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Grand Island readies to host Gus Macker basketball tournament

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

For the second consecutive year, the Town of Grand Island is ready to play host to a popular 3-on-3 basketball tournament. This year, organizers of the Gus Macker Tournament are adding more events that they believe will make the weekend even more family-friendly.

The tournament will be held June 4 and 5 on courts set up along Grand Island Boulevard between Whitehaven and Baseline Roads. Local organizer Corey McGowan anticipates up to 350 teams may participate in this year's edition. The deadline to enter a team, he announced, has been extended.

"We've had a lot of demand from people calling up saying 'We don't have our money together yet. Can you extend it?' So we have extended the deadline until May 23 at midnight," McGowan said. "It gives players about another week to sign up, which is good news for them and good news for the tournament. Hopefully we can build up some more teams."

Leading off the weekend, on Friday, June 3 there will be a celebrity 3-on-3 tournament. That same evening, there will also be a game featuring mascots from the Buffalo Sabres, University at Buffalo, Canisius College, Niagara University, Grand Island High School and the Gus Macker Tournament. 

"We're going to have a 3-point contest, a free-throw contest, the mascot game, I'm going to play in a game with different people from our town and some local celebrities," said Grand Island Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray. "We're going to have a fun zone for kids. We're going to have a lot of great food." 

McGowan brought the Gus Macker Tournament, which hosts events throughout the nation, back to the Buffalo area last year after a two-year run at Darien Lake. There were some issues along the way, including concerns raised about adequate security. McGowan and McMurray both stated that this year's planning has had no such problems.

"Certainly, last year was a learning experience, so we built a kind of template in terms of what we need to expect," McGowan said. "Things have been smooth this year. Everyone in the area is comfortable with the tournament. Things went well." 

"Corey has done a fantastic job getting health and emergency services ready, and security," McMurray added. "I think we have better security than any other Gus Macker."

More details about the tournament, including a schedule of events, can be found by clicking here.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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