The Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament is in Hastings this weekend, July 13-14, bringing in hundreds of basketball lovers of all ages to compete for winner status and the famous Gus Macker Trophy.
The first Macker tournament was welcomed to Hastings by the Barry County Chamber of Commerce in 2012, attracting about 150 teams. It has returned every year since. By 2016, some 200 teams took part, with basketball courts expanding in the downtown area. This year, organizers expect more than 230 teams to play in front of their supporters, families and friends.
The original Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament was in 1974 in Lowell during March Madness, when Scott McNeal, aka Gus Macker, brother Mitch and 18 kids each chipped in $1 and played for the first purse of $18 in the McNeal driveway, according to the tournament's website.
The tournament grew into a nationwide event for players of every age and skill levels. After 45 years and more than two million players, the tournaments are still designed for basketball players who love the driveway game. Barry County businesses sponsor courts and special events.