Santa Cruz Warriors

The Santa Cruz Warriors are an American professional basketball team in the NBA G League, based in Santa Cruz, California. The team's one-to-one NBA affiliate is the Golden State Warriors, and they play their home games at the Kaiser Permanente Arena. Prior to the move to Santa Cruz for the 2012–13 season, the team was known as the Dakota Wizards. In 2014–15, the Warriors won their first D-League championship since 2007.

Santa Cruz Warriors
LeagueNBA G League
HistoryDakota Wizards
IBA: 1995–2001
CBA: 2001–2006
NBA G League: 2006–2012
Santa Cruz Warriors
ArenaKaiser Permanente Arena
LocationSanta Cruz, California
Team colorsRoyal blue, California golden yellow, white[1][2]
General managerRyan Atkinson[3]
Head coachKris Weems[4]
OwnershipGolden State Warriors
Affiliation(s)Golden State Warriors
ChampionshipsIBA: 1 (2001)
CBA: 2 (2002, 2004)
D-League/G League: 2 (2007, 2015)
Conference titlesCBA: 3 (2002, 2003, 2005)
D-League/G League: 1 (2015)
Division titlesIBA: 2 (2000, 2001)
D-League/G League: 4 (2007, 2008, 2015, 2019)


Dakota Wizards

The Warriors began play in 1995 in the International Basketball Association (IBA), and in 2001, with Dave Joerger at the helm, they won the IBA championship in the league's final year of operation.[5]

Following the 2000–01 season, the IBA merged with several teams from the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), and in their first year in the new CBA, Joerger and the Wizards won the league title, defeating the Rockford Lightning. After making it to the semifinals in the 2002–03 season, the Wizards again won the league title in 2004 over the Idaho Stampede, giving Joerger his third title as the Wizards' head coach.[5]

Joerger left the Wizards following the 2003–04 season, and after his departure, the Wizards made it to the semifinals in 2004–05 then missed the playoffs the following season.[5]

Prior to the 2006–07 season, the Wizards joined the NBA Development League, and Joerger returned to Dakota as head coach. He won his fourth title with the Wizards in their first year in the D-League. In the Championship Game, forward Darius Rice came off the Wizards bench to put together a record-setting night that led the Wizards to a 129–121 overtime victory over the Colorado 14ers. Rice scored 52 points and made 11 three-pointers, including one with 4.5 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime tied at 109. Rice's points and three-point field goal totals set D-League championship game records.[5]

Between 2007–08 and 2009–10, the Wizards made the playoffs every season but were unable to return to the Finals. This was followed by a 2010–11 season that saw the Wizards miss postseason action for the first time since 2006.

On June 28, 2011, the Golden State Warriors, led by Co-Executive Chairmen Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, purchased the Wizards franchise from Bismarck Professional Basketball LLC. The Warriors became the fourth NBA team to own and operate their own NBA D-League affiliate, joining San Antonio, Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers.[6]

The Wizards remained in Bismarck during the 2011–12 season, but the Warriors were open relocating the team to Northern California in 2012. To reflect the new ownership, the Wizards debuted with a new color scheme, the Warriors' blue and gold, used as an alternative to the purple and green, which dates back to their IBA days. The old color scheme was still used with the team's road uniforms, while the blue and gold was used with the home uniforms and the logo. The Wizards were led by Edwin Ubiles in 2011–12, as he helped the team return to the playoffs with a 29–21 record. However, they were unable to move on past the first round following a 2–0 defeat at the hands of the Bakersfield Jam.

Santa Cruz Warriors

Following intense off-season discussions regarding a move, on October 10, 2012, the Golden State Warriors announced that the Dakota Wizards would relocate to Santa Cruz beginning with the 2012–13 season. The team was subsequently renamed the Santa Cruz Warriors.[7][8]

In the 2012 NBA Development League Draft, the Warriors selected Travis Leslie with their first pick (13th overall), as Leslie became a star for the team during the 2012–13 season. On December 23, 2012, the Warriors played their first home game at the Kaiser Permanente Arena after beginning their campaign with seven-straight road games.[9] With Leslie leading the way alongside teammates Jeremy Tyler and Maurice Baker, the Warriors made it through to the D-League Finals in their first season. However, they were defeated 2–0 by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the best-of-three series.[10] Highlights from the team include Golden State assignees Kent Bazemore and Scott Machado, former NBA player Hilton Armstrong, Most Improved Player recipient Cameron Jones, and Stefhon Hannah, who won Defensive Player of the Year for the second year in a row.[11]

