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By Craig Braack

Become part of the fun: Volunteer with the Gus Macker or blow the whistle as a referee, be a Gus-Buster!

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After volunteering for Gus Macker in Hornell for years and writing about the event before and after, they let this writer take the first shot to start the tournament. After a few (many) misses, a layup started the games!


I’m that guy.

Good enough to play a little basketball, but not good enough to help my team win in Gus Macker, the nation’s greatest 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

Though that’s what makes Macker great, each court is based on skill level, from current college stars and former professional players to anyone who never played more than a little on their co-ed 5th- and 6th-grade.

However, for decades, I have had a lot of fun as a volunteer with the Gus Macker in Hornell. I’m made life-long friendships working at a table keeping score or writing down names. I’ve been a runner with water, helped with the food and some basic set-up and tear-down.

The NY Landquest team are big fans!!!

“Macker” is this weekend and the Hornell Area YMCA could still use a few volunteers with set-up, registration, scorekeeping, brackets, special events, and tear-down. Here is a link to the online form: MACKER

After a few years doing that, Dennis Canty asked me to “blow a whistle.” That meant referee.

In addition to a shirt and free meals, I now received a pair of sneakers from the Eastbay catalogue! That went on for a few years.

Today, they have it figured out. Blow a whistle as a referee on Saturday and Sunday and get $75 a day. Plus the food and gear!

A lot of players and fans will thank you for doing it and a few will ask you “are you sure?” when you make a call. I was very good at making bad calls. But Dennis Canty and the crew are so good at putting extra referees on the big games and rotating us around based on skill.

Dr. Picco and staff support local sports

One year I started with adults. When they saw my ability, I ended up at the Toilet Bowl games. But I kept blowing a whistle and improved each year.

If you want to blow a whistle, call or text Dennis at 607-769-9020, he only has room for two or three more, so hurry and get a spot. You will love it.

Playing in Macker or being a volunteer is a great experience and one you won’t regret doing year after year!

District 6 supports all Hornell area sports and sports reporting
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