Photos from Fort Wayne - Part Three reports from the Mad Ants' home opener

Because dance teams are as much a part of today’s NBA (and D-League) as t-shirt slingshots and thunderstix… I give you, the “Madam Ants.” I again commend Fort Wayne for its team-naming ingenuity. That’s pretty crafty. For the record, I don’t think this was a choreographed piece, so don’t judge’em before you see’em. It’s early in the season for them, too.

Here’s the view from the Coliseum’s 600 Level. Next stop: Roof.

Game update: Mad Ants guard Rod Wilmont hits back-to-back 3s to cut the Tulsa 66ers’ lead to 25-23 and force a Tulsa timeout with 2:10 left in the first quarter. The Mad Ants received a standing ovation - but that might have been for Wilmont, an Indiana University product. It’s a very pro-IU crowd, based on the number of crimson sweatshirts, hats and shirts being worn. (You can see some of them in the 600 level). Wilmont and his former IU teammate, Earl Calloway, may not be the Mad Ants’ best players (neither started) but they are, at this moment, the biggest attractions.

Tad Frank brought his sons, C.J., 6, and Sam, 5, to the first Mad Ants game and was pleasantly surprised by the crowd of nearly 10,000 fans. Frank, who works for Indiana’s NewsCenter in Fort Wayne, remembers when the CBA’s Fort Wayne Fury folded in 2001, leaving a bitter taste in fans’ mouths. Far from soured on the experience, basketball fans came back in droves for the city’s first pro game in six years. “It will only get better from here,” Frank said.

The halftime show was hilarious…

… but you don’t have to take my word for it.

The Mad Ants lost, 88-80, despite 23 points from Wilmont. Fortunately, with crowds like this, the Mad Ants will be back to play for many days to come.