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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 9:50 pm

Mad Ants' 1st player: Ben Moore

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

The Mad Ants have their first player of the season: rookie forward Ben Moore.

The NBA’s Indiana Pacers, who own and operate the Mad Ants of the developmental Gatorade League, announced Tuesday the signings of Moore and 37-year-old Damien Wilkins, a longtime rival of the Mad Ants.

The Pacers will make the 6-foot-8 Moore an affiliate player and send him to Fort Wayne. He played five Summer League games with the Pacers and averaged 3.8 points and 3 rebounds.

Moore, 22, wasn’t selected in this year’s NBA draft after a four-year career at SMU. As a senior, he averaged 11.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks. He was second team all-conference in the American Athletic Conference and he made the AAC’s All-Tournament Team.

Wilkins, 6-6, last played in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012-13, averaging 6.4 points and 1.7 rebounds in 61 games. Since then, he’s played in China, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and in the G-League. He has also played in the NBA with Detroit, Atlanta, Minnesota and Oklahoma City/Seattle.

The Pacers aren’t allowed to assign Wilkins to Fort Wayne as an affiliate player because of his years of service and because his G-League rights are held by Greensboro, for which he played 48 games last season and averaged 14.8 points per game.

The NBA also announced the G-League Showcase, a four-day, 26-game event in which all league teams participate in front of scouts, will be held in Mississauga, Ontario for the second straight year.

Each G-League team, including the Mad Ants, will play two regular-season games at the Showcase. Games will be at the Hershey Centre and the adjoining SportZone complex.

The NBA boasts that more than 50 players who have been called up to the NBA during or immediately following Showcases, including the Dallas Mavericks’ Yogi Ferrell, the former Indiana University player, who last season averaged 22 points, 7.5 assists and 3 rebounds at the Showcase and then went on to NBA All-Rookie second team honors.