ISHPEMING, Mich. (WJMN) – The Gus Macker 3 on 3 Basketball tournament is returning to downtown Ishpeming and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.

Mary Peterson is the head coach for the Westwood track program and also a first year coordinator for the Gus Macker.

“As a coach I am a huge advocate for sports in this community,” said Peterson. “I like trying to get the community together. Historically, this has been a very successful tournament in our area, so I wanted to continue that.”

150 teams have already registered for the Gus Macker, with more expected to sign up before the May 7th deadline.

“It’s been a massive undertaking,” said Mary Peterson, the coordinator for the Gus Macker. “Luckily, I have a really great team behind me. My whole committee has been working super hard since January to put this all together. We are still looking for volunteers and refs because we do have a record turnout this year. So, it is a bigger tournament than we had anticipated which is great but now we do need more help.”

Peterson says seeing the excitement building for the tournament weekend has made it all worth it.

“It feels awesome,” said Peterson. “It makes all of the hard work and the tough stuff throughout the whole planning process worth it know we’re going to have at least 600 people playing basketball that weekend.”

Not only will the Gus Macker provide a weekend full of action on the courts, there will also be food vendors, merchandise stands, and a ‘kid zone’ for younger attendee’s. This year’s tournament will also act as a fundraiser that will benefit N.I.C.E Community School’s athletic programs.

“The N.I.C.E. Community School District is sponsoring the tournament this year, they’re hosting it,” said Peterson. “So that means that all the leftover proceeds will go back to the school and this year all the proceeds are getting divvied up between the sports programs. So, they’ll be used to buy new equipment, uniforms or whatever those particular sports teams need.”

The Westwood Track team is one program who will benefit from the fundraising. Members of the team will be out volunteering throughout the weekend and they say they’re excited to help support Westwood Athletics.

“We wanted to get involved to raise money for uniforms, equipment, and to try and get the community together,” said Faith Spiroff, a sophomore runner for the team. “A lot of the equipment is outdated and we just need new things. I’ve never been to a Gus Macker before but I’m excited to volunteer this year.”

“I actually went to the Gus Macker for the first time last year and it looked like so much fun,” said Laretta Boburka, a junior runner for Westwood. “I’m not really a basketball player myself but it just looked like a lot of fun to participate in and there is a lot going on. So, when we got asked to volunteer, I was very excited to take part in it. We are in a lot of need for new uniforms, new equipment, a tent would be very nice. So, just like a lot of stuff that we need that we haven’t been able to get in the past that I’m very excited to have in the future.”

The 2023 Gus Macker tips off May 19th and runs through May 21st.

Looking to play? You can still sign up! Online team registration ends on May 7th.

For more information on how you can volunteer you can visit