Santa Cruz Warrior's Ocean Day


13 Mar, 2023


The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation had the opportunity to create “Sanctuary Warriors” with our partners, the Santa Cruz Warriors Basketball organization.  The Foundation hosted the Warriors players and coaching staff for an afternoon of ocean discovery at the Seymour Center in Santa Cruz on March 13, 2023.  The team visited a blue whale skeleton and witnessed otters frolicking in the surf.  Inside, Foundation Co-Chairperson Hilary Bryant and Chapter Director Ginaia Kelly described what makes the sanctuary so unique and worthy of support.  We then divided the group into teams of two for a lively scavenger hunt, where the players had to hunt for answers about the marine animals and touch sea creatures like sea anemones, hermit crabs, and even a leopard shark!  After visiting the holding tanks to view two bottlenose dolphins and a Hawaiian monk seal, we enjoyed lunch before the players headed out to their daily basketball practice.  We heard comments like, “I learned a lot today.”  “How can I get my kids involved?” And “can I get some tips on surfing?”

So, when one of these players becomes the next Seth Curry, Moses Moody, or Jordan Poole, hopefully, they will tell the story of when they played basketball in Santa Cruz and touched a shark!  And hopefully, they will carry the message of ocean conservation with them as “Sanctuary Warriors.”

Watch the Sanctuary Warriors at Play below