WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) - A long running athletic event and fundraiser is ending a long tradition. Wausau Newman Catholic Schools Booster Club has voted not to continue hosting The Gus Macker Three-On-Three Basketball Tournament, which they’ve managed for the past 22 years. They cite rising fixed costs and a declining national team count as their main reasons for ending the Wausau tournament.
That doesn’t mean the Gus Macker tournament is leaving Wausau. Scott McNeal is the owner and manager of the national Gus Macker Basketball Tournament. He says more than one organization has already contacted him about becoming the new host. “We intend to try to come back to Wausau next year. We’ve had people reach out to us from different organizations. I can’t really name who they are yet, because I haven’t had enough time to talk to them because this all happened so fast today, but we’re really trying to make sure those basketball players know that Gus isn’t taking his ball and going home. We intend to be in your town if we can.”
McNeal says they have had a great relationship with Newman, but understands that it has become increasingly difficult for them. He says overall, the Gus Macker organization remains successful and wants to stay in Wausau. “When somebody decides not to do it, there’s the thought that maybe we didn’t want to come back or that we were going out of business or something like that, and that’s not the case at all. We had more teams last year, we had more tournaments than we’ve had in a few years, and things have been going pretty good, so we’re excited about trying to stay in your community.”
McNeal will be talking over the possibilities with the groups that have contacted him about continuing the Gus Macker tournament. He’s optimistic they can continue having the tournament on the same traditional weekend as always, since so many players plan their vacation time around the tournaments.
The Newman booster club is exploring other opportunities to raise money for the their athletic programs, including a golf outing that will start next year.