Hoop it up with the ageless wonders and the diaper squad.

Feel the "swish" and get dribbling.

Oh, yeah!

"This is the 17th annual tournament, and we will have four 'Ageless Wonders' team tournaments, four 'Diaper Dandies' team tournaments, and one women's game," said Brian Baum, organizer of the Molly-Jake Alumni Basketball Tournament.

The annual event is slated for this Saturday, Jan. 12, in the Chatfield High School gymnasium. It is an effort to raise funds for various community needs.

Inviting anyone interested in tournament play to participate, Baum related, "It is like a giant multi-class reunion and a great way for people to meet people for those new to Chatfield or in other graduating classes."

He used an example that Jerry Bernatz's son, Richard, is playing for the first time and is a 1973 graduate. Jerry Bernatz is the individual for whom the football field area was named after. The youngest player will be from the class of 2012.

Baum said the rewards of the tournament's organization lie in seeing a lot of the same players come back year after year as well as seeing the great support from the community. This includes support from the fans as well as area businesses. He also appreciates the good crowds that turn out and the good times had at the tournament as well as downtown after the games have concluded.

He said it's great seeing people having a good time.

Baum reminded the community of all the good things they have done with the money raised.

"It is really a community event," he said. "It is about people getting together and having a good time. We support not only athletics, but other groups like the music department, buying city park equipment, sponsoring the Doc Skaug Tournament, our tournament and more."

Baum counts himself a man guaranteed to score the three points of a free throw once he has his friends and family to assist in organizing the tournament.

"I have a great group of guys who help me. Mike Urban and Toot Urban are my right hand man and woman, along with Al Neis. They help with contacting players, setup and cleanup and contacting businesses for prizes for our raffle."

He added that Pat Ryan and Ron Henry, Tim Walker, Pete Erickson and Jason Daniels help contact players and businesses, and Patti Obey organizes workers, including Lisa Bradt, Trina McDonald, Cheryl Meyer, Heidi Meyer, Amanda Meyer, Tammi Neis and Terri Dudek.

"My wife, Stacy, and my mom, Sue, along with Arlyne Jacobson, do quite a bit as well, not to mention Allison Allen and Jill Walker, who do the contacting of the women players as well as being my key raffle sellers," Baum noted. "LuAnn Hare does my programs, and Laura Adams sets up my concessions and copies the programs. I also have been fortunate to have some of my girls basketball players and some boys basketball players volunteer their time - like Sydney Irish, Morgan Henry, Kileigh Dudek, Traci McDonald and Jake Neis - I am very fortunate to have so many good people help out in so many ways. This event could not be done without them."

He also mentioned that special thanks are also due to Jeff and Candi Hare of JAC's and their staff for hosting the after-tournament event, and for their generous donations to the occasion as well.

Baum said, "It looks to be another great time with Karaoke Joe adding to the fun on Saturday night. If I left anyone out, I am very sorry, as I am sure I did."

Contacting players and businesses poses a challenge for Baum while he's preparing each year's tournament, but he credits those who have dribbled into center court just as he's ready to take the foul for being overwhelmed with the basketball season itself.

"It just takes time, and with me in the middle of basketball, I have to pick my spots. But as I said earlier, that is why Mike Urban and Toot Urban are so valuable to me. At the same time, we have been so fortunate to have so many local and area businesses help out to make this event possible, and the majority of the players come back," he stated.

The entrance fee for each player is a $30 dollar minimum per player for the men and $25 for the women. But, Baum said, they never turn down a donation for more.

"Cost includes a shirt, chance to win some cash, and the rest is a donation," he explained. "That is how we get a lot of our profits."

Winning teams get "bragging rights, or in my case when my team has won it twice, they say I stack the teams!"

Actually, Baum's in it for "just a lot of good old fashioned ribbing" and the chance to hang out on the rim with the ageless wonders and diaper dandies.

The Molly-Jake Alumni Basketball Tournament is scheduled for this Saturday, Jan. 12, at Chatfield High School, beginning at 9:30 a.m. For more information on teams and tournaments, contact Brian Baum at (507) 867-0027 or e-mail him at bbaum@chatfield.k12.mn.us.