Gus Macker draws Baldwin players
BIG RAPIDS — The first downtown Big Rapids Gus Macker got off to a wet start on Saturday morning but continued on as an event that drew rave reviews from many.
It also drew various Baldwin players, including Armando Jennings.
“We’re extremely excited to have the Macker downtown,” businessman John Milan said. “We’re hoping we represent well to the community and I see there’s a lot of excitement in regards to having Macker back year after year. We’re hoping to build on this and have more teams if they have us back and make it better every year.”
“It’s nice to have this in town and I hope they have it next year,” spectator Jon King.
Jessica Haist, Big Rapids girls basketball coach and coordinator of the Macker event, said the final count was 135 teams.
Rainy weather forced the event on Saturday to be delayed two hours to 10 a.m.
“It’s been awesome, the only complaint was the weather,” Haist said on Sunday afternoon as the event was wrapping up. “We had to get by the rain. By noon it cleared up. We had a lot of community people from around checking it out, not knowing what a Gus Macker was. That was fun.
“Macker does some bigger tournaments and we’re on the smaller end but we’re on a little bit of a learning curve. We’ve seen some good things, and things we’ll do a little different next time. I would probably advertise a little more. We would hope to do more advertising about elite dunk contest and 3-point contest. We had amazing sponsors.”
Having the tournament in May vs. the summer has its pros and cons, Haist noted, depending on what the conflicts will be.
She added Macker founder and president Scott McNeal expressed his pleasure with the Big Rapids event.
“He thought it was a good location,” Haist said. “I was a great community event and gets people out and is something different. We’ll meet in a couple of weeks, talk about it, and see what it looks like in the future.
“We had great support from the city and downtown businesses.”