Home Youth empowerment Gus Macker draws 137 teams to downtown Flint

Gus Macker draws 137 teams to downtown Flint


Flint, MI – Hoopers and ballers from all over Michigan crowded into the Flat Lot in downtown Flint this weekend for the return of the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

This year, 137 teams took part in the tournament, which began on Saturday, July 30 at 9 a.m. The tournament brackets included the top men’s bracket, the boys’ and girls’ middle and high school brackets, and the losers bracket. Tournament matches run until Sunday, July 31, starting at 9 a.m.

It was the second year since the tournament returned to Flint. Coordinator Linnell Jones-McKenney brought the tournament back in 2021 after a 20-year hiatus.

Young people didn’t know what Gus Macker meant,” Jones McKenney said. “It’s a family atmosphere.”

Funds raised from the tournament go to the Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village, a youth program center in Flint. The center raised funds to build a new indoor sports complex that would be used for basketball, football, soccer, robotics and other programs.

“We love to organize these types of events to bring the community together and uplift young people,” said Maryum Rasool, executive director of Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village.

The new building would go behind their current building at 4119 N. Saginaw St. According to Rasool, the center has nearly reached its goal of raising $10 million for the upgrade.

In Gus Macker tournaments, teams of three play against each other on half-court-sized courts. Games last 25 minutes or until a team reaches 15 points. Unlike regular basketball games, baskets are scored at one point and baskets over the line are scored at two points.

Apart from tournament matches, the event also held a 3-point shot and a dunk contest.

The tournament provides space for Flint youth to play against out-of-town teams. The Flint Flames, a Flint-based Amateur Athletic Union basketball team, brought two teams to the event.

“It’s exciting because their family and friends who never see them play can come see them play here,” Flint Flames coach Bruce Poindexter said.

First aid at the event was provided by Hurley Medical Center and Michigan United. Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were distributed at the event by the Hamilton Community Health Network.

“It’s more than just a basketball game,” Jones-McKenney said. “It’s about allowing our young people to get involved and be exposed to something big.