JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — After five years, the popular Gus Macker’s three-on-three basketball tournament will be making its return to Chautauqua County.
Collaborative Children’s Solutions, along with other partners, will be hosting the tournament on Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20.
“Gus Macker three-on-three tournament was started in 1974 in Belding Michigan by Scotty ‘Gus’ Macker, great guy, great group of people three-on-three tournament in his parents driveway and basically has an incredible story. Covered by Sports Illustrated, the Wild World of Sports and what have you. It grew and grew and grew just in his neighborhood alone,” says Patrick Smeraldo, Collaborative Children’s Solutions owner.
Today, the Gus Macker tournament travels the country allowing anyone seven and up to compete in the sport.
“The closest one to Jamestown is in June is in Olean has one. And then there’s one in Ithaca beginning of August, actually the biggest Gus Macker in the country is in Norwich, New York which is by Syracuse, it’s like three hours away,” says Smeraldo.
Patrick Smeraldo says the Gus Macker organization has become more kid-oriented over the years by creating a “Macker Mites” division for children ages eight and under where the baskets are lowered to eight feet.
The event also has opportunities for people with disabilities.
“They have a unified division with students with disabilities that play in this now. They have one of those divisions,” explains Smeraldo. “But they’ve really changed it more and promoted it more into a festival atmosphere.”
This tourney not only benefits those participating, but also the local economy such as restaurants, hotels, and sporting stores as the athletes find something to do between games.
“We do have a lot, and if we can introduce that to people, maybe they’ll come back and they’ll visit us when the Macker isn’t here. And they’ll ice skate, Comedy Center, Chautauqua Institution, wineries, things like that,” says Smeraldo.
Teams receive at least three scheduled games each tournament. It is a double elimination tournament with a consolation bracket: the “Toilet Bowl” for teams losing their first two games.
Though a location has not yet been determined, registration is open at macker.com/local/jamestown-ny.