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Mad Ants coach leaves for NBA’s Grizzlies

– Mad Ants coach Duane Ticknor has agreed to terms to become an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies, Ticknor confirmed over the phone late Tuesday.

“It wasn’t as easy as people would think,” said Ticknor, who guided Fort Wayne to a 27-23 record and its first NBA Developmental League playoff appearance. “People think just because it’s the NBA, you’re going to jump all over it, but I had a few sleepless nights thinking about it. I’m excited for the opportunity, but people in Fort Wayne – from the office down to the players, to the media, to the fans, everybody treated me so well. I’ll miss them a lot.”

Ticknor will join new an organization under new ownership – and an old friend.

Dave Joerger, a former assistant for Ticknor with the Dakota Wizards, landed the head coaching job with the Grizzlies. Ticknor was one of the first people Joerger reached out to after he was hired.

Joerger is still working to finalize the staff.

“This is an up-and-coming franchise,” Ticknor said. “I think it’s an exciting time.”

As for the Mad Ants, Ticknor said he hopes whoever fills his role will keep the team on track.

“We got the team headed in the right direction,” Ticknor said. “Hopefully they can build on what we started this past season.”

smorrison@jg.net

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