FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Fort Wayne Mad Ants NBA Development League team has a new owner, the parent organization of the Indiana Pacers. The announcement was made at a news conference attended by Larry Bird, the Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations and others.
“We are proud to extend the Pacers brand into Northeast Indiana and excited about continuing the tradition of professional basketball in Fort Wayne,” said Pacers Sports & Entertainment owner Herb Simon. “We will work closely with the Mad Ants staff to provide support and expertise on both the business and basketball sides and we hope to build on their enthusiastic fan base.”
The Mad Ants were previously owned by the Fort Wayne Basketball Group, LLC, which was led by majority investors John Zeglis, Julie Potter, and Jeff Potter. Jeff Potter, former president of the Mad Ants, will continue with the team as its president of business operations.
Details of the transaction were not disclosed. With the sale, the Mad Ants become the 10th D-League team to be wholly owned by an NBA franchise and now all 19 D-League teams have a single affiliation with NBA franchises.
“Owning the Mad Ants will be an integral part to the development of our young talent and we’ll have the ability to institute the same offensive and defensive systems and create a winning basketball culture across the state of Indiana,” said Bird. “We are excited to build on the team’s success in Fort Wayne while using it as a training ground for players, coaches and front office personnel.”
The Mad Ants, champions of the D League in 2014 and runners-up this past spring, will continue to play their 24 home games in Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. This will be their ninth season in the D League.