McNeal noted the Macker people will do this all over again in two weeks in Belding.

“We have a big push for tournaments in Michigan,” he said. “By next year I think I’m going to have 15 tournaments in Michigan. I think everybody wants tournaments again. We’re like all over the place.”

Maybe a few too many for some families, as McNeal related.

“I had a family from East Kentwood come up to me, and I asked them,’ Are you playing to Belding Aug. 4 and 5?’” McNeal said. “‘No,’ they said. And I said, ‘Oh man, what’s wrong?’ She says, ‘We’re just tired. We’ve been all over the place.’ I’m worried about saturating ourselves. But communities like it, families like it.”

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