SHAWNEE, OK – In their lone exhibition game of the preseason, the Potawatomi Fire dismantled Creating Young Minds (CYM) 154-113.

The Fire showed why they are arguably the best team in The Basketball League (TBL) jumping out to an early 38-12 lead. To CYM’s credit, the Leopards kept battling and were able to cut the Fire lead to 13.

“I thought we played pretty well but we got a little too loose with the ball at times,” said head coach Mark Dannhoff. “It was the first time against a live opponent, and they gave us some trouble with things we hadn’t seen before. Overall, I was proud of the way the guys adjusted and were able to pull away.”

The Fire were led by a pair of newcomers in Jachai Simmons and Myron McGowan. Simmons, who played with the Wichita SkyKings last year, had a team high 27 points. McGowan scored 20 off the bench and knocked down three three-pointers. As a team, the Fire hit 11 of 22 threes.

“Those two guys played really well,” said Dannhoff. “That was a position we knew we wanted to shoot better from three this year and felt those guys could really help us out.”

Chuck Guy also had a big game for the Fire. He had 17 points and a team-high 16 assists. Deshawn Munson was just shy of a triple-double, finishing with 15 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds. T.J. Maston scored eight of the Fire’s first 10 points and finished with 18 points and 9 boards. Other players to finish in double-figure scoring were K.D. Moore (16), Ruston Hayward (12), and rookie Jaylen Mahone (10).

CYM’s K.T. Bouchum led all scorers with 47 points.

The 2023 TBL champs will officially get their 2024 season underway Friday night, March 1, when they host their in-state rival Enid Outlaws. Tipoff for that game is set for 7 PM inside FireLake Arena. To purchase tickets, visit You can also catch all Fire games on TBLTV.TV and KGFF Radio (100.9 FM/1450 AM).

Be sure to follow the Fire on social media (InstagramFacebookX) to stay up to date with all the latest information on the Fire.

The Potawatomi Fire are the first professional basketball team owned by a Native American tribe (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) in Oklahoma. The Fire compete in the Central Conference of The Basketball League (TBL), a men’s professional basketball league, now with 38 teams across the U.S. and Canada. Along with winning the TBL championship in 2023, the Fire organization was named the 2022 winner of the Jim Koch Award as TBL’s Best Ran Business. The dance team of the Fire, the Fire Girls, were named TBL’s 2022 Best Dance Team and Central Conference Best Dance Team in 2023.

The TBL season begins in February and runs through June, concluding with a championship playoff tournament. The players that make up the rosters of the TBL teams are former NCAA (Division I, II or III) or NAIA athletes. Many have played in the NBA’s developmental G-League and/or professionally overseas.

Story by Chris Cox • Photo by Levi Lee