Warriors hit court in hopes of winning games and fans

When the new South Carolina Warriors of the ABA tip off their inaugural season Friday night at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, they will be facing more than the Carolina Jaguars.

They also will be battling for the hearts and support of local basketball fans who have been fooled before by fly-by-night sports franchises that have landed on the Grand Strand with a mighty thump.

We’ve had semi-pro football franchises (men’s, women’s, indoor and outdoor), basketball teams (including one from a proposed all-white league) and even the old Myrtle Beach SeaDawgs soccer squad – all of which folded with more fanfare than substance.

After having their hearts broken so many times before by unstable ownership and sham leagues, are local residents ready to give another team a chance? Warriors coach Chris Beard certainly hopes so.

“I have coached basketball for 17 years and I’ve had a lot of had success,” said Beard, who recently served as an assistant at Texas Tech. “I wouldn’t have moved to Myrtle Beach and left my family if I didn’t believe in this.

“At the end of the day, I’m not the owner, I’m not an investor, I am the coach. But I have made a commitment to this team and our players to be their coach and that’s what I’m going to do. We’re going to put a great product on the floor and I believe if our fans get to know our players, they will come out and support them.”

Many of the names on the Warriors roster are familiar ones, including six former Coastal Carolina players, two from the College of Charleston and two more graduates from Grand Strand high schools – Josh Fowler of Socastee and Brendan Knox of Georgetown.

But their stories, except for the common love of the game and desire to play professionally, are varied. Former CCU sharpshooter Jack Leasure has played overseas since leaving Conway, while reunited teammate Colin Stevens has been working as a bank officer in Myrtle Beach.

“They are all great guys and each one of them is chasing their dream,” Beard said. “Most of them aren’t going to make it to the NBA. They just love playing basketball and they are using this opportunity as a stepping stone for their careers.”

Coincidentally, the ongoing NBA lockout could be the wildcard that helps the Warriors gain a foothold in the hearts of locals. With no NBA on TV for the foreseeable future, hoops fans may flock to the upstart franchise to get their fix. Who knows, the ABA could get an infusion of NBA players looking to earn a paycheck.

Even they would have an adjustment period to the screwball rules of the ABA, which include a 4-point shot line,and  a special light that goes off following a backcourt turnover that gives the receiving team the chance to earn bonus points.

But for all the bells and whistles, the success or the failure of the new ABA franchise will be based on its ability (or lack of) to be embraced by local fans who have been burned before. Putting their minds to rest and their butts in the box seats are the real goals they are shooting for.

“The biggest thing we have to offer is our players,” Beard said. “We’re going to be a young team, but we’re also going to be an exciting team to watch. It’s definitely worth spending 10 bucks for a ticket.”

How many local fans agree, and how many return, will determine whether the Warriors can crack a tough Myrtle Beach market.

– For a full roster and schedule, visit www.scwarriorsaba.com

Comments

comments

Native son Drew Brophy returns for art retrospective

Native son Drew Brophy returns for art retrospectiveThe Myrtle Beach Art museum drew over a thousand folks [more]

Drew turns softball skills into memorable summer

Drew turns softball skills into memorable summerOlivia Drew was crying, and her mother, Brittany Drew, was [more]

Pelicans limited to one hit as offensive woes continue

Pelicans limited to one hit as offensive woes continueAlex Lange fired six excellent innings Thursday, but the Myrtle [more]

All-County Track & Field: Second shots strike silver

All-County Track & Field: Second shots strike silverThe frontrunners in this year's My Horry News All-County Girls [more]

Mutiny gives Strand fans small taste of World Cup

Mutiny gives Strand fans small taste of World CupAmerican soccer fans don't have a rooting interest in this [more]

Pelicans open second half with eye on playoff streak

Pelicans open second half with eye on playoff streakThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans begin the second half of the [more]

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star Game

Pelicans help propel South to victory in All-Star GameA pair of Myrtle Beach Pelicans played key roles in [more]

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-South

NMB's Ballard, MB's Coble reconnect at North-SouthA pair of former teammates and rivals joined forces for [more]

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finale

Pelicans fail to finish .500 after losing first-half finaleThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans dropped their final game of the [more]

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squad

CCU's Biermann, Lancaster make All-American squadCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster and designated hitter Zach Biermann [more]

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny

Ibarrondo comes to rescue to rally first-place Mutiny The Myrtle Beach Mutiny needed a wake-up call late Saturday [more]

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale today

Pelicans split twinbill with Mudcats, play finale todayAfter the Myrtle Beach Pelicans fell 2-1 to the Carolina [more]

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader today

Pelicans lose fifth straight, play doubleheader todayVictor Diaz's seven strong innings for the Carolina Mudcats were [more]

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top list

All-County Boys Tennis: Johnson, MB duo top listThe future looks bright for the sport of high school [more]

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nod

Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nodCarter Hess carved his way to a spot on the [more]

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect start

Pelicans' bullpen spoils Thompson's perfect startAfter Keegan Thompson was removed following seven perfect innings for [more]

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny win

Piggot feasts, scores four goals to lead Mutiny winThe Myrtle Beach Mutiny rolled to a 6-0 victory over [more]

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-American

CCU trio makes all-region; Lancaster an All-AmericanCoastal Carolina shortstop Seth Lancaster was named to the Perfect [more]

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans game

Braves' icons Avery, Jones to appear at Pelicans gameThe Myrtle Beach Pelicans will welcome former MLB All-Stars and [more]

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transfer

Coastal guard Labinowicz announces plan to transferCoastal Carolina University men's basketball player Artur Labinowicz plans to [more]

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoff

Report: Myrtle Beach Bowl 'near lock' for 2020 kickoffIn yet another development in the Grand Strand's booming sports [more]

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing Championship

Adaptive surfers depart for US Surfing ChampionshipLocal surfers, volunteers, and family members gathered at the Charleston [more]

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for club

All-County Boys Golf: MB's Jarman trades bat for clubIf things had worked out differently, Myrtle Beach High senior [more]

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of Omaha

Gamecocks' season ends one win shy of OmahaThe University of South Carolina baseball team saw its season [more]

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star team

Pelicans' Ademan, Pereda, Peyton make all-star teamMyrtle Beach catcher Jhonny Pereda, right-hander Tyler Peyton and infielder [more]

Native son Drew Brophy returns for art retrospective

Native son Drew Brophy returns for art retrospectiveThe Myrtle Beach Art museum drew over a thousand folks [more]

Drew turns softball skills into memorable summer

Drew turns softball skills into memorable summerOlivia Drew was crying, and her mother, Brittany Drew, was [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach