Big Game, Small World
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F I V E : Celebration, Florida
PHOTO BY: BILL EPPRIDGETry as I did, I couldn’t imagine a starker contrast: On the one hand the tidy streets of a planned community conceived and executed by the imagineers of Disney; on the other, the unscripted essence of street basketball. That’s why, when I heard that the first Gus Macker Three-on-Three National Championship would take place in Celebration, I made sure to wedge it into my itinerary.

Gus Macker is really Scott McNeal, who as a teenager started a three-on-three tournament for a handful of friends in the driveway of his parents’ home in Lowell, Mich. "Macker" comes from McNeal; "Gus" is a reference to Gus Ganakas, the former Michigan State coach, a name inspired by Scott’s childhood ambition to someday become a coach himself.

He never became a coach, but if you ask me, Scott’s grasp exceeded his reach.

That’s Gus pictured here, looking impish and oracular, as he tends to do. For more information about all things Macker, click here.


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