Macker event happened because a few who #039;get it#039;

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 21, 2005

Some people just "get it." The "it" is that intangible, difficult to define, quality of being able to selflessly see the big picture and work together to reach a common goal.

Yours truly saw the fruits of what a group of people who "get it" can do on Saturday.

Though it's too early to say if the 2005 Ironton Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament will ultimately be deemed a success by the most important folks - the players - the event certainly seemed to be making the fast break for success on Saturday.

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The magic on the streets began Friday night. Within minutes of the traffic being diverted, young and old alike began grabbing basketballs and taking shots at one of the more than 20 hoops erected on downtown streets and parking lots.

By noon at least a couple of thousand players and fans were strolling through the streets, watching games, playing games, eating and generally having a good time in a family environment.

From the outside, it looked pretty simple. Close the streets, move in the hoops and let's play.

But behind the scenes a small group of individuals who "got it" formed together with one singular idea in mind - do something good for Ironton.

Although the Friends of Ironton group started the idea of bringing a Gus Macker tournament to Ironton, the idea quickly spread and a number of previously unaffiliated people joined the Friends group.

Although ultimately dozens and dozens of volunteers helped make things flow smoothly, a core group of folks from diverse backgrounds joined forces to form the Gus Macker organizing committee.

A banker, a railroad worker, a realtor, a motorcycle shop manager, an economic development expert, a public relations manager, a former carryout manager and a newspaper person all became very familiar with one another and driven to make the event fly.

No doubt if any of them knew what they were getting into from the beginning, they'd have certainly found something else to do with their time.

The adventure, yes, that's a nice way to put it, was far more interesting than any of them realized.

In the end, each of those organizing the event wound up hauling water, moving courts, setting up tables, setting up traffic barricades and even cleaning the occasional toilet - anything necessary to making the visitors to our city happy.

By the end of the day Sunday it will be one long, exhaustive weekend. But, rest assured each of them will do it again next year.

Just don't ask them for a commitment on Monday. Even the folks who "get it" need a little rest sometimes.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445, ext. 12 or by e-mail to