Less than a year after their debut, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants are about to hit prime time.
The name and logo of the NBA D-League team will be part of The CW’s “One Tree Hill,” which airs at 9 p.m. Mondays.
Nathan Scott, played by actor James Lafferty, 23, will chase his hoop dreams on the Memorial Coliseum floor – even though no filming was actually done in the Fort.
After scriptwriters decided to have Nathan Scott pursue a basketball career, he needed a team.
Show producers asked the NBA for assistance in finding a D-League franchise they could use. And the NBA steered them toward the Mad Ants, who played their first game in Fort Wayne on Nov. 23.
“They knew that they wanted to work with the D-League, so (producers) asked around the D-League offices what teams would be good to work with,” said Jeff Johnson, the Mad Ants’ vice president of sales and marketing. “The D-League office thought we’d be good.”
“It also indicates how, for a lack of a better word, how cool our logo and our name is; that of all the teams they could have used – they could have made up their own – they came to Fort Wayne and wanted to use the Mad Ants,” said president and general manager Jeff Potter.
Lafferty, who was most valuable player of his Hemet (Calif.) High School team, already has experience in playing hoops Hoosier-style. He portrayed Steve Alford in ESPN’s movie “A Season on the Brink” in 2002.
“One Tree Hill” airs on Comcast Channel 19; DirecTV Channel 385; Dish Network Channels 234 or 251; and Verizon Channel 6.