While the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament is expected to be going big country this summer, an upstart 3-on-3 event hopes to be a viable option for Western New Yorkers who prefer sticking closer to home.
The Buffalo 716ers will host a 3-on-3 tournament called the “Street Ball Remix” on June 28-29 at Tapestry Charter School. Cost is $150 per adult team and $100 for youth teams (boys and girls ages 10-17). There will be cash prizes for the men’s division champion ($1,000), runner-up ($300) and third-place ($100) teams. Registration deadline is June 15.
The only catch. This tournament will take place indoors, according to 716ers owner and event organizer Tawan Slaughter.
“My concern was, I usually play in the Gus Macker and we usually get rained out the majority of the time so I don’t want it to be a situation where we can get rained out,” said Slaughter, the former Christian Central star who scored 2,256 points during her scholastic career, which ranks sixth in Western New York history.
“We don’t want to deal with that,” she said. “Just putting it indoors, we can get in the tournament and be successful. Maybe next year, depending on how big the tournament is this year, we may look at an outdoors situation.”
Why is Slaughter organizing the event? It’s something the community apparently needs, and it helps increase the exposure of her team, which is fighting for attention with the Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bills, scholastic sports and Division I football and basketball.
“A lot of people don’t know about us yet. Doing this tournament will help,” Slaughter said.
To register, go to http://streetballremix.net/register/ or call (716) 986-3433 for further information.
Slaughter said there will be a $2 admission fee for spectators, and there will be concessions and merchandise stands at the event, which includes a dunk and three-point shooting contest.
Meanwhile, there will be a news conference at 10:30 a.m. today at City Hall to announce that the Gus Macker is, in all likelihood, moving to Darien Lake this summer after a 24-year run in Buffalo.
Various television news outlets reported last week that the tournament was moving from the streets of downtown to the paved lots of Darien Lake, although at the time all parties involved said no contracts had been signed. Modie Cox, executive director of the Buffalo Police Athletic League, confirmed Friday the tournament wasn’t taking place downtown.
No one discussed specifics Wednesday when pressed, but it’s a good bet PAL still will be involved with the event since the news conference is being held at City Hall. Cox, Scott McNeal of Gus Macker basketball and Darien Lake officials are all expected to be in attendance today. The tournament will likely be played July 19-20 or Aug. 23-24.
On the Macker having competition, Cox welcomed the 716ers’ venture on Wednesday.
“I just think the more the merrier,” Cox said. “I think the more basketball these young people” in the city “can play in an organized setting, the better off for them. I wish the tournament success.”