NORWICH – Anyone who has spent a summer in Norwich is most likely familiar with the name Gus Macker. Every second weekend in July, the name can be found almost everywhere in the city – hanging from banners, flyers and displayed on the dozens of basketball hoops crowding the streets. But who is the real Gus Macker, the man behind the moniker?
Scott McNeal hails from Lowell, Mich. and has proudly carried the name Gus Macker since his friends started calling him that over 30 years ago. It was in Michigan where one year he and his friends decided to liven up their regular basketball games during March Madness.
“We each threw in a dollar,” he said. “Then everyone signed up and we did a draft and set up the brackets.” According to McNeal, many in the group had nicknames. One day his mother was typing up the list of names and suggested they put his nickname, Gus Macker, as the name of the tournament. “It sounded good ... just kinda stuck.”