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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, February 01, 2018 3:00 pm

New faces join Mad Ants for Thursday game

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

The big news prior to today's game involves fresh blood joining the Mad Ants' roster for the contest. Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III has been assigned to Fort Wayne starting with the game against the Wisconsin Herd. The assignment is part of his continuing recovery from left ankle surgery.

Thursday's game will be Robinson's first of the season. Indiana fans will remember him as the 2017 winner of the NBA's Slam Dunk contest, a victory he earned after jumping over Paul George, a mascot and a cheerleader simultaneously for a reverse dunk in the finals. 

Robinson, a 2014 second-round pick out of Michigan, played more than 20 minutes per game last year for the Pacers, averaging 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting close to 47 percent from the field. He's played one game with the Mad Ants in the past, putting up 11 points and 11 rebounds in a game against Sioux Falls during the 2015-16 season.

The Mad Ants will also see the return Thursday of rookie center Ike Anigbogu from the Pacers. The second-round pick out of UCLA has spent most of the season with Indiana, receiving sparse playing time. He's played 10 previous games with the Mad Ants this year, averaging 5.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and close to two blocks per game. 

Meanwhile, former Hoosiers guard James Blackmon Jr., who played in Fort Wayne earlier this year with the Delaware 87ers, will be playing in his second game with his new team. In his first game, against Raptors 905, he scored five points and added a steal in 18 minutes. The guard averaged 17 points per game as a Hoosier last year.

The 11 am start for today's game is unique this season, part of the promotion for the School Day Out game. Each student in attendance (and there will be a lot, the game is sold out) receives a workbook as a souvenir.