Ben Bentil Returns to Fort Wayne Mad Ants After Stint in China

After playing one game with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants then playing in China, the Providence product returns to the NBA Development League.

Ben Bentil returned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Monday.

Bentil scored 27 points in the Mad Ants’ season opener. He then signed an injury replacement contract with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. Bentil averaged 13.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in the 11 games he played for the Flying Tigers.

His first game will be tomorrow when the Mad Ants play the Windy City Bulls in the NBA Development League Showcase in Mississauga, Ontario. The five-day event will feature all the D-League teams. General managers and player personnel executives from all 30 NBA teams will be at the showcase. In its 12-year history, 50 players have received call-ups to the NBA during or following the showcase.

Bentil will come off the bench in the game, according to Mad Ants’ head coach Steve Gansey, and will work his way back into the rotation. Gansey also expressed delight that Bentil has returned to the team.

From Justin A. Cohn of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:

He brings great energy on the defensive end and should help us in the defensive rebound category, in which we have had struggles this year. … Ben can flat-out score the basketball and brings a toughness to him and a swagger. I’m really excited to have him back in the Mad Ants’ uniform.

Pacers point guard Joe Young and Pacers power forward Rakeem Christmas will join Bentil on the roster for the showcase. The Pacers assigned both players to the Mad Ants on Tuesday. While this is Young’s first assignment to the Mad Ants in 2017, Christmas has played five games for the Mad Ants this season. Christmas has averaged 13.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in those five games.

In addition to Bentil, Christmas should provide rebounding help during the showcase. Bentil’s 9 rebounds he averaged in the one game he played for the Mad Ants is the leading team average. Christmas’ 6.8 rebounds place him fourth among Mad Ants players.

Mad Ants fans will be able to see their team in action against the Bulls on ESPNU. The game starts at 12:30 p.m. The Mad Ants then take on the Maine Red Claws at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in their final game in the showcase. Fans can catch that game on NBATV.

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