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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 Washington crossing the Delaware,” Gus says. “Quincy is a great old conservative town on the Western side of Illinois and they love their basketball. They have the Exchange Club and it’s like all these men in suits who do great things for the community. Lavery credits a basketball-loving community, his fellow club members and the lighthearted approach a Macker brings with it for the many years in Quincy. Lavery, a one-time Iowa football player who lined up against the likes of Bubba Smith, once had Gus over to his home in Quincy, and the Macker guru made quite an impression. “He makes you feel like you are a member of the Macker family, and it feels like he is a member of your family,” he says.

Mike Lavery mhof