Santa Cruz embraced the team during their first season in the city, as the Warriors placed first in the NBA Development League for overall revenue. The team sold $1.2 million in tickets. The average ticket revenue per game, at $52,651, was the highest in the 16-team league. But while the Warriors' ticket prices were the highest in the league – from $15 for bleachers to $140 for courtside seats – popularity was also key to the financial success. The team had the highest average number of individual tickets sold per game at 709, approximately 130 tickets more than its nearest competitor, the Maine Red Claws.[12]

In 2013–14, the Warriors again finished second in the Western Conference – behind the Los Angeles D-Fenders – and despite only the sixth best record in the D-League standings, the Warriors again reached the Finals.[13] However, they were once again outclassed in the best-of-three Finals series, this time losing 2–0 to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.[14] Highlights from the team include the Santa Cruz Warriors' D-League Splash Brothers, with Seth Curry and Mychel Thompson emulating their respective brothers playing for Golden State, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.[15]

In 2014–15, the Warriors finished with a 35–15 record, good for the best record in the Western Conference. They once again made it through to the Finals and swept the Fort Wayne Mad Ants to claim their first D-League championship since 2007, with Finals MVP Elliot Williams leading the way with a game-high 23 points in Game 2.[16]

Season by season

FinishWinsLossesPct.Postseason results
Dakota Wizards
1996–97IBA2nd1713.567Won Semifinals (Magic City) 2–1
Lost IBA Finals (Black Hills) 1–2
1999–2000IBAWest1st306.833Won Division Semifinals (Winnipeg) 2–0
Lost Division Finals (Magic City) 1–3
2000–01IBAWest1st3010.750Won Division Semifinals (Magic City) 2–0
Won Division Finals (Saskatchewan) 2–0
Won IBA Finals (Des Moines) 3–2
2001–02CBANational1st2614.650Won Semifinals (Fargo-Moorhead) 3–0
Won CBA Finals (Rockford) 116–109
2002–03CBANational1st3117.646Lost Semifinals (Yakima) 1–3
2003–04CBA1st3414.708Won Semifinals (Rockford) 3–1
Won CBA Finals (Idaho) 132–129
2004–05CBAWestern1st3216.667Lost Semifinals (Sioux Falls) 1–3
2006–07D-LeagueEastern1st3317.660Won Division Finals (Sioux Falls) 115–113
Won D-League Finals (Colorado) 121–129 (OT)
2007–08D-LeagueCentral1st2921.580Lost First Round (Sioux Falls) 89–101
2008–09D-LeagueCentral2nd2723.540Won First Round (Iowa) 114–109
Lost Semifinals (Utah) 93–103
2009–10D-LeagueEastern3rd2921.580Lost First Round (Austin) 1–2
2011–12D-LeagueEastern2nd2921.580Lost First Round (Bakersfield) 0–2
Santa Cruz Warriors
2012–13D-LeagueWestern2nd3218.640Won First Round (Fort Wayne) 2–0
Won Semifinals (Austin) 2–0
Lost D-League Finals (Rio Grande Valley) 0–2
2013–14D-LeagueWestern6th2921.580Won First Round (Los Angeles) 2–0
Won Semifinals (Rio Grande Valley) 2–1
Lost D-League Finals (Fort Wayne) 0–2
2014–15D-LeagueWestern1st3515.700Won First Round (Oklahoma City) 2–0
Won Semifinals (Austin) 2–1
Won D-League Finals (Fort Wayne) 2–0
2016–17D-LeaguePacific2nd3119.620Lost First Round (Oklahoma City) 1–2
2017–18G LeaguePacific3rd2327.460
2018–19G LeaguePacific1st3416.680Won Conf. Semifinal (Oklahoma City) 117–102
Lost Conf. Final (Rio Grande Valley) 125–144
IBA regular season11088.5561995–2001
CBA regular season14290.6122001–2006
D/G League regular season369281.5682006–present
Dakota Wizards regular season totals418322.5651995–2012
Santa Cruz Warriors regular season totals203147.5802012–present
Regular season total621469.5701995–present
Dakota Wizards playoff totals2719.5871995–2012
Santa Cruz Warriors playoff totals169.6402012–present
Playoffs totals4328.6061995–present

