The Santa Cruz Warriors were recognized as the 2021-22 NBA G League Franchise of the Year. The announcement was made at the league’s sales and marketing meetings earlier this week in Atlanta, Georgia. This marks the second consecutive year the Santa Cruz Warriors have won the league’s most prestigious award and third time overall dating back to 2017-18, the inaugural year of the award.
“The Warriors are honored to accept this recognition for the second straight season,” said Santa Cruz Warriors President Chris Murphy. “This was a challenging season navigating through changing health and safety protocols and postponed games, and we are so thankful for the support from the entire Santa Cruz community. This recognition is one we are honored to share with the entire Santa Cruz community – it is their honor as much as ours.”
The Santa Cruz Warriors set a new league record in partnership revenue and maximized their partnerships through social media, community programs and in-arena elements. The Warriors also reached a league record 110 straight sellout games during the 2021-22 season at Kaiser Permanente Arena, home of the Santa Cruz Warriors.
In the community, the Warriors hosted over 200 events throughout the season. The Warriors community programs were highlighted by their Black History Month and Women’s Empowerment Month celebrations. In partnership with Chase, Santa Cruz hosted four Black History Month activations and six Women’s Empowerment Month activations totaling over 3,600 participants and over 212,000 impressions across social media.
On the court, the Santa Cruz Warriors finished the season as the Western Conference sixth seed. The team finished the regular season on a five-game win streak to secure a spot in the playoffs. The Warriors had two players earn NBA G League Gatorade call-ups (Jordan Bell – Chicago Bulls, Quinndary Weatherspoon – Golden State Warriors). Weatherspoon eventually earned a two-way contract with the Warriors as well.
A selection committee comprised of league executives determined the winner of the Franchise of the Year award. The NBA G League’s teams were evaluated based on the NBA G League’s three core pillars: Compete with Intensity, Lead with Integrity and Inspire Play.