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      RULES & REGS



      Basil Hampton

      Basil Hampton, also known as “Doc Rise,”  estimates with Macker dunk contests on the tour and dunk contests put on by other groups he competed in as many as 125 contests over a six or seven-year stretch. In one year on the Gus Macker World Tour he remembers winning 17 dunk contests – consecutively. Steve…

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      James Mullen & Tom Revoir

      Jamey Mullen and Tom Revoir lead the Norwich, N.Y. tournament that Scott McNeal, a.k.a. Gus Macker, said is a clear snapshot of the modern Macker. “It’s a great small town and the Macker shuts it down like a county fair where it’s all about family and kids and the same two guys have created this…

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      Tony Wysinger

      Gus Macker, a.k.a. Scott McNeal, remembers Tony Wysinger being carried off a tournament court after winning the Top Men’s competition one year at the Peoria Gus Macker. “It was the first time I saw a Macker crowd react like that, and they were so happy for the team that it looked like a scene you…

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      Kathy MacLean figures the answer to why Gus Macker Basketball has been a huge summer hit in Ludington for 27 years is as simple as location, location, location. “Who wouldn’t want to play basketball at the beach?” Ludington is a Lake Michigan beach town that annually attracts 800 to 900 teams to play 3-on-3 in…

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      TO Otteman & Dr. Lori

      Dr. Tim “T.O.” Otteman and Dr. Lori Irwin of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., two Central Michigan professors, add class to the Gus Macker Hall of Fame. They also teach a class. Otteman and Irwin lead the effort at Central Michigan where they have created a class (RPL 333 Production of Festivals and Events) that with 35…

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      Melvin McLaughlin

      “Sugar” was the dominant Top Men’s Division player starting in the early Lowell days. He played at Grand Rapids Creston High School and Central Michigan University. He hit the famous “Hindenberg Shot” to win the 1982 championship in Lowell. He is still making jump shots in recreation basketball, and has popular skills clinics he produces…

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      Alex Wolff

      Alex, a premier writer for Sports Illustrated Magazine, played in the 1984 Gus Macker in Belding. A year later he wrote the story that appeared in SI and helped launch Gus Macker into national prominence. That story is credited with leading Macker into developing the national tour of today.

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      Miss Elizabeth’s Fan Club

      Miss Elizabeth’s Fan Club dates back to 1989 when four men who worked in different roles at a school in San Diego – Jerry Fike, Richard Paff, Ralph Mora and Bernard Balaney – suited up to play in a local Gus Macker World Tour stop. The team, named for the late Miss Elizabeth (Hulette, 1960-2003),…

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      Rick Thomson

      Rick Thomson is the “Nickname Originator.” Yes, he was the guy who gave Scott McNeal the nickname “Gus Macker.” It happened when they were both in the seventh grade. Thomson was one of the original driveway players, of course, and played in that famous first tournament in 1974. Thomson, a true original Macker character, made…

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      Orloe and Mary Ann Gwatkin

      Orloe and Mary Ann Gwatkin were neighbors of the McNeal family, and they are remembered in Mackerville for three things. They had the first rented port-a-john installed in their yard as the tournament started to outgrow the Lowell driveway. The lights installed on the pole in their backyard would light up the original driveway court…

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      Tom LaMonde

      Tom, the guy with the long blonde hair, became known as the “Georgia Gunner.” He was a longtime McNeal family friend who grew up in Lowell and then moved to Georgia just prior to high school. He would fly the friendly skies to return to Lowell and Belding to play in Macker tournaments.

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      Chippewa Pride

      They were the first dominant Top Men’s Division team loaded with former Central Michigan standouts from Grand Rapids in Val Bracey, Tim Bracey and Leon Guydon. They were coached by this kid, who is still coaching. His name – Tom Crean.

