Mad Ants Select Larry Turner in First Round of 2007 NBA D-League Draft
(Fort Wayne, IN, Nov. 7, 2007) – Larry Turner, a 6’11” power forward out of Tennessee State, was the first player chosen by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the 2007 NBA D-League draft on November 1, 2007. As Mad Ants Head Coach Kent Davison, Assistant Coach Jaren Jackson, and President and General Manager Jeff Potter conferred about their first-ever draft pick, hundreds of Fort Wayne basketball fans gathered with them at Crazy Pinz to watch the opening segment of the 2007 NBA D-League Draft live on NBA TV. When the basketball staff left their hideaway and entered the packed restaurant, the crowd watched with anticipation as history began to unfold right in front of their eyes.
Names began to appear on the whiteboards at the front of the room, and team supporters started to see the Mad Ants’ training camp roster fill slowly with names, one for each of the ten rounds in the draft. Turner was the team’s first pick, having averaged 5.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in 22.3 minutes a game with the Tigers, and who most recently played for the Los Angeles Lakers in their veteran training camp.
“To go into the draft and have one person designated as your first pick, and then to be able to get him, makes it really exciting for us. We had needs to fill, and he was one that we really felt would fit our team. He’s a great rebounder, he runs the floor, and he defends the basket. He’ll bring a lot of energy and excitement for our fans,” said Coach Davison.
The Mad Ants next chose Lukasz Obrzut, a Polish player who went to the University of Kentucky, and who was a final cut in the Indiana Pacers veteran training camp. Obrzut, who is 7’1,” will also help establish a major presence in the paint for the Mad Ants.
Rounding out the ten picks for Fort Wayne were Cory Minnifield, a forward from Loyola; Shagari Alleyne, another former center for the Kentucky Wildcats; Julius Ashby, a 6’9” forward who played last season in Japan; Frank Richards, a guard from Kansas State who spent last year in Germany; Ron Howard, a forward from Valparaiso who received some of the biggest cheers of the night when his name was announced; Nate Gerwig a forward/center who spent time developing his skills in Finland after playing for Kent State; Anthony Kyle, who played guard for Miles College and has experience in the IBL; and, finally, Casey Love, a forward who played at Robert Morris.
The players will arrive in the Summit City later this week and start training camp on November 11th. These draft picks will go head-to-head with the seven players who will come to the team through allocations from the D-League, local tryouts, and the September expansion draft. Also entering the picture will be players sent from the Mad Ants’ NBA parent affiliate teams, the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons.
Aspiring professional players will also note that six players who appeared at the local tryouts will be present at the training camp, showing the immense opportunity that the D-League open tryouts present. The final Mad Ants roster will be narrowed to just ten players before the season opener on November 23, when the team will take on the Tulsa 66ers at 7:30pm at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.
Mad Ants season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (260) 469-4667. Discounts and benefits are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information, visit www.fortwaynehoops.com