If, for some reason, you were looking for me this past weekend, you would have found me at Gus Macker. I spent Friday night, and most of the day Saturday and Sunday, doing my part to help out with the 3-on-3 tournament which brought more than 420 teams, nearly 1,700 players and thousands and thousands of fans to Chenango County.
Now, let me say that I’ve never been much of a basketball fan, despite the best efforts of my family. My father, at 6’4”, was always a commanding presence on the court and my sister was a star on her championship high school team at Oxford. Even both of my brothers played at one time or another. My mother has a thing for college basketball, and basically has to be surgically removed from the big screen during March Madness.
But not me. Sure, I put in the required time in gym class, and even played in junior high, but I never really saw the appeal. I was more into volleyball.
So, you can probably imagine my family’s surprise when I told them I’d be volunteering during Macker. In fact, my dad actually said he’d be happy to take my place. Something about the good of the children ...
You can probably also guess my reaction when Mark Abbott, who I approached about donating my time, suggested I be a Gus Buster. Given my minuscule knowledge of the sport, I thought it would be better to leave that role to those who at least know the rules. Otherwise, there might be angry mobs of parents chasing me through the streets before the end.
Thankfully, I was able to convince Mark of my wisdom and we compromised: I’d work registration both days and then try my hand at being a scorekeeper.
I was pretty secure in my ability to handle the former. The latter, I still had my concerns about. Especially during the first 20 minutes of the volunteer meeting which took place at the Y on the Thursday before Macker was due to start. As SuperBusters Steve Benenati and Bob Tenney debated the finer points of the tournament’s rules, I was completely lost.