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      The Frankovich Family

      The Frankovich Family, a.k.a. “The Frankies,” proudly hailed from Sharon, Pa., and traveled across the country to numerous Macker tournaments. They had a tradition of making a basket on every hoop set up for each Macker they visited prior to the tournament starting. Yes, they came to Belding for the record turnout year of over…

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      Belding City Council and City Manager of 1987

      When the move from the original home in Lowell became necessary, the 1987 Belding City Council and City Manager stepped up. They accepted the Macker despite its last-minute move and supported the “home” tournament. Belding remains the home of the original tournament, and is the site of Macker’s World Headquarters. The council members in 1987…

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      Russ Bartz

      Russ played with the Parini’s Pasta Palace team for several years in Macker tournaments. His landmark achievement was leading his team to the first-ever Toilet Bowl Championship in Macker history. He reportedly covets his amazing trophy for the incredible accomplishment.

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      Kipp and Kita Jones

      Kipp and Kita, the Jones brothers, first came on the Macker scene in 1987 in Decatur, Ill., a serious basketball town. They played strong hoops, too, and won that Top Men’s Division title. It was the first of many, including two in Belding. They had the great team name of “Above The Rim,” and that…

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      Betsy Wiersma and Don Zulauf

      This duo represents the many great local tournament organizers from the first 25 years of Macker basketball. Don, of Port Huron, Mich., is also known as the father of some pretty good basketball players, Jon (Michigan State) and Jay (Marquette), twin stars from back in the day. Betsy was the ultimate organizer from Indianapolis.

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      Jumpin’ Jack Kelly

      Jumpin’ Jack Kelly was a Grand Rapids guy who could fly and dunk. He became a Macker dunk legend. Tall, gangly and bearded he thrilled many in Macker dunk contests throughout the 1980s. He is best known for winning the ultimate dunk championship in Belding, which offered a $10,000 cash prize. He will still show…

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      The Root Brothers

      The Root Brothers defined the Macker family tradition. The VERY large family from Durand, Mich., played in Mackers for many years starting in the 1980s in many combinations. They were usually easy to find, too. Their team colors were usually of the sweet orange variety. They were inducted with the 25th anniversary class.

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      Louie’s Records

      They hailed from Columbus, Ohio, and were another dominant Top Men’s Division team. Players included Marvin Stevens, Karl Newman, Hank Comley and Derek Fields. They won several championships, including three in Belding. Marvin Stevens was also known as a dunker. He won several dunk contests with his favorite dunk that included him leaping over a…

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      Larry Abbey

      Larry went in with the 30th anniversary class and joined his usual teammate in early Macker tournaments, World Mattern. World was known for holding mandatory practices leading up to Macker tournaments, and Larry was known for never missing one of those practices.  When inducted in 2003 Abbey was still playing in tournaments, and had still…

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      Chris “The Artist” Hankinson

      Chris The Artist is the Picasso of Gus Macker. He brought the Macker Man design and logo to life, Gus likes to say. The Artist created numerous player shirt designs, DQ program covers and other artwork for Macker during the 1980s and ’90s. He was inducted with the 30th anniversary class.

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      Rodney Glassnor

      Rodney Glassnor is part of Macker lore as a dunk legend – a ferocious dunk legend. Now a wellness coach, personal trainer and basketball trainer at the YMCA of the Blue Water Area in Port Huron, Mich., he was also a formidable player on the Top Men’s Court. Gus Macker said Rodney was a quiet guy who…

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      The Flying Knueppel Brothers – Klint, Kon, Kole and Klay

      The Flying Knueppel Brothers – Klint, Kon, Kole and Klay – are noted for their numerous set plays and uncanny 3-point shooting. They played in Mackers across the country, always in the Top Men’s Division, and won the 2003 Macker World Championship in Hilton Head. Based in Milwaukee, Wis., by 2003 they had played 3-on-3…

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      Ron “Huckleberry” Parker and Bill “Manute” Saunders

      Huckleberry and Manute, who were also sometimes known as King Ding Ding and Captain Crunch, are former Macker employees who started working for the company right out of high school. They were dedicated diaper dandies, worked hard and spent many hours behind the scenes making sure Macker tournaments found success.

