By Zoe Hyland
The saying “It never hurts to ask” was proven true by my recent visit to Warriors ground. After listening to my journalism teacher’s advice to reach out to sports organizations and stemming from my intense boredom on a Monday night, I sent several emails out to different representatives of the Golden State Warriors in attempt to receive credentials for a playoff game.
My wish was granted, as Director of Public Relations Dan Martinez responded by giving me two free tickets to Game 2 against the Blazers. Being granted access into the game might have been because of the generous Warriors PR team, or possibly my passion for journalism.
The Warriors community is not just made up of players, fans, cheerleaders and coaches. It is made up of janitors, ushers, security guards, media correspondents and videographers, trainers, and many more. The top-seeded Warriors are such a great team because of all the people working behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. Being given two tickets to a playoff game showed the Warriors’ outstanding effort to include all members of the community, even high school journalists like myself.
After arriving at Oracle Arena, I walked over to the will call line to pick up my tickets. I walked up to the lady behind the glass window, told her my name, and she replied saying the tickets hadn’t been delivered yet. I decided to wait a little before I tried to contact Martinez about the tickets.
I walked over to where my dad was standing, which looked like a live pre-game broadcast area. I asked my dad who the tall professional-looking man was, who was taking pictures with a couple of kids. He said it was Gary St. Jean, previously the General Manager and coach of the Golden State Warriors. St. Jean was also the head coach for the Sacramento Kings from 1992-1997.
I luckily snagged an interview with him, when he had some free time in between makeup and filming. I asked him about his time coaching the Warriors.
“Well I came here as an assistant in 1989 with Don Nelson, Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway and we had a good time back then. I went up to Sacramento as the head coach, then I came back here as the GM and took over coaching for a little while. I love this franchise, I love everything about it we have the best fans in the league,” said St. Jean.
Before the game had even started I had interviewed a well-known and respected former Warriors coach. Martinez sent me an email saying my tickets were on their way from the clubhouse, and when they finally arrived and I picked them up at the will call window. I walked into the arena feeling like a professional, hyped on adrenaline with my Swarm credentials hanging from my neck.
As I arrived at our seats in section 230 row 11, I was greeted by a bright yellow “Defend Our Ground-2017 Playoffs” t-shirt. I sat down, slipped on the shirt, and stared down at the court in awe of where I was. It was necessary to get some overpriced snacks during the game so, I indulged in a huge, salted pretzel during the first quarter, and a small cup of $7 Dippin’ Dots during the fourth quarter. Throughout the whole game, the energy in the building was incredible. Every three pointer lit up the arena with cheers and clapping from the crowd. Even towards the end of the game when people started filing out of their seats, people cheered on the home team, showing their support for these star players. These great fans who support the organization everyday, are never overlooked.
The game and experience was everything I had hoped for, and I even left the building wearing my new Steph Curry jersey to serve as a memory of the night and a symbol of my determination. Thanks to Dan Martinez, the advice of my teacher Mr. Rosenberg, and the power of journalism, I was able to attend a 2017 Warriors Playoff game just by sending an email.