The Santa Cruz Warriors Are Back
They won both of their pre-season games and are made a dent at their home opener at Kaiser Permanente Arena
The Santa Cruz Warriors won their first outing last week—beating visiting Austin Toros 121-102. This year’s squad brings back a few key veterans (Guard Cameron Jones, guard Daniel Nwaelele, forward Taylor Griffin, and guard Maurice Baker) while welcoming in a collection of new talent as well. Their new additions are headlined by Seth Curry, brother of Golden State Warrior’s star point guard Stephen Curry and son of former NBA player Dell Curry. He was brilliant in his first game for the Warriors, scoring a team-high 28 points and knocking down four three-pointers. After playing shooting guard at Duke, he is making the transition to being the primary ball handler here in Santa Cruz.
“I felt real comfortable out there, I made some good decisions with the ball,” he said after the win, praising the whole team for their effort. “Going in to the first game, you never know how it’s going to be, but I was surprised. Everybody was moving the ball, everyone was involved. We had guys come off the bench and give us some good minutes.”
For first-year coach Casey Hill, the team’s first victory was an encouraging sign and a huge relief. “It’s unbelievable. I didn’t know how I was going to feel today. I was a little nervous, but once the game started, all those nerves went away. It’s such a special place to play basketball, and the guys are starting to see that.”
Returning guard and captain Cam Jones is taking on an increased leadership role this year, and he claims that won’t be a problem.
“It’s in my personality. Whatever the team needs, I’ll be willing to do that as a captain,” he said. When the Warriors needed a bucket, it seemed like it was always Jones who fought his way to the basket to try to get some easy points. He’s thrilled to be playing basketball in Santa Cruz again.
“As soon as the crowd got into it and we started hitting those threes, it felt like last year, so it was a lot of fun,” he said after the first game, laughing. His next effort? A team-high 28 points in another victory.
For tickets and other information, visit http/www.nba.com/dleague/santacruz/individual_tickets.html.