The Santa Cruz Warriors have been named the 2020-21 NBA G League Franchise of the Year, it was announced at the league’s sales and marketing meetings on Tuesday.
This is the second time that Santa Cruz has won the league’s most prestigious award. The Warriors also won in 2017-18, the year the award was created.
âThe entire Santa Cruz Warriors team and I are honored to receive this recognition from the league,â said Chris Murphy, president of the Santa Cruz Warriors. âThis year has challenged us more than ever, but as a whole group we have fought through adversity, and it has shown in the community and on the pitch. This recognition is not only for us internally, but for the entire community of Santa Cruz. ”
A selection committee made up of league officials determined the winner of the Franchise of the Year award. NBA G League teams were evaluated based on the three pillars of the NBA G League: Compete with Intensity, Lead with Integrity, and Inspire the Game.
Santa Cruz, a Golden State Warriors G League affiliate, has defined persistence on and off the pitch in 2020-21. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Santa Cruz has been committed to the community and has excelled in the field. The Warriors year is marked by successes in corporate partnerships, TV shows and social media engagements over the single site.
In the community, the Warriors have hosted over 130 events in person and virtually. At the start of Black History Month, more than 3,200 students from Santa Cruz and the Bay Area participated in an anti-racism webinar that included NBA veteran Shaun Livingston and WNBA player Natasha Cloud. Through a partnership with Kaiser Permanente, the Warriors have engaged with more than 3,400 students in their Read to Achieve, Math Warriors and Get Fit programs. The Kaiser Permanente Arena, home of the Santa Cruz Warriors, has also hosted a recovery resource center for fire victims, has become a polling center for the general election and a vaccination center for COVID-vaccinations. 19.
The Warriors also unveiled the Swishes for Dishes initiative, a new program during the 2020-21 season to address food insecurity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through this program, the Warriors were able to donate 50,280 meals to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Santa Cruz County. The program received over 488,000 impressions on social media on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and was also recently recognized with one of the league’s social responsibility awards.
On the court, the Warriors competed in the single-venue season in Orlando. After suffering a 0-2 start, the Warriors rebounded and found a 9-0 run midway through the season to end the regular season in second with an 11-4 record. The Warriors have reached the semi-finals, losing to future champion Lakeland Magic. Two-way Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson signed a multi-year NBA contract with the Golden State and forward Axel Toupane secured a two-way contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, the 2020-21 NBA champions.
G League Franchise of the Year
2021: Warriors of Santa Cruz
2020: Raptors 905
2019: Legends of Texas
*2018: Warriors of Santa Cruz
* Creation of the prize