By Kent Bush
After a solid first season in The Basketball League, the Potawatomi Fire continue to find significant success throughout their second season.
The Fire stand atop the Central Division with a 19-3 record as of May 17. New Head Coach Mark Dannhoff and guards Deshawn Munson and Chuck Guy all took part in All-Star festivities at the beginning of April. As the team heads toward the playoffs, Coach Dannhoff said this year’s Fire control their own destiny.
“How far we will go is up to the players,” Dannhoff said. “We have a very talented team that has all the attributes and characteristics of a team that could make it to the finals and possibly pull off the championship.”
The Fire added talented players to the roster this year, including Guy and Paul Harrison.
Dannhoff said the team uses caution and diligence when bringing players on board.
“We asked them a lot of questions trying to make sure that we had the right guys on the bus,” Coach Danhoff said. “We wanted guys who were willing to sacrifice their own individual accomplishments and accolades for the betterment of the team. And, so far, everybody’s been on that page. That’s what has allowed us to have the success we’ve had to this point in the season.”
Before joining the TBL last season, Dannhoff had a successful college coaching career with stops at Texas A&M — Corpus Christi, Mercer University and Tulane University.
He said he still misses parts of the college game and its atmosphere, but he enjoys this level of basketball too.
“It’s all about basketball,” Dannhoff said. “Everything you do every day is about improving your team and improving these players individually and helping them become the professionals that they want to be.”
Dannhoff said college players all want to advance to the pro ranks, and his players also have their eyes on big goals.
“We work with them to make them the best basketball players on the court and men off the court that they can be,” he said. “They have an opportunity to refine their games and prove themselves for a high-level European league or maybe even the G-League with the NBA.”
Dannhoff, who coached the Enid Outlaws in the TBL last season, said he is excited about the season and his new team’s potential. However, this program has been a great fit on a personal level, as well.
“My wife and I talk about it every day,” he said. “We are so grateful and thankful to be a part of the Fire organization.”
Dannhoff remembers knowing the organization was top-notch because every interaction he had with the team during their six contests against the Fire last season was a first-class experience.
“From General Manager David Qualls to the facilities and the CPN administration, every aspect of this organization is top of the line,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier here.”
The regular season for the Fire wraps up May 27 and the playoffs begin in June. Learn more at potawatomifire.com.