'Mr. Mad Ant' Ron Howard
The one name that has become most synonymous with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants is Ron Howard. A member of the inaugural Mad Ants team, who was discovered through open tryouts, Howard helped bring the Mad Ants their only, to date, title in 2014, became a league MVP and left the NBA Developmental League (now G League) as the all-time leading scorer in league history.
On March 3, 2017, Howard had his No. 19 jersey retired by the Mad Ants at halftime of the team's 106–94 win over the Westchester Knicks at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. He became the first player in league history to have their number retired.
Howard's journey with the Mad Ants officially tipped off on November 1, 2007 when he was selected by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the 7th round of the 2007 NBA D-League draft.
On April 16, 2013, he received the 2013 NBA D-League Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award.
On March 29, 2014, in a game against the Springfield Armor, Howard broke the NBA D-League career scoring record, surpassing the previous mark by Renaldo Major (4,252 points). Howard finished the game with 20 points, bringing the new record to 4,261.
On April 18, 2014, he received the 2014 NBA D-League Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award. Six days later, Howard and Othyus Jeffers were named the co-MVPs of the NBA D-League for the 2013–14 season. On April 26, the Mad Ants claimed their first D-League championship as they defeated the Santa Cruz Warriors 2–0.
Throughout his time with the Mad Ants, Howard flirted with the NBA multiple times. In September 2008, he was signed by the Milwaukee Bucks but later waived. In July of 2009, he played in NBA Summer League with the New York Knicks and signed with them on September 24 before being waived in October of that year. In July of 2010, he rejoined the Knicks for NBA Summer League.
On December 10, 2011, he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks as the NBA lockout was ending. However, he was later waived by the Bucks on December 19, 2011. He then returned to the Mad Ants.
In July 2013, Howard joined the Indiana Pacers for the Orlando Summer League (did not play for them) and the NBA D-League Select Team for the Las Vegas Summer League. On September 10, 2013, he signed with the Pacers but was later waived on October 17, 2013.
In July 2014, Howard re-joined the NBA D-League Select Team for the 2014 NBA Summer League. It was the last appearance for Howard as a NBA D-League player.
Through his professional career, though so much of it was spent in Fort Wayne, Howard also played in Mexico, Venezuela, Israel, Austrailia, Puerto Rico, Korea and France. He finished his career with the Seoul Samsung Thunders in the Republic of Korea in 2019.
Howard later rejoined the Mad Ants as the Community Development Manager and as the primary color commentator during Fort Wayne Mad Ants broadcasts.
In addition to his Sportsmanship and MVP awards, Howard was All-League First Team (2014), All-League Honorable Mention (2013), All-Showcase Third Team (2013 & 2014) and a league All-Star game participant in 2010, 2013 and 2014.
Howard owns multiple franchise records, led by games played (247) and total points scored (4,324). Howard also is the all-time steals leader (331) and has taken (3,182) and made (1,532) the most shots in franchise history. Howard has also taken (1,483) and made (1,193) the most free throws as a Mad Ant.