September 20, 2011 - NBA Development League (D-League) - Fort Wayne Mad Ants
Fort Wayne, IN, (September 20, 2011) - The Fort Wayne Mad Ants announced today that Ron Howard, Chris Hunter, and Walker Russell Jr. have all signed contracts with the Mad Ants and the NBA Development League for the 2011-12 season.
The signing of these three former NBA D-League All-Stars gives the Mad Ants a tremendous head start in forming the 2011-12 training camp roster. "We could not be more pleased to be bringing these exceptional talents and exceptional people back to Fort Wayne," said Mad Ants President Jeff Potter. "To begin our roster with three of the best players to ever wear a Mad Ants uniform gives us a great start on the season, and I look forward to building this team around this tremendous core."
Howard, nicknamed "Mr. Mad Ant", is a Fort Wayne fan favorite, having been with the Ants since their inaugural season. He has played in 132 games and has scored over 2,100 career points in an Ants uniform. He averaged 20.6 points per game and was named to the NBA D-League All-Star team during the 2009-2010 season. Howard played the majority of the 2010-11 in Australia before joining the Mad Ants for the last 8 games of the season.
Hunter has received multiple Gatorade Call Ups to the NBA and is regarded one of the finest big men in the D-League. Hunter joined the Mad Ants in the 2008-09 season where he averaged 19.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game and was named to the 2008-09 D-League All-Star team. At the conclusion of the 2008-09 season, Hunter received an NBA Gatorade Call-Up to the New York Knicks. He received a second NBA Call-Up at the beginning of the 2009-10 season with the Golden State Warriors, where he signed for the entire season and played in 60 games. He was sidelined last season with a torn Achilles tendon after playing in just seven games for the Mad Ants, but was dominant in his limited run with 14 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in just 20 minutes per game.
Russell Jr., a two time NBA D-League All-Star, will be entering his third season with the Mad Ants. Russell Jr. started his career with the Mad Ants in 2007 when he was drafted by the Ants in the Expansion Draft. He spent half a season with the team before pursuing a career overseas. He returned to the team for the 2008-09 season where he broke an NBA D-League record for assists in a season with 502. He averaged 16.1 points and 10.1 assists per game and was named to the All-Star team. He spent the entire 2009-10 season playing overseas and returned again to the team for the 2010-11 season, when he was again named to the D-League All-Star team after averaging 17.7 points and 7.9 assists per game.
Howard, Hunter, and Russell Jr. will highlight the Mad Ants 17 man training camp roster. The Mad Ants are holding open tryouts on October 22nd and 23rd to help fill vacant training camp spots. Information on open tryouts is available on www.fortwaynehoops.com.
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