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December 03, 2012

Warriors Win Big in Opening Weekend

The much anticipated, Santa Cruz Warriors 2012-13 season started this weekend as the Warriors took on the Reno, Bighorns on Friday, November 30th and then again on Saturday, December 1st, 2012.  The team has seen success thus far and swept the Bighorns on their home court in Reno, NV. The Warriors are the NBA Development League affiliate of the Golden State Warriors, one of 11 NBA D-League teams. In their six seasons within the NBA D-League, previously known as the Dakota Wizards, the team has made the playoffs five times and won the 2007 NBA D-League Championship. I was able to catch-up with Coach Nate Bjorkgren beforehand to gain insight into the upcoming season, how the team is enjoying their new home in California and whether any team members have tried surfing yet. The heart of the team lies with Bjorkgren who has been coaching D-league basketball for six years, first in Iowa, North Dakota and now in Santa Cruz. When asked to describe his coaching technique and philosophy Bjorkgren said, “It’s about picking the right players, and teaching them to work together and play hard together,” and in the end that is what makes a good basketball team. There is a unique opportunity in watching a D-league basketball game where you catch a glimpse into the early years of the up and coming players, for many this is a stepping-stone to the NBA or playing oversees. We have the opportunity in Santa Cruz to watch some amazing players find their stride right in our backyard. During the tryouts, which are open to anyone, the Santa Cruz Warriors had a large turnout, players eager to craft their basketball skills. Those that turned out for the tryouts included a 76 year-old professor/researcher from the bay area to rapper Lil B. So with a team and coach all relocating to Santa Cruz, I had to ask, from the rooster has anyone tried surfing (since we our known for having a few waves,) Bjorkgren laughed and said no, however expects many to try it out once things slow down a bit. “We are excited to call Santa Cruz home. We really enjoy the people of Santa Cruz, the community is supportive of us and we anticipate a great turnout to our opening game. This is what motivates us to play harder, the fans help us along the way,” Bjorkgren says. We’ll be there Santa Cruz Warriors, anxious to cheer on our home team and watch a group of players grow and play hard, just as Coach Bjorkgren has taught you. The Warriors will play in Kaiser Permanente Arena, a temporary facility located at 140 Front Street in Santa Cruz. The pavilion is 33,000 square feet and has steel walls and a fabric roof and holds roughly 2,700 seats. Season ticket prices range from $12 to $135 per game. For more information on getting tickets, call Ticket Sales 831.713.4393, stop by their offices at 903 Pacific Avenue, or click here. For the Warriors full schedule click here.



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