September 25, 2019 – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, presented by Lutheran Health Network, the NBA G League affiliate of the Indiana Pacers, announced today the finalized additions to the basketball operations and front office staff.
Scott Simpson joined the Mad Ants as assistant coach after spending the 2018-19 season as assistant coach with the Long Island Nets. Prior to Long Island, he spent four seasons (2014-18) as an advance scout for the New York Knicks. He previously spent five seasons (2009-14) with the Oklahoma City Thunder, first as a video coordinator and then as the team’s opposition scout. Simpson spent two seasons (2007-09) with the Houston Rockets as a basketball operations assistant. He also worked as an advance scout for USA Basketball’s Men’s National Team from 2013-16. Prior to working in the NBA, the Zionsville, Ind. native and Arizona State alumnus served as an assistant coach at California State University, Stanislaus (2006-07) and DePauw University (2004-06).
Nick Griffin will serve as the video coordinator after previously serving in the same role with the Indiana Fever this summer. Griffin spent the 2018-19 season with the Los Angeles Lakers as a coaching associate. While with the Lakers, his main responsibilities included breaking down film on upcoming opponents and assisting the advance scouting group. He graduated from UCLA in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and was also a student manager for the men’s basketball team.
Before joining the Mad Ants as the head athletic trainer & physical therapist, Dr. Ayami Sato’s most recent work experience includes eight years as the head licensed athletic trainer for the University of Toledo Medical Center: St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Sato was also the curriculum student physical therapist for the Oklahoma City Blue providing evaluations, daily treatments and rehab for players. She interned with the Detroit Shock and the Toshiba Brave Thunders in Japan’s Men’s Basketball League. She attended the University of Dayton, where she received her Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Brandon Pentheny comes to Fort Wayne following a strength and performance intern position with the Indiana Pacers. While completing his masters from Georgetown University, he was a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Arizona, working with men’s basketball, baseball and softball. Pentheny earned his Bachelors from the University of Oregon in human physiology.
Mike Stump and Deleon Hines joined Fort Wayne as basketball operations interns. Stump, an Indianapolis native, spent the last two years coaching boys basketball at Broad Ripple High School and Cathedral High School. While at Cathedral, Stump was in charge of player development. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2017 and was as a student manager for the men’s basketball team.
Hines arrived in Fort Wayne after a stint as assistant coach/director of player development at Strength N Motion International. He was the video coordinator at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley from 2016-18, and also a basketball operations assistant with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in 2015-16. Hines, a Houston native, was a two-year captain and a two-time Heartland Conference Champion at Incarnate Word in San Antonio. He graduated from Incarnate Word with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2011.
Steve Gansey and Norm Richardson return as head coach and assistant coach respectively for the 2019-20 season.
Chris Taylor earned a promotion to assistant general manager this month after working as the director of basketball operations the last two seasons.
Dan Rosselli also returns for his third year as athletic trainer.
The Mad Ants also announced the following new titles and new business operations staff members: Matt Gassen (business development manager), Donny Green (account executive), Allie Lane (senior business development manager), Jim Shovlin (business development manager), Cam Smolinske (game operations/multimedia manager) and Jen Verschure (partnership activation coordinator)
Fans wishing to purchase season tickets or mini plans ahead of the 2019-20 season may call the ticket office at 260-469-4667 for more information.
About the Fort Wayne Mad Ants
The Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the NBA G League affiliate of the Indiana Pacers, are owned and operated by Pacers Sports & Entertainment. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit ftwaynemadants.com or call 260-469-HOOP. Follow the Mad Ants on Twitter (@TheMadAnts), Facebook (/themadants) or Instagram (@fortwaynemadants).
About the NBA G League
The NBA’s official minor league, the NBA G League prepares players, coaches, officials, trainers and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 28 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2019-20 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. Fifty-two percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2018-19 season boasted NBA G League experience. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA Cares programs.