WHO ARE: Fort Wayne Champs TBT 2017

 

Quick Hits  

Bid: Popularity

Notable Players: Trey McKinney-Jones, Adam Woodbury, Travis Leslie

Number of Active Pros: 9

TBT History: Midwest champion in 2015. Upset in the first round last year.

Nutshell: Return five players from their 2014 D-League Championship winning Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Iowa's Adam Woodbury, Indianapolis's Jordan Loyd, Georgia's Travis Leslie and Miami's Threy McKinney-Jones make up the roster's current Mad Ants members.

Background

It’s been an up-and-down two years for the Fort Wayne Champs (formerly known as the Ants Alumni). Just months after winning the G-League title, the team nearly took home $1 million in TBT 2015, making it all the way to the semifinals at Fordham University. Last summer the group of Fort Wayne Mad Ants greats fell to the 15th-seeded Canton Bulldogs in the first round. So ,which Fort Wayne Champs team are we going to get in TBT 2017? Based on some of the new additions to the roster and a fresh outlook on what it takes to win in TBT, don’t be surprised to see a close resemblance to the 2015 team.

The Champs return five guys who played on that 2015 team. Guards Anthony Harris, Ron Howard and Trey McKinney Jones have all proven to be more than capable of running the offense. And in the frontcourt, William Frisby and Sadiel Rojas are both versatile forwards who can score in a variety of fashions.

In an effort to bring a bit of a new identity to the team, GM Garrett Martz has also brought in a core of guys who have more recently plied their trade with the Mad Ants. Whether it be 2012 Big West Freshman of the Year Stephan Hicks, shifty 6-foot-4 guard Jordan Loyd or monster 7-foot-1 center Adam Woodbury, some young blood could be exactly what the Fort Wayne Champs need. And how could we forget about Travis Leslie? The 47th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft is a Baltic League MVP, Baltic League Finals MVP, two-time Lithuanian League All-Star, two-time Lithuanian League Slam Dunk Contest Champion, 2014 Lithuanian League leading scorer and 2015 Lithuanian League All-Star Game MVP. How’s that for a resume?

There’s no denying the Fort Wayne Champs have the talent to win TBT 2017. If they can play a consistent 36 minutes of basketball every night, there may not be a team in the field who can beat them.

 

 

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