For Scott McNeal, both the nickname Gus Macker and basketball glory came outside of his high school gym.
Gus Macker Owner Scott McNeal said, “As I got to varsity level I started sitting the bench a lot, but I was a legend in my driveway.
So that’s why I figured bring everyone to my driveway.”
And for the last 29 years McNeal has invited basketball players young and old to his new driveway in Quincy. Although this one is just a little bit bigger.
McNeal said, “The logistics behind the scenes are incredible. Working with the city, it’s getting the police department to recognize when it’s happening when we need their help.
All the volunteers that are necessary and then in our case I have a traveling team that has other jobs during the week.”
One of those the most consistent operations is Rodney Hart who owns second string music in Quincy and has been helping with Gus Macker tournaments across the Midwest for over 30 years.
And if you’re a basketball fan like him, there’s no place you’d rather be.
Hart said that, “This is basketball nirvana. It’s wall to wall basketball. You’ll see all ages, all skill levels, you’ll see the really good players right behind you here at fifth and Maine on the top men’s court.
You’ll see the little kids battling it out there on Hampshire. It’s hoop Heaven man. Hoop Heaven.”
Gus Macker hosts nearly forty tournaments per year all across the United States, but at the end of the day nobody does it quite like Quincy.”
McNeal added that, “Oh those people are freaks on basketball.
I mean I came the first year and Mike Lavery, a Quincy Exchange Club member, and he thought his club would like to do it because they love basketball and I got here and had no idea.
So I knew right then they had a lot of enthusiasm for basketball so this is very natural for your community.”
There’s no hardwood in sight, but if you’re in Quincy this weekend, hoop Heaven is only a few blocks away.