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Macker Backers

Sponsors help ensure return of 3-on-3 basketball tourney

The original 3-on-3 basketball tournament known to all as “Gus Macker” will hit the streets of downtown Morris again this year.

Celebrating its 11th year on the tour, the Morris Downtown Development Partnership, Inc. is proud to be hosting the event, which in 2012 attracted more than 1,100 players and approximately 8,500 spectators from nine states and 146 Illinois communities.

The three-day festival of basketball begins on Friday, May 31, with early registration, and continues through the division championships on Sunday, June 2. The tournament is open to boys and girls in age brackets for 10 & under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, and 17-18.

During the past several years there has been a significant increase in 6-, 7- and 8-year-old players.Although these players may play with teams that are a little older as they progress in the tournament, they are encouraged to participate.

Adult divisions are open to men and women in age brackets that range up to 40, 50, and 60 and over, with all levels of experience encouraged and welcome to play.

The Morris Downtown Development Partnership, Inc. hosts the tournament, but it would not be possible without the support of local sponsorship. Major support for the event is being provided by Grundy Bank, ATI Physical Therapy, Rezin Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Ortiz Eye and Hearing Associates P.C., CBI Stone and Webster Construction, Inc., Big R, Exelon Nuclear, Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan, The Herald News, Republic Services and the Quality Inn.

Additionally, the important roles of media sponsorship are being provided by WCSJ/WJDK radio and the Morris Daily Herald.

Every player in the Macker is guaranteed at least three games, so no matter how you fare the first time on the court, the fun has just begun. Those who do make it on to the championship rounds can look forward to trophy presentations for first through third place.

Special sportsmanship medals are also awarded at each court for the team that exemplifies good sportsmanship.

All registered players receive a T-shirt for participating in the event.

Once again, in order to provide a more pleasant experience for everyone, the tournament will feature striped officials. The addition of striped officials has been seen as a positive for newcomers and veteran players alike and has cemented Morris’ reputation as one of the better tournaments on the tour.

Julie Applegate, tournament director, noted that Gus Macker Morris has meant more than just a weekend of basketball to many in the community. In fact, over the past 10 years, almost $100,000 has been given back to local organizations that have volunteered their time to work at the tournament.

On-line registration will be accepted through the official Gus Macker website at For those who prefer to register offline, application brochures may be downloaded from the website, or may be obtained from the Morris Downtown Development Partnership by calling (815) 941-0245 or emailing

Informational brochures are currently available at participating sponsor locations, as well as many area businesses. The entry fee for a four-person team is $140.

Deadlines for registration are May 10 for postmarked applications, or May 13 for those submitted on-line. Anyone seeking more information about the tournament is welcome to contact the MDDP office.

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