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Gus Macker Comes to Buffalo this Weekend

By Tom
Tarapacki

Even if you’re not playing in the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball
Tournament in Buffalo this weekend, be sure to stop downtown to check out the
games and all of the related activities. All types of players–big and little,
men and women, young and old, good and bad–turn out in huge numbers to play
some half-court hoops and try to take home a trophy.

The Macker is a nationwide tournament for players of a variety
of age and skill levels held in various cities. It began in 1974 in Lowell,
Michigan. Scott and Mitch McNeal gathered 18 friends who played competitively.  It grew steadily, and eventually they took the tournament to other
communities, where it currently holds both indoor and outdoor competitions
annually in more than 75 cities, with over 200,000 players and 1.7 million
spectators attending. Buffalo has been one of the most popular locations.

Buffalo’s
 2009 Gus Macker 3-ON-3 Basketball
Tournament will be held on June 27th and June 28th in downtown Buffalo starting
at Niagara Square. It is expected that over 1,000 games will be played over the
two days.

The event
will include a “Kids Zone” in Niagara Square and various concessions. There
will be a Buffalo Bills player signing at New Era Cap beginning at 1PM on
Saturday. There’s a $5 donation per autograph, and a limited number of wristbands
available starting at 9AM at the Bills tent in Niagara Square. This year’s Buffalo
Macker is presented by Terrence McGee and Marshawn Lynch of the Bills.

Another
benefit of the event is that all the proceeds will directly benefit the
children of our community through the programs of Kids Escaping Drugs (KED) and
the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Buffalo. KED supports the Renaissance Campus,
Western New York’s only long-term residential treatment facility for teens
addicted to drugs and alcohol. The focus and goal of PAL’s core programming is
to build strong athletic, cultural, social and recreational opportunities for
area youth.

Games are
scheduled to start both days at 8:30AM, and most of the courts are in Niagara
Square or on Delaware Avenue.

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