Ortiz’s Lately | Gus Macker Edition


The Gus Macker 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament returned to our small town this year for all ages and skill levels and we were so excited about it.  I ran it past Will and we decided to sponsor two teams so that our little ones could have a tournament experience as we really thought it would push them and grow them – indeed it did.

Will Junior is, has been and, always will be obsessed with Basketball. He lives for the game and has a real passion for it, he loves it! He decided that this coming year he was going to cut out distractions of just playing other sports as he really wanted to focus on training for Basketball getting stronger in his skill sets for this specific sport. He didn’t want to be a jack of all trades, master of none. I mean he’s only 8 years old and already has such a vision for his own future. Love him.

This past year my daughter expressed that she wanted to play basketball. I must admit I was a little surprised, as she is totally into dresses, manicures, make-up and all that comes with getting all dolled up. But she tells me “Mom I’m a Tomboy & a Girlie Girl” and I said, hey that works for me! I played basketball for quite a few years growing up and I also loved playing dress up and getting all glam from early on yet I was also in the middle of the street with the boys playing two hand touch football and near the hoop working hard to prove that girls could have game too! So I could totally relate so then again – I’m not sure why I was so surprised.




It was time to rise and shine, today was the big day! We were up and at it so the kids could wake up, have a good breakfast & get their blood flowing. We both had our 1st games at 9am that morning and wanted to be there by 8am so we could utilize that extra hour for warm-ups.


So we had our breakfast, packed our lunches, got dressed in our game gear and were on our way to the big games.


(this guy just couldn’t wait to play)


(Will & Hogan warming up before the 1st game)


(The boys and girls had a chance to warm up together)

Our Boys were the “Young Warriors” and the Girls were the “Lady Warriors”. Can you tell that both of our kids love the Golden State Warriors? A few people call Will Jr, Young Steph – after Curry not me, haha! But we let the kids select the names of the team and that’s what they came up with. They also picked out the jerseys.


This was probably my favorite part of the entire tournament. I had a chance to give the girls a pep talk before our first game and then asked them if it was okay if we prayed together and they all agreed in unison – and it was so precious and the best way to start off the game! 


The boys had their 1st game on the dream court and it was so awesome, they each were announced by name along with a fun nick-name and they ran through a tunnel of fans and players! The girls had a chance to play on the dream court for our second game! To be announced like big league players was so fun and quite the experience.

As you can see our boys were a little younger and shorter than the team they were up against but they didn’t give up and they gave it their all. They showed a lot of determination and hunger throughout this entire tournament.

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I wouldn’t say the tournament was a huge success as far as numbers were concerned as they just didn’t seem to do a ton of marketing-publicity for it this year but it wasn’t a bad turn out either and it was a great weekend overall of basketball. I know they learned a lot and gained a greater understanding of the game at the end of the day.


I will say the games were challenging indeed and the experience was definitely a growth opportunity for each of our players.  I remember shouting ‘rebound-rebound’ and then looked at the girls height difference and thought, I’m not sure that’s going to happen but I sure am going to keep cheering them on every step of the way.


Because there wasn’t a great turn out in registrations our teams were the youngest of the all. My Mackenzie was the youngest player in the entire tournament. So the teams our Warriors played against were composed of kids much greater in size, age and, experience.

The gal in the background was as tall as me, I legit walked up to her to assure I had it right and sure enough, our 2nd & 3rd graders played against tall 5th & 6th graders in these games and never gave up.


This entire experience pushed them to greater levels of endurance, confidence & strength.

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I can’t tell you how proud I was of our girls for playing hard and not giving up they showed that they had heart, hustle &, ambition. I was so proud of them for that even though they took it hard.

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One of the most rewarding aspects of coaching is taking the time to cheer on the champion in these little people.


(I love all the braids – happened by chance and was perfect!)

The lady official we had for the majority of our games was so kind to our girls! I’m sure she was nice to everyone but she was such an encourager to our little ones and I really appreciated that and I think it’s important for the kids to have others in our community also speak life into them! I have some of the best girls to coach in the world and I am so thankful for each of them.


We would have early morning practices leading up to this weekend and the girls learned so much, soaked it all up, ran plays and really bonded as teammates. I was so happy in my heart to see the growth and drive in each one of these girls develop this summer! I am really looking forward to this next basketball season!


 (The Dunker pictured here, I believe his name was D-Money but I’m not 100% sure)

After the games that day they had a Dunk Contest and the gentleman that won, jumped over our two kids – my phone ran out of battery so I wasn’t able to take a pic of that specific dunk but he jumped over quite a few of the kids there and my two were in the huddle! They of course thought that was super awesome!

Other than the kids getting this amazing experience of how it is to compete in a tournament proved to be money & time well spent. Another positive aspect is that the proceeds from the event will benefit our local youth programs throughout the year so that’s a double bonus!



tb troph.jpg

(Both of our Teams received the Toilet Bowl Champ Trophy’s)

This made me laugh oh so hard!

Talk about memories to last a lifetime. Love that these are the days of our lives and the best is still yet to come. My girls also received sportsmanship metals that they should each be so very proud of. Each of our warriors worked so hard and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to share this experience with each and every one of these little ones.

We didn’t leave the courts until about 630-7p that night and we were just so wiped! A full day of in the sun fun. Needless to say we slept really well that night and had to be up early the next morning for some more Basketball!

So that’s the day in the life – Gus Macker Edition. I am Already looking forward to next years tournament! Until next time…

Love & Basketball,



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