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Mad Antics

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Ants hit the floor running

So much for getting acquainted.

The Mad Ants opened their training camp Monday morning with a spirited session at Concordia Theological Seminary under the leadership of first-year coach Duane Ticknor.

Fourteen of 15 players (6-foot-10 forward Tommy Smith was absent due to personal reasons) participated in a morning workout that was punctuated by lots of running.

Veterans Ron Howard, Walker Russell Jr., Sean Sonderleiter and Sadiel Rojas joined 11 other hopefuls as the Ants prepare for their sixth season in the NBA Development League.

Former Purdue standout JaJuan Johnson moved well, and Dariese Gary, a 6-1 guard from Elkhart who played at New Mexico, looked to be promising.

The other guards trying for a spot are 6-5 Darryl Partin of Boston University and 6-foot Dante Williams of East Tennessee State.

Several forwards are seeking a job: 6-8 Mike Anderson of VCU, 6-6 Bryant Austin of Indiana Tech, 6-6 Dominic Cheek of Villanova, 6-8 Lenny Daniel of Cal State Northridge and 6-7 Jason Warren of Missouri Western.

Competing at center is 6-10 Bernard Toombs of Troy.

The team will continue to practice twice daily through Thursday, then practice once Friday before leaving for an exhibition game Saturday at Canton.

The Ants will open their regular season Nov. 23 against Erie.

Also, the D-League announced that the Ants will play the two early games Jan. 9 and 10 in the D-League Showcase in Reno, Nev.

Fort Wayne will play Rio Grande Valley at 1 p.m. Jan. 9, then play Tulsa the same time on Jan. 10.

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