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      Carlton Valentine

      Carlton is a Macker Hall of Famer because he was a humble, big-hearted space-eating gentle giant who set rock-solid picks and had a nasty jump hook shot. These days he is best known as the father of NBA player and former Michigan State star Denzel Valentine. Carlton, who played at famed DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville,…

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      Bill Buckey

      Bill Buckey is called the ultimate Macker hoop junkie by the folks in Mackerville. He is from Granville, Ohio, and traveled the 3-on-3 basketball trail most often with his brothers Dan and Dave and Uncle Kenny. They started playing in Macker tournaments in 1996 after an older brother, Mike, was killed in a motorcycle accident.…

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      Bob Becker

      Bob was the sports editor at the Grand Rapids Press for 29 years and retired in 2007. He put Macker in the headlines starting with the early days in Lowell when the guys simply called him and suggested he have a reporter and photographer check out this 3-on-3 tournament in Lowell. Becker loved it, and…

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      West Michigan All-Stars

      Seven guys from the Grand Rapids area made up the West Michigan All-Stars. They included Bob Mitchell, Steve Harvey, Todd Hennink, Steve Honderd, Tim Muller, Brad Holwerda and Shawn O’Mara. They played at area colleges with great success, and played in various combinations of the seven at tournaments around the Midwest. They won a lot…

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      Joe “Smoothie” Killinger and Art “Maui Legend” Finger

      They are known as the original Gus Busters. Joe and Art were two Macker national staff leaders and pioneers in the GusBuster program. These days most tournaments use registered officials, but in the early years players called their own fouls. In 1985 it was Joe and Art who brought the Central Michigan University Intramural and…

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      Zach Williams

      Zach won the 1984 dunk contest at the Macker, and a photo of it made the 1985 Sports Illustrated article by Alex Wolff, who is also in the Macker Hall of Fame.  Gus Macker calls him “The Happy Macker Hoopster” because, well, he is always smiling and the kids from Grand Rapids who know him seem…

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      Shawn Biggs

      Shaun, a Wyoming, Mich., resident, is a numbers guy. He knows how many Macker Tournaments he has played in since 1994, how far he traveled to each of them, how many teammates he has played with and how many times his teams finished first, second or third. Gus Macker calls him the “Quiet Stat Man.” He…

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      Larry Wray

      It can’t be confirmed, but we hear it went down like this: Gus Macker stumbled into a room behind some gas station in Ohio. It was dark, eerie and foreboding. He finds Larry Wray seated at a desk, and doesn’t waste time with small talk. “I got an offer you can’t refuse Godfather,” Gus stammers.…

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      Mike Lavery

      The sponsoring local Exchange Club fittingly has the Macker in Quincy, Ill., set up in a downtown area known as Washington Park Central Square. It’s perfect for the tournament, says Gus Macker, and things usually go perfect because of Macker Hall of Fame inductee Mike Lavery’s guidance. “He’s the Founding Father, this elder statesman, like George…

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      DreamKids: Macker’s Youngest Stars

      When inducted five years ago into the Macker Hall of Fame, Dawson Wood was age 12, Chase Kinzinger, 13, Trenton Cooper, 11, Jalen Broussard, 12, and Jamoni Jones, 11. They were nicknamed the DreamKids, and to Gus Macker they were a clear reflection of the growing popularity of Macker among the younger set. They are the youngest…

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      Sharon and Gary Eickhoff

      Sharon and Gary Eickhoff are known as the “Original Neighborhood Volunteers.” Sharon remembers selling hot dogs at 8 a.m. in the driveway during the early Mackers in Lowell and being amazed how many breakfast of champion hot dogs actually sold at 8 a.m. “Teenage boys will eat,” she said. And Macker remembers Sharon and Gary, friends of…

