ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – If you happened to drive past Jerzi’s 41 in west Ishpeming Tuesday evening you may have caught a glimpse of Gus, the iconic yellow basketball.
“We’re here to announce that Ishpeming is going this year. The dates are June 26th and 27th. We’re looking to get right back on track,” said Mike Fuller, the vice president of operations for Gus Macker Basketball.
Ishpeming joins Iron Mountain as one of two U.P. host cities for the popular 3 on 3 basketball tournament.
The event not only provides competition and entertainment. It also brings in revenue to local businesses.
“Everyone is just waiting to get back out doing things. So, people are going to travel. According to our schedule, you guys are the first one in Michigan, it’s going to be Upper Michigan, but people are waiting to see this. They’re waiting to see if it’s going to go. So, your hotels will be full and your restaurants,” said Fuller.
Safety will be the number one focus. Organizers are working closely with the local health department to ensure a safe event for everyone.
“We want to make sure it’s safe for every player. We’re doing what we can. We know that being stuck inside that the kids need activity, the adults need activity. We’re here to help do that. We’re following the guidelines more than what people think. We want to make sure it’s safe for you, your children to come out and play and it’s just a great time to do it. We’re outside. We’re planning on the social distancing. We can move the hoops farther apart so we’re not so crowded,” said Fuller.
If you’re a competitor looking to take part. There is still time to sign up your team. You might even have a chance at taking home some brand new hardware.
“Our trophies are new this year. Our first-place trophy is really big. We have a second-place trophy and we went this year to a third-place trophy instead of the medals. You’ll get on Macker.com, you’ll register your team. Again, we bracket it two weeks out and you’ll receive your bracket online,” said Fuller.
If you’re not looking to lace up the basketball shoes but still want to be a part of the fun. Macker organizers say they are always looking for volunteers. (Sign-up to volunteer at Macker.com)
“We’re always in need of volunteers. We’re looking for volunteers for scorekeepers, registration, we do site clean-up to make sure the site looks better. Even when we first arrive to be there. We look for medical personnel. We have to have medical personnel on-site at all times,” said Jennifer Hendrickson, an organizer for this year’s Gus Macker tournament.
The 2021 Gus Macker 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament will tip off this June 26th-27th in downtown Ishpeming.
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