Recreation class is a slam dunk

Tourism award honors CMU’s student-run Gus Macker basketball tournament.

| Author: ​Jeff Johnston

The Mt. Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau will honor the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament at Central Michigan University with a tourism award for its positive impact on the local economy and community.

Chris Rowley, executive director of the bureau, said the event has between 200 and 275 teams each year and has brought more than 100,000 visitors to Mount Pleasant.

’s is the only Gus Macker tournament run entirely by students. This is the 10th year the event has been part of a recreation, parks and leisure services administration course at CMU.

Faculty member Tim Otteman teaches the two-credit Production of Festivals and Events course (also co-taught in the past by Lori Irwin from 2010-15 and Brittany Milan from 2016-18), selecting as students about 34 applicants each year based on their skill sets and fields of study. The final exam for the course is the running of the tournament.

“The class is set up fundamentally so students are learning skills that will be useful for planning any large-scale event, like event marketing and partnering with local organizations,” Otteman said.

Rowley said the tournament has provided leadership opportunities to 292 CMU students and given more than $100,000 back to the university.

This year’s tournament is April 27-28 outside of Finch Fieldhouse. The deadline for team registration is April 8.

The tourism awards banquet is at noon April 4 at the Comfort Inn and Suites.

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