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      SPECIAL HONOREE: Gus Ganakas

      Macker Special Honors got to somebody chosen for special contributions to Gus Macker Basketball. Gus Ganakas, a former Michigan State basketball head coach who became an announcer and basketball ambassador in Michigan, is believed to be the real inspiration for the nickname “Gus Macker” bestowed on Macker co-founder Scott McNeal by original driveway player Rick…

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      SPECIAL HONOREES: Dean Wallin, Don Stabenow

      Special honorees are not part of an anniversary class, but recognized for outstanding contributions to Gus Macker Basketball. Don “The Bracketologist” Stabenow and Dean “Mr. Happy” Wallin, were the originators of the GusBuster system following the early call-your-own days. They were professors in the recreation department at Central Michigan University in the 1970s and 80s, and…

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      SPECIAL HONOREE: Warren Reynolds

      Special Honorees are not part of an anniversary induction class, but have earned recognition for contributions to Gus Macker Basketball. The late Warren Reynolds was the sports director at WOOD-TV, channel 8, in Grand Rapids for several years. He is remembered for his charitable acts, and his love of sports. He was enamored with the…

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      SPECIAL HONOREE: Tom Crean

      Special honorees are not part of an anniversary induction class, but are recognized for outstanding contributions to Gus Macker Basketball. Tom Crean, the well-known college basketball coach, is the only person to make the Macker Hall of Fame twice. He is in with the Chippewa Pride team as the kid coach of a bunch of…

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      SPECIAL HONOREE: Coach Dick Parfitt

        Special Honorees are not part of anniversary classes, but are recognized for outstanding contributions to Gus Macker Basketball. Dick Parfitt was the head coach at Central Michigan when Gus Macker, a.k.a. co-founder Scott McNeal, was going to college there and dreaming of being a college basketball coach. The Macker events, of course, took on…

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      Bad Boyz

      These guys were bad, as in loud, intense, in your face and maybe a little crazy. They were also an outstanding Top Men’s Team that won approximately 30 Macker tournaments and according to Gus “shocked the world” winning the always tough Peoria title in 1995. Team members included Cedric Wynn, Artese Simmons, Ernest Walker, Mike…

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      Judge Connors and His Ann Arbor Squad

      Judge Timothy Connors and his Macker team went into the Hall of Fame five years ago remembering teammate Vada Murray, an Ann Arbor policeman and former University of Michigan defensive back, who succumbed to cancer in 2011. “I want this to be about Vada because he was so special,” Connors said at the induction. “He died…

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      SPECIAL HONOREE: Ernie Cryer

      Special honorees are not part of an anniversary class of the Hall of Fame, but are recognized for outstanding contributions to Gus Macker Basketball. Ernie Cryer was made for the Macker, says Gus Macker. Cryer, a veteran basketball official, public safety officer with the Grand Rapids Public Schools and a star player on the 1968 Grand…

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      Steven “Preacher” Lee

      Steven “Preacher” Lee’s grandfather, Major James, a preacher by trade, used to take a young Steven with him everywhere. People called Major “Big Preacher” and Steven “Little Preacher,” and the Preacher part of the name stuck and has become part of Gus Macker Hall of Fame lore. Inducted during the 25th anniversary celebration in 1999, the…

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      Cla Avery

      Cla is a middle school art teacher in Roswell, New Mexico, who grew up in Lowell. On a vacation one year he became enamored with the Macker that had developed as an annual event in his hometown and set in motion bringing one to Roswell.  It became the first Macker outside of Lowell. The Roswell…

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      Dick and Bonnie McNeal

      Simply put, they are Dad and Mom Macker. They owned the driveway, as in actually owned it, and they were the parents of our founders, Scott, a.k.a. Gus Macker, and Mitch. They opened up their driveway, garage, yard, house, refrigerator, bathroom and more to Macker players for years. Steve “Preacher” Lee, a Macker legend from…

