What's better than raising money for local charities? Watching local dignitaries compete against an out-of-their-league basketball team to do it. That's the idea the Rotary Club of Frisco had when coming up with plans for its annual fundraiser this year.

On this past Saturday, 23 members of the community teamed up to play the Harlem Wizards, a show basketball team that travels across the country to help organizations with its fundraisers. The Wizards roster includes former Harlem Globetrotter players as well as star college athletes.

“We’ve had golf tournaments and raffles before,” said Chris Johnson, fundraising chairman of the Rotary. “This seemed like a perfect opportunity considering Frisco is Sports City USA.”

The local squad, which will take the name of the Frisco Fanatics, will consist of Mayor Jeff Cheney and Councilmen Brian Livingston, Tim Nelson and Bill Woodard. Bryan Dodson and Chad Rudy form the Frisco ISD Board of Trustees are also expected to participate. Dawn Cruzan from the Rotary Club, coaches from Wakeland and Independence high schools and Frisco police and firefighters will round out the roster.

Frisco Mayor Pro Tem Shona Huffman will be one of the referees. NBA Coach of the Year recipient Del Harris will coach the Fanatics. Despite the 23-6 roster advantage, organizers know what type of athletes the Wizards will bring to the court.

“I’ve had conversations with our team, and some of them want this to be really competitive,” Johnson said. “I smiled and said, ‘You may not touch the ball unless they let you.’”

But organizers said what matters most is the money raised and attention gained for the Rotary.

“This really checks all of the boxes,” said Will Russell, club services director for the Rotary. “It encapulates a number of people in the community. It's a good way to bring people together and raise money for local and international charities.”

Some of the recent projects the Rotary Club has funded include providing 100 cribs to an organization that cares for orphans in Zambia. It has also raised money for building improvements for ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship in McKinney and a trailer for an organization that helps the handicapped.