This past weekend Kami and I went to Quincy for the 35th annual Gus Macker Tournament. For those of you that do not know what this is, it’s basically a 3 on 3 basketball tournament that always brings out Quincy’s finest.
So, what makes this year’s Macker festival special? Well…it is the first one in which I got to partake. About a month ago I answered an unexpected phone call (we each have our own cell phones) from Kami’s sister. To my surprise, it was not Kami’s sister on the other end, but her brother-in-law. He proceeded to ask me the question I had waited to hear for 6 long years. Now I am paraphrasing here but I think you will find it fairly accurate, “Matt, you are the coolest guy I know, will you play basketball on my Gus Macker team and raise our skill level by a ton?” When he put it like that, how could I say no.
So off to Walmart I went to buy a basketball (even though I am good, a guy has to practice), a five dollar one will do. And do it did. Ball in hand, all I needed was a place to practice. What better place than a city park. Outdoor basketball, I should practice outside right? On the City of Belleville website I went in search of basketball courts. I thought my options were going to abundant, but no luck, only one court to choose from. Although it was a short distance from my house, it really sucked. I woke up bright an early one morning to go play, went and played, came home and decided to look for other options. Lady luck was shining on me though. My next-door neighbor decided to move out and left his spectacular basketball hoop collecting dust in his driveway. It was just the thing I needed. Daily 3 to 4 hour practices were made and I began to feel ready for the big day.
The schedules came out and May 24, 9am became brightly circled on my calendar (well, an event was added to my Google calendar) as my time to shine. Shine I did. Team Gooding (we were too lazy to pick a real name so we went with our team captains last name) won its first game 15-9. I pitched in with several big rebounds and about 5 points. Not bad for not having played competitively since 8th grade.
Spirits we high going into our second game but it was not meant to be. Mr. TwoPoint McTwoPointerson from the other team decided to have the best game of his life. Of the six two point shots he tried, he made 5 of them and we were quickly dispensed 15-6 in about 10 min. All I can say about that game is, at least he wasn’t my man to guard.
So we were done for Saturday and after the annual Gus Macker weekend party at Kami’s sister’s house we were ready to salvage the weekend in the loser’s bracket. Someone forgot to tell the third team we played that it was street ball. The losers decided to call every touch (and some phantom touches, its true) as a foul. They called so many fouls that they were shooting free throws for them about 5 min into the game. We were not deterred though, we battled hard and after being up 10-9 we fell in a heart-breaker 15-12. After two loses, we were out.
Surprisingly though, we were not down. We had won a game, played some pretty good basketball and a good time was had by all. I guess we will just have to practice a little harder for next year. Maybe 5 hour practice sessions are needed (if that unexpected phone call comes again next year).
Update: A new neighbor moved in and offered me his basketball hoop. Let the 5 hour sessions begin.