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Macker returns to Ironton

Gus Macker is back for its ninth year in Ironton, but if you want to get on the court, you need to register soon.

This year’s Ironton Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament will be May 18 and 19 and kicks off the first of only four events in Ohio.

Beth Campbell has helped the Friends of Ironton organize the event for several years and said she hopes the event will grow from last year.

“There were 236 teams last year,” Campbell said. “We were up about 50 teams from the previous year. And we are hoping for more this year.”

Deadline to register by mail is April 26 and forms can be found at www.macker.com. Teams can also register online and that deadline is April 29. The event is open to anyone ages 7 and up.

As always, Campbell said, there will be a $250 slam-dunk contest, 3-point shoot out, a chance to play on the Dream Court, and for the unlucky teams who lose their first two rounds, a chance for redemption in the Toilet Bowl. There will also be a children’s play area with inflatables and food vendors.

This year’s Macker, so far, looks to have 20 courts along South Second and Vernon streets downtown.

Campbell, who coaches girls volleyball, softball and basketball at Ironton Middle and High schools, said the tournament is a good event for the community.

“Going around and getting sponsors and speaking to the people, they said they feel like this is the most family oriented event,” she said, noting that most of the sponsors have supported the tournament for all nine years.

Campbell also said participants and spectators from out of town commend organizers for the Ironton tournament as well ran and up-to-date with game schedules.

“And it takes a lot of volunteers to make that run smoothly,” Campbell said.

This year there are about 50 to 60 volunteers helping with the event.

In addition to the action on the courts, new for this year will be a “Hoops of Vendors” craft show in the Ro-Na Theater.

There is no entrance fee for the public, but people wanting to register to have a 10 by 10 table at the show can call Valerie Freeman at (740) 533-7462 for more information.