A former Fort Wayne Mad Ants head coach himself, Steve Gansey is looking forward to working with newly hired head coach Conner Henry. Henry was recently appointed the position after Duane Ticknor left to join NBA D-League coaching alum Dave Joerger in Memphis.
Henry has NBA D-League coaching experience, the 13-year coaching veteran was a member of the Los Angeles D-Fenders staff for the past two seasons. Henry’s knowledge of the NBADL, combined with Gansey’s time, will likely go a long way in ensuring another successful season for the Mad Ants.
DleagueDigest.com spoke with Gansey about the opportunity to work alongside Henry in Fort Wayne, and also about his own goals for the upcoming season. For Gansey, Henry was a familiar name, and courtesy of a road trip to Chicago recently, the two had a chance to get to know one another even better.
“We drove to Chicago last week for our coaches meetings, and that was the first time we got to really talk basketball and get to know each other. I have heard great things about him from other people around the league, and I look forward to working with him, and learning his philosophies on coaching.” Gansey said.
Gansey and Henry will look to build off of the momentum from last season, Fort Wayne made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history after finishing 27-23 in the regular season. As Reggie Hayes of the News-Sentinel reported, winning is what prompted Mad Ants president Jeff Potter to hire Henry. Gansey discussed what he thinks will be necessary in order for Fort Wayne to reach the postseason again. “First, we want to get off to a good start. We haven’t started well in previous seasons and that is a big focal point for us this year.”
Gansey, (brother of Cleveland Cavaliers Director of Development League Operations and Cavaliers Basketball Operations Assistant Mike Gansey) will continue to gain valuable coaching experience this upcoming season in the NBADL. His forthcoming year alongside Henry, will add to his previous coaching experiences with Joey Meyer and the aforementioned Duane Ticknor.
“Conner has been around some great coaches, and has seen a lot in his years of coaching and playing. I have been fortunate enough to learn from great coaches in Coach Meyer and Coach Ticknor. I also have my own styles that I like to incorporate. We come from different backgrounds, but have a lot in common in what we expect from players, our philosophies and strategies, and what our goals are moving forward.” Gansey added.
With an open tryout scheduled this weekend, the 2013-2014 NBADL season is approaching fast. Entering yet another season, Gansey has set himself a personal goal for the upcoming year. “On a personal note, I’d love to have the opportunity to coach at the all-star game and be around all-star weekend. I was a spectator in Orlando a couple years ago, and being able to coach in the all-star game would be a great experience and honor.”
Gansey, along with head coach Conner Henry, will kick off their 2013-2014 campaign November 22, on the road against the Texas Legends.