July 12, 2017

Anchors away: Worcester’s ABA basketball team has new name, home court

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Matthew Wright / For Worcester Sun

From left, owner Tom Marino, former WPI star forward Clyde Niba and coach Anthony Leonelli hope the city ABA team's new name and home court add up to success.

In hopes of solidifying a permanent home in Worcester, the city’s lone professional basketball team is making major changes to its branding by paying homage to an infamous winter storm and partnering with a celebrated nonprofit for a true home court advantage.

Known as the New England Anchors during its tenuous first year (2016-17) in the revamped ABA basketball league, the team will re-introduce itself next season as the Worcester 78’s — a tribute to the Blizzard of ’78 — in an attempt to make a nostalgic connection across the region while also better defining, team officials believe, its market for supporters and fans.

“It didn’t make a lot of sense to have a New England-based brand without any real ties to Worcester where we play,” owner and president Tom Marino said in a recent interview. “With this change, we are sending the message that we are here and we aren’t planning on going anywhere.”


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