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      Steve “Baby Dawk” Doyle and Geoff “Stormy” Stormzand

      Baby Dawk and Stormy grew up in the neighborhood in Lowell where it all started, and their impact goes beyond being players. Steve, or Baby Dawk, was the original shooter of the traditional do-or-die shot in the Macker driveway, and Geoff or Stormy was the guy who penned the letter to Sports Illustrated. That letter…

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      Gary Love

      Gary became known as “The Defender of Human Rights” in Mackerville. He was an attorney from Grand Rapids, Mich., who represented the Macker or several years starting with an infamous lawsuit filed by a neighbor. The aptly named Mr. Love passed away in 2008 and is greatly missed. He was inducted with the 25th anniversary…

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      Don Warsaw

      A true “Senior Player” from the start. The late, great Don Warsaw was one of the oldest players in Macker history at 70-plus years young. He played for a number of years with his sons Scott and Nick. He went into the Macker Hall with the 25th anniversary class. We lost Don in 2002. RIP…

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      Ned Henley and Dave VanKeulen

      Known as “Ned and his neighbor” in the old Lowell neighborhood. Ned Henley and Dave VanKeulen played on the same team in the driveway in Lowell, and for many years after that in the Macker tournaments in Belding.

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      Laurie Byrd

      Laurie, the “Queen of the Macker,” was a dominant Top Women’s player in Lowell, Belding and beyond. She earned her “Queen” crown on the court where usually she paired up with fellow Flint, Mich., basketball stars Denise Allen and Linnell Jones to make all others play for second place. Dusty Macker files indicate Byrd and her…

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      T.O. “World” Mattern

      “World” was an original Macker Fanatic. He was one of the first players in Macker history to play 20-plus years in tournaments. He was known to hold mandatory team practices and team sessions for weeks leading up to each tournament. He was inducted with the 25th anniversary group.

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      Craig “Skinny Mulligan” Anderson

      Craig was the first dominant driveway player, and the tallest among the original group in Lowell. He was nicknamed “Skinny Mulligan” because he was, well skinny. His teams won the first three Gus Macker Tournaments in history.

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      Dick, Nola and Lance Bryan

      Dick, Nola and Lance Bryan were longtime friends of Dick and Bonnie McNeal, the parents of Scott and Mitch, founders of Gus Macker. In the early years Dick Bryan would hand-paint the backboards and Nola would load up her Mustang with hot dog buns in order to serve the hungry players. Lance grew up with…

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      GUS MACKER 3-ON-3

      macker crowd 2

      The Original 3-on-3 Basketball Festival of Family Fun

      A Gus Macker Tournament is designed for basketball players who love the fun of the driveway game – male or female, from age 7 to 70-plus, short and tall, the most experienced or those with little or no experience who just want to play.

      This year, 2018, is the 45th year of Gus Macker Basketball. For the first 13 years it was a single tournament started by a pair of brothers and their friends in 1974, but became a festival phenomenon and America’s Original 3-on-3 Basketball Tour in 1987.

      Through the years there have been 1,421 sanctioned Gus Macker Tournaments presented for over 670,800 teams or almost 2.7 million players and played in front of over 27.5 million spectators.

      Teams are computer-matched into male and female divisions in one of three categories: Junior, Adult, or Top. The age, height and experience of all four players on each team are considered in bracketing.

      Teams receive at least three scheduled games each tournament. A Macker is a double-elimination tournament, but with a consolation bracket historically called “The Toilet Bowl” for teams that lose the first two games.

      Our modern tournaments maintain order in almost all cases with registered officials calling fouls and violations.

      Family fun in a festival atmosphere is always the goal of a Gus Macker Tournament, and we proudly serve as the most popular basketball tournament for outdoor play in downtown streets, parking lots and community parks across the country.


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