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Warrior Waves: The Journey Begins

First day of Santa Cruz Warriors training camp has it's ups and downs.

The Santa Cruz Warriors kicked off their inaugural training camp with an afternoon practice that consisted of multiple defensive drills and ended with a session of 5-on-5 scrimmages.

Although camp has just begun, second year head coach Nate Bjorkgren was happy with what was showcased on the court, but he believes there's thing's that need work.

"There were some moments where I look out there where they were really intense and fighting and competing, and other moments where it got just a little bit relaxed."

For a team that only returned three players from last season and that saw an early exit in the first round of the playoffs after being swept by the Bakersfield Jam, it's to be expected.

 "It's a new group," said Bjorkgren. "You just don't want the guys standing and looking like what do we do next."

With the D-league limits of a 10-man roster and players constantly moving up and down from the NBA, the players' minds will need to be flexible enough to soak up the mentality that Bjorkgren is conveying.

"Our learning process needs to be very faced paced," said Bjorkgren.

One of the three returning players is point guard Stefhon Hannah who averaged 18.4 points and 4.8 assists per game last season. Hannah, who was invited out to the NBA summer league by the Milwaukee bucks this year, will try and conquer the task of bringing this group of athletes together.

"I tried to continue to be a leader on the court and off it. Come into training camp and try and lead our guys."

"The chemistry is cool. Everyone is just starting to get to know each other, so you can't tell right now everybody is just feeling it out right now. Give us like a week or so," he said with a chuckle.

"It's the first day," said forward Taylor Griffin, older brother of Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin. "It's early, but we've got a little group from last year me, J.J.(Justin Johnson), and Stef. We have chemistry we know each other well and we also know several guys on this team, so it's early but as of the first day I think we mesh pretty well together.'

Griffin, who has been a journeyman through the NBA and overseas leagues, joined the Warriors last season while they were still stationed in Dakota as the Wizards, and knows the feeling of coming in and being thrown into a new system.

"This is my first time since college that I'll be on same team back-to-back seasons with the same coach and same systems, so actually nice coming into it that way.

"I joined this team like halfway through the season last year so I was always trying to find my way the whole time."

Coach Bjorkgren will have to cut seven players by opening night and said that he will have to make "four or five cuts" by this time next week.

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