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27 Teams In 27 Days: Meet The Fort Wayne Mad Ants

By Jake Winderman | August 28, 2018

Team: Fort Wayne Mad Ants

First Season: 2007-2008

Affiliate: Indiana Pacers

Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Arena: Allen County War Memorial Coliseum

Head Coach: Steve Gansey

Mascot: The Mad Ant

2017-2018 Finish: 29-21 (Won Central Division), lost in Eastern Conference Semifinal

2017-2018 Accolades: Walt Lemon Jr. (All-NBA G League Third Team), DeQuan Jones (NBA G League Most Improved Player)

Current Two-Way Players: Edmond Sumner (Xavier) and C.J. Wilcox (Washington)

Notable Alumni: Joe Young, Glenn Robinson III, Rakeem Christmas, Shayne Whittington, CJ Fair, Georges Niang, TJ Leaf, Dahntay Jones, Alex Poythress, Ron Howard

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants joined the NBA G League during the 2007-2008 season along with the Utah Flash (Delaware Blue Coats), Iowa Energy (Iowa Wolves) and Rio Grande Valley Vipers (Houston Rockets). Fort Wayne held a name-the-team contest where fans could choose between the nicknames Lightning, Coyotes, Fire and Mad Ants. The Mad Ants nickname was victorious and officially chosen as the team’s moniker.

The nickname is a reference to General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, for which the city of Fort Wayne is named. “Mad Anthony” was known for his fierce personality and aggressive military tactics during the American Revolutionary War.

The Mad Ants have qualified for the NBA G League playoffs in five of their last six seasons, reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals this past year. Fort Wayne won their first and only championship during the 2013-2014 season, taking down the Santa Cruz Warriors in two straight contests. The team has been decorated with multiple individuals awards as well, including one NBA G League MVP winner in Ron Howard (2013-2014), two NBA G League All-Star Game MVPs in Jeremy Richardson (2007-2008) and Andre Emmett (2014-2015) and one NBA G League Most Improved Player Award winner in DeQuan Jones this past season.

Fort Wayne has also had six players named to All-NBA G League Teams including Tony Mitchell (2012-2013) and Ron Howard (2013-2014) to the First Team, Chris Hunter (2008-2009), Rob Kurz (2009-2010) and Alex Poythress (2016-2017) to the Second Team and Tony Mitchell (2013-2014) and Walt Lemon Jr. (2017-2018) to the Third Team.

The team has had 13 NBA Call-Ups in franchise history, including Walt Lemon Jr. and Trey McKinney Jones during the 2017-2018 season. This past year, the Mad Ants sold out a record four home games at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum and tied their franchise record for longest regular season winning streak with eight straight victories.

Fort Wayne will also be featured in this year’s NBA 2K19 video game as part of the MyCareer portion of the game. Players working their way up through the game and to the NBA will pass through Fort Wayne and play with the Mad Ants as part of their virtual journey.