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Indiana Mad Ants announce new annual award named in honor of former star player

Logo for the Indiana Mad Ants. (Provided Photo/Indiana Mad Ants via Facebook)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Mad Ants announced a new annual award this week that is named in honor of one of the franchise’s former players.

The “Ron Howard – Mr. Mad Ant Award” will be a new annual honor that is given to an active player at the end of the regular season. The player will be selected by the Mad Ants coaching and front office staff, according to a press release.

The “Ron Howard – Mr. Mad Ant Award” is named in honor of Ron Howard, a former player and current broadcaster. Howard played for the Mad Ants from 2007 to 2014. He helped lead the team to the D-League title during the 2013-14 season.

His No. 19 uniform was retired by the franchise, and that No. 19 hangs from the rafters in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. He is the only Mad Ant to have his number retired.

“Ron embodied the grit and grind nature of the NBA G League (formerly National Basketball Development League,) and this is a fitting tribute to Ron’s legacy while celebrating a current player for their dedication, professionalism, and commitment to our franchise,” said Mad Ants General Manager Chris Taylor.

The player who will win the award each year will “be selected based upon his ability to best exemplify Embracing the Grind and the meaning of what it means to be a Mad Ant.”

The winner of this year’s “Ron Howard – Mr. Mad Ant Award” will be announced prior to tip-off of the team’s game Monday against the Delaware Blue Coats. The game is set to take place at 12:30 p.m. EDT inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The game will be the final home game of the regular season for Indiana.

The Mad Ants are currently 17-11 this season, third place in the NBA G-League Eastern Conference standings. They won their last game on Tuesday, beating the College Park Skyhawks 102-99.