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Carmel Magazine HO15

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Page 69 of 211

SHORTCUTS NEIGHBORS 68 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • H O L I D A Y 2 0 1 5 A sell-out crowd—charged with the anticipation of history in the making—cheered on the Central Coast's hometown hoops squad to a Championship last spring. Just like their NBA counterparts who had one of the greatest seasons in the history of pro basketball, the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State's Development League affiliate, won a title of their very own. Four years ago, Golden State's decision to move the minor league fran- chise from North Dakota to the Central Coast was met with local appre- hension. With the support of Golden State ownership, Santa Cruz Warriors' President Jim Weyermann was able to traverse the political landscape and combat the sentiment that sports wouldn't be a good fit in the seaside town. Despite the skepticism, Weyermann was convinced that the tight-knit community of Santa Cruz would be the perfect host to a professional sports team. He was right. Santa Cruz's Kaiser Permanente Arena mirrors the Oracle spectacle on game nights, with a packed house night after night. Equally as important, the Warriors outreach program includes sup- porting a host of nonprofits, making allies of those with no particular inter- est in basketball. In three seasons, the Warriors have participated in over 400 community events. Through a partnership with the Santa Cruz City School District, the Warriors' innovative educational endeavors such as "Read to Achieve" and "Math Warriors," reach over 4,000 students. Their philanthropic arm has even expanded into Monterey County through programs like the "Hoops for Troops" partnership with the Presidio of Monterey, among others. "The love affair between this city and the team propelled this franchise into setting new standards for minor league basketball across the coun- try," says President Weyermann. The unbridled community support fosters a winning combination in Surf City. With a NBA D-League Championship in the books and basket- ball season on the horizon, you can count on a packed house in Santa Cruz as they tip off their fourth season this month. The 2015-16 season begins Friday, November 13th at Kaiser Per- manente Arena in Santa Cruz. Please visit for more information. NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner (left) hands Santa Cruz Warriors head coach Casey Hill the 2015 NBA D-League Championship trophy. Kiwi Gardner (right) and Ognjen Kuzmic (left) joined teammates to beat the Fort Wayne Mad Ants last April. The Warrior s' Significant Commitment to the Central Coast

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