video: 78’s Set to Bring Professional Basketball Back to Worcester
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The 78’s are Worcester first professional basketball team since 1989.
"It means something to me to bring a team to the city, and where we are playing and what we are doing for the community, as well as, Boys and Girls Club is also very important for me. We will see how city accepts it," 78's President and Owner Tom Marino told GoLocal.
Forming the 78’s
The 78’s were established in July of 2017 after completing a pilot season in the ABA in 2016-17 as the New England Anchors.
They finished with seven wins and four losses.
During the off-season following the 2016-17 season, Marino set a goal of finding a permanent home in Worcester.
Along with the announcement of the team in July, it was also announced they had an agreement with Boys & Girls Club of Worcester to host its home games at the Club’s Tainter Street headquarters.
Most recently, the 78’s announced the signing of Shrewsbury High School alum Jose Cruz Jr.
Cruz is a 6'7” forward and has a 28” standing vertical, giving him the ability to play above the rim.
“Jose is a perfect fit for the mold of player we want to attract to our team: a good man who is smart, works hard and is active in the basketball community. He is frighteningly athletic for his frame, can defend several positions and can win tough rebounds against anyone,” said Marino.
Cruz graduated from Shrewsbury High in 2010 after being a two-time league All-Star and helping the team win a title in 2010.
He spent the next year at Worcester Academy, winning the Lawson Riley Award.
He graduated from NCAA Division II Southern Connecticut State University in 2015.
The original ABA was launched in 1967 and played nine seasons. The league produced NBA stars such as Moses Malone and Julius “Dr. J” Erving.
Today ’s version of the league has more than 100 teams across the United States. It is the largest and most diverse sports league in the world.
Related Slideshow: 10 Biggest Games in Holy Cross Basketball History
Holy Cross vs Michigan in NCAA Tournament
The game marked Holy Cross' first NCAA Tournament appearance in 21 seasons.
After leading 72-70 with less than 5 minutes to play, the Crusaders fell 92-81.
Holy Cross was led that season by Ronnie Perry, however, he was injured for this game.
Holy Cross vs Duquesne - NIT Championship game
Holy Cross won the NIT Championship game 71-62 over Duquesne.
The Crusaders were led by Togo Palazzi who was named MVP of the tournament.
Palazzi went as the number one pick in the NBA Draft to the Boston Celtics a couple of months later.
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