The Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ season will get underway exactly two weeks from today on the road against the Brooklyn Nets official G League affiliates, the Long Island Nets. To add to your excitement for the upcoming season, the NBA G League held their draft earlier today.
With guys returning to the team like Alex Pothress and Jarrod Uthoff, the Mad Ants were in dire need of a playmaking point guard. They may have found just that with the point guard from the University of Nebraska-Omaha with Tra-Deon Hollins. Hollins will provide an all-around game that translates to the professional level. Having a floor general that can efficiently play both sides of the floor is a rarity. There’s guys in the NBA right now that can’t provide that. Last season for the Omaha Mavericks, Hollins averaged 13.4 points, 6.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and a nation leading 3.38 steals per game.
I was able to catch up with Mad Ants coach Steve Gansey and ask him about the first-round draft selection with Hollins:
“I’m really excited about the pick. He’s somebody we had high on our priority list for the point guard spot. He’s a defensive guy who’s really good in the open court offensively. The fact that he can really push the ball in the open floor, he’s got some good size at 6’2, I’m really excited about him.”
Some Fort Wayne fans may be a little familiar with the guard, due to the fact he spent the past 2 seasons playing against the Fort Wayne Mastodons in Summit League conference match-ups.
With the 47th selection in the NBA G League Draft, the Mad Ants selected 6’8 forward Steve Weingarten. He spent his college years at LaSalle University from 2008-2011. Weingarten also spent some time with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ G League affiliate Canton Charge when current Mad Ants coach Gansey was there, so a familiar face nonetheless.
To wrap up the draft, the Mad Ants selected shooting guard JD Tisdale Jr. from Rogers State University. Tisdale Jr. had spent his previous three years of college at Bowling Green State University before obviously transferring to Rogers State. Last season, he averaged 15.45 points per game, while shooting nearly 37% from three-point range. He’ll bring a reliable jump shot along with himself to Fort Wayne this season.
Training camp begins Monday, so it’ll be exciting to see where the new draftees find themselves as they fight to work themselves into this impressive rotation for the Mad Ants’ upcoming season.