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Identifying the Mad Ants
Posted: Sept. 6, 2008
by Bob Wolfley
The Milwaukee Bucks have joined the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers to become a parent club of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the National Basketball Association Development League for the upcoming season.
The Bucks’ former affiliate team, the Tulsa 66ers, was bought by the new NBA franchise in Oklahoma City.
So that leaves a question.
What are Mad Ants?
This summer, the movie “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” had a memorable sequence involving mad ants. But hyper-aggressive, flesh-eating ants, as attractive as that may be for nickname and mascot purposes, are not connected to the basketball team.
Rather, as many Hoosiers can tell you, the nickname comes from Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne, who served in the U.S. Army during the American Revolutionary War. He’s the namesake for the city of Fort Wayne.
A statue of the general can be found in Fort Wayne.
Fort Wayne’s pro basketball roots date to 1941, when the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons were part of the National Basketball League, which included the Oshkosh All-Stars and Sheboygan Redskins.