Gus Macker on track to return to Lansing

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LANSING, MI. (WILX) -- When Michael Ruddock graduated from Michigan State University in 2017, he had a hard time finding a good game of pickup hoops.

Two years later, he's leading the effort to bring back the Macker.

"Gus Macker used to be here," Ruddock said. "Why isn't it here anymore? Is there anyone else like me that would like to see this right in our own back yard?"

Having played in a few Gus Macker tournaments, Ruddock figured...why not be the point guard in bringing it back?

"When you do a Macker, you need a guy like Michael Ruddock," said tournament founder and owner Scott McNeal. "You can have organizations, but sometime you need a pied piper that takes the passion and runs with it."

He's too young to have played in the Lansing tournaments, but Ruddock knows those in the capital area would love to see the Macker here again.

"Everyone that's played in one of these tournaments has a certain fondness for it, there's nothing like seeing a hundred courts lined up as far as the eye can see," he said.

McNeal added, "The Macker is one of those things that gets in your blood. There's just a lot of memories, and it's pretty exciting to come back to an area where it was that popular."

The idea that the Macker could come back to Lansing is surreal to one of the tournament's biggest fans.

"When you have an idea that starts from a fairly random thought and it comes to fruition, it's always really cool to see it play out from beginning to end," said Ruddock.

It may not play out sooner rather than later, but both Ruddock and McNeal feel they're on a fast break to bring the Macker back to the downtown area.

"There's a lot of work still to be done," said Ruddock, "but we've got all the pieces where we need them, and the most important thing we have is energy, which is so important at this stage."

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