Hauser Jets, both current and past, and community members are invited to attend the first alumni basketball game at Hauser High School's gym where alumni players will be recognized and show off their talents on the court.
The game is made possible through the sponsorship of the Hawcreek-Flatrock Area Endowment Board with the help of the Hope Chamber of Commerce.
More than 30 area Hauser alumni have signed on to take part in the inaugural event. Match-ups will be offered in three 15-minute, running clock games with each separated by a 10-minute intermission, says Adam Miller, chairman of the Hawcreek-Flatrock Area Endowment Board.
Doors will open around 5:15 p.m. for a pre-game dinner, which will take place on the north end of the main gym in the old concession stand area, Miller says. The alumni game will start at 6:30 p.m.
Hauser alumnus Mike Asher says playing basketball offered him several important life lessons, including never taking anything for granted, working hard to achieve goals with a great attitude and to have fun - life is too short to not have fun and enjoy it.
The 50-year-old says he loves his memories of "vintage Hauser basketball" with all its highlights, from the "band playing loud" to the Hauserettes, cheerleaders and "the smell of that famous popcorn throughout the gym."
"I hope to see a huge crowd enjoying the kick-off to basketball season by watching former players," Asher says. "I would love to see it become an annual event and keep adding and improving each year."
Head Varsity Coach Griff Roth says it is a privilege to be a part of the event and also hopes it will become an annual gathering.
"I think it is a great opportunity for our Jet family to get back together," the 55-year-old says. "It is all in fun and a chance for us to enjoy each other and talk about old times."
Miller says talk of organizing the alumni game began two years ago.
As the endowment board is one that works more behind the scenes, the game is an opportunity to help boost community involvement and assist publicity for the board, Miller says.
Miller says his work with endowment and as acting assistant varsity coach at Hauser allows him the chance to have his "toes in both sides of the pool."
"Now we are working with the Hauser boys basketball team to help raise funds for the basketball program," he says. "And our board is doing a free-will donation dinner before the alumni event."
All proceeds from ticket sales for the game will go to support the basketball program, including meeting its apparel needs throughout the season, Miller says.
Money raised through the free-will donation dinner will benefit the endowment board.
Miller says bringing this event to its fruition presented little to no challenges. Community members and organizations were generally excited to help make it happen, he says. If there are any challenges, he hopes they present next year in a specific way.
"I would like us to have so many people who want to help out and get involved that participation is up in the 40s and then 50s," Miller says.
Looking ahead, making the alumni game an annual event is garnering enthusiastic support, but the event is about more than just a reunion game. It's about building support for a valuable program and community and its organizations.
"We are very into our high school sports," Miller says. "If we can show a lot of enthusiasm and support for our basketball program and local organizations this is a great avenue to do it through."