Inside INdiana Business

Mad Ants hire coach, will begin play in February

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The NBA G League and Indiana Pacers-affiliated Fort Wayne Mad Ants have announced the hiring of a new head coach just before beginning their 2021 season. Tom Hankins was hired by the Pacers in 2019 as assistant player development coach.

Hankins has also served as associate head coach at Southern Illinois University and as head coach at the University of Central Oklahoma from 2015-2019. He is the seventh head coach in Mad Ants history.

“This is a great opportunity and a privilege to be the Mad Ants’ head coach,” said Hankins. “I look forward to help develop players, but also having a team that represents the goals of the Pacers and Mad Ants on and off the floor.” 

The NBA G League also announced it will begin play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in February. The league announced 18 teams, including 17 NBA G League teams and G League Ignite, will vie for the top eight spots to advance to a single-elimination playoff.

“We worked closely with our teams, the Basketball Players Union, and public health experts to develop a structure that allows our teams to gather at a single site and safely play,” said NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim.  “We are thrilled to get back to basketball and to fulfill our mission as a critical resource for the NBA in developing players, coaches, referees, athletic trainers and front-office staff.”

Coaches, players and staff will live on the G League’s campus at the resort near Orlando and will be required to follow leaguewide health and safety protocols.