All-time Mad Ants point guard great Walker Russell Jr. earned his NBA Call-Up over four years after his first game with Fort Wayne.
Russell Jr. started the 2011–12 season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and then signed with the Detroit Pistons on December 12, 2011 following the conclusion of the NBA lockout. He was later waived by the Pistons on December 21 and returned to Fort Wayne. Then, on January 20, Russell re-signed with the Pistons for the rest of the season.
He appeared in 28 total games with Detroit that season, averaging 12.8 minutes per game. He averaged 3 points and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 34.7 percent from the field.