Current roster

Santa Cruz Warriors roster
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
G 12 Bowman, Ky (TW) 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 188 lb (85 kg) 1997–06–17 Boston College
G 19 Cunningham, Jared 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 187 lb (85 kg) 1991–05–22 Oregon State
F 21 Davis, Deyonta 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 1996–12–02 Michigan State
SG 33 Harrison, Andrew 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 213 lb (97 kg) 1994–10–28 Kentucky
F 93 Johnson, D. J. 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 237 lb (108 kg) 1993–10–08 Kansas State
G 1 Lee, Damion (TW) 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 1992–10–21 Louisville
G 15 Marble, Devyn 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 200 lb (91 kg) 1992–09–21 Iowa
G 20 Pargo, Jeremy 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 218 lb (99 kg) 1986–03–17 Gonzaga
G 31 Reese, Isaiah 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1996–12–13 Canisius College
F 6 Smailagić, Alen  (NBA) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 2000–08–18 Serbia
G 41 Taylor, Ryan 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 190 lb (86 kg) 1995–02–01 Northwestern
F 95 Toscano-Anderson, Juan 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 1993–04–10 Marquette
G 92 Zeisloft, Nick 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 208 lb (94 kg) 1992–12–18 Indiana
Head coach
  • Kris Weems
Assistant coach(es)
  • Michael Lee
  • Long Lam (Athletic Trainer)
  • Robb Hornett (Strength & Conditioning Coach)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • (NBA) On assignment from NBA affiliate
  • (TW) Two-way affiliate player
  • (I) Inactive
  • Injured

Last transaction: 2019–12–18

Head coaches

# Head coach Term Regular season Playoffs Achievements
1Duane Ticknor1999–2000,
2Dave Joerger2000–2004,
3Rory White2009–20111004852.480312.333
4Nate Bjorkgren2011–20131006139.610844.500
5Casey Hill2013–201720011486.57017116.647NBA D-League champion: 2015
6Aaron Miles2017–20191005743.570211.500
7Kris Weems2019–present

NBA affiliates

Santa Cruz Warriors

Dakota Wizards


  1. "The Logo & Uniforms" (PDF). 2017–18 Santa Cruz Warriors Media Guide. NBA Media Ventures, LLC. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  2. "Santa Cruz Warriors Reproduction Guideline Sheet". NBA Properties, Inc. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  3. "Santa Cruz Warriors Name Ryan Atkinson General Manager". (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. August 30, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  4. "Santa Cruz Warriors Name Kris Weems Head Coach". (Press release). NBA Media Ventures, LLC. August 15, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  5. "Dakota Wizards". August 8, 2007. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  6. "Warriors Purchase Dakota Wizards of NBA Development League". NBA Media Ventures, LLC. June 28, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  7. "NBA Development League Approves Relocation Of Dakota Wizards To Santa Cruz". October 10, 2012. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  8. "NBA D-League Approves Relocation of Dakota Wizards to Santa Cruz, Calif". October 10, 2012. Archived from the original on June 10, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  9. May, Jacob (December 23, 2012). "NBA D-League: Santa Cruz Warriors slam Jam in inaugural home game". Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  10. "Santa Cruz Warriors Fall to Rio Grande Valley Vipers in NBA D-League Finals". April 27, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  11. "Infographic: How Santa Cruz Came To Be". April 25, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  12. Brown, J.M. (April 13, 2013). "Winning season: First year for Warriors, Santa Cruz offers financial promise". Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  13. "D-League Basketball Playoffs: Warriors earn repeat trip to finals". April 21, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  14. "Fort Wayne Mad Ants Capture 2014 NBA Development League Title". April 26, 2014. Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  15. "NBA D-League Finals - How They Got There: Santa Cruz Warriors". April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  16. "Santa Cruz Warriors Win the 2015 NBA D-League Championship". April 26, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
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