FOODFÜRHOOPIN’ Hoping to Set Record

Brackets, basketballs, backboards and bragging rights are all part of the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball tournament held next weekend in Olean Aug. 16-17. The three-day event, organized by the Olean City School District Foundation and the Olean High School Sports Booster, is open to players of all ages and experience levels who are computer-matched by age, height and experience so that all participants can be competitive.

The event, first held in Lowell, Michigan in 1974, is a family festival with food and music along with the basketball competition.

This seventh annual Olean Gus Macker will feature two new community partnerships: Rick Bokman’s FOODFÜRHOOPIN’ and the American Red Cross Gus Macker Blood Drive presented by the New York National Guard.

Back again this year are the Casella Waste Recycling Hoop Contest and the Prizel’s Pharmacy Hot Shot Contest.

John Irving, one of the founding directors of the Olean Gus Macker stated, “Gus Macker is more than just basketball … it’s a community festival. We try and schedule activities and events for the whole family to enjoy in addition to the ones playing the Macker. We worked with these organizations and have created some new buzz for Macker Olean.”

Rick Bokman’s FOODFÜRHOOPIN’ has been an annual feature of the Belding Gus Macker. The Olean Committee believes it will be successful here and looking to set a Gus Macker record. We are encouraging players, volunteers, our sponsors and the spectators to drop off food items to benefit the Olean Food Pantry. Scott Brook, CEO of the Olean Food Pantry, and Michael Bokman, of Rick Bokman, Inc., are both excited about it and hope to see it as an annual event.

The American Red Cross Gus Macker Blood Drive is new to Gus Macker. Melissa Riehle, of the American Red Cross, sees this as an opportunity for spectators to donate much needed blood and to promote Olean’s 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive.

She said, “Although the players shouldn’t donate on game day, they can certainly register for a future drive.”

The blood drive is open to the public, and the first 100 people to donate or register for the 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive will receive a free drawstring bag.

Gus Macker Olean is going green with the GREEN RECYCLING ZONE. Casella Waste Systems has welded a basketball hoop to one of their roll-off containers. Casella staff will be down all weekend encouraging everyone to shoot their empties — water, sports and soft drink bottles — into the hoop and into the recycling bin. If you make the shot, you win a small door prize!

Irving added, “We want to encourage people to recycle always, and why not make it fun and make a basket!”

Bobby Prizel, his sons and their pharmacy have been a part of Olean Macker since its first year. This year, Prizel’s Pharmacy stepped up and is sponsoring a Hot Shot Contest on Saturday, Aug. 16. The contest is open to anyone ages 16 and younger, not just players in the Macker. The contest consists of three activities — Hot Shot, Free Throw and 3-Point. To take part in one contest is $2 or all three contests for $5. You can play as many times as you want. Winners will be from each age group (10 and under), (11-12), (13-14) and (15-16) and will be awarded gift certificates. Monies raised will go towards the Tyler Bihler Scholarship Fund. Times for the Hot Shot Contest will be noon to 3 p.m. and will be played on a separate court near the YMCA Kids Zone and NYCM Photo Booth.

For more information or details, please contact John Irving at (716) 397-8223. Brackets and players list can be found online at