Riders win big on the road and qualify for the WBBL Cup semifinals

Leicester Riders Women are now 3-0 in the WBBL Cup after a huge fourth quarter push against the Newcastle Eagles. 

Both teams went back and fourth with Newcastle taking a two point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Newcastle’s, Alison Gorrell, made sure the game was competitive with her 19 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. However, a layup by Anna Lappenkuper started the Riders 36-9 run to secure the win and reach the WBBL Cup semifinals.

Kate Oliver was unstoppable in the matchup and led the scoring with 29 points on a notable 73% field goal percentage, alongside four 3-pointers. Holly Winterburn also had a dominant near triple-double with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. 

Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “we are very happy about the win and finishing at the top of the group. Newcastle created lots of problems for us on defence. Offensively we made it a high possession game and we had more energy left going into the final quarter.”


Eagles: Gorrell 19, Mcvicar 16, Smith 14, Koop 12, Taylor 4, Bland 2, Oates 2, Chuckwu-Etu 2

Riders: Oliver 29, Holly 18, Hinriksdottir 16, Robb 15, Lappenkuper 10, Gaskin 6, Clark 2.

Riders take on the Cardiff Met Archers next in the WBBL Cup semifinals on the 5th December.

Photo credit: Newcastle Eagles

Riders prevail 99 – 97 on the road against Leicester Warriors

Riders made it 2-2 in the league after closely beating the Warriors, Hayden led the scoring with an important 24 points and an impressive 75% field goal percentage. Riders knew that they were in for a close game as they were left trailing by 3 points at half time. However, a dunk by Hayden at the start of the third quarter set the Riders off for a strong quarter, finishing with a 13-point lead.     

After a tense fourth quarter Loughborough Riders came away with the win as Kyle Jimenez continues his incredible form with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 16 assists. Jimenez commented on the team performance saying “We have been playing a better brand of basketball in the last few performances. Leicester are always a tough team to play against especially at their court, I thought we had multiple guys make a big impact today.” 

Head Coach Mark Jarram was glad to be on the winning side of a close game “Another close, grind it out win. It’s good to be on the winning side of these close games but it is being done whilst we continue to learn and grow. We just want to adapt during the phase of the season. Continued key contributions from some guys but also great to see players off the bench chipping in.”


Warriors: Langton 24, Henry 17, Pearson 14, Gayle 10, King 9, Willan 9, Chingombe 8, Holland 4, Lewis 2

Riders: Hayden 24, Dieterich 23, Bielak 16, Jimenez 15, Gamble 11, Gudza 4, Morrel 2, Oloke 2, Emejuru 2

Riders are next back in action away to Team Newcastle University on the 12th December. 

Riders strong performance defeats Cavaliers

Loughborough Riders success as they defeat Thames Valley Cavaliers at their Saturday afternoon home WNBL Division 1 game.

Dominating on the court with a final score of 72-53, the team began with a promising lead which they kept from start to finish. The women created a 32 point advantage at half time, and were able to confidently start the second half at 47-15. 

The Cavaliers pushed through with resilience, showing no signs of giving up anytime soon. Adjusting their game play and returning to the floor with a strong defensive final quarter, we saw great work from the team. However, Riders played to their strengths, keeping the game fast paced and triumphed in the end.

“We played with a very high pace which we have been aiming for the whole week, and we did it. We were leading in the half time because we were able to collect the rebounds and move quick which was the key thing”. Explained Riders’ Head Coach Antonio Quintero.

He added “ We had a very good game as a group. We started practising very late due to the Covid restrictions, and I think that week by week we are going up, and that is the goal as a coach”.

Ainge’s led with 21 points for Loughborough Riders, followed by James at 14, whilst  Thames Valley’s Cavaliers’ Goldsby dropped 21 points on the court.


Riders: Ainge 21, James 14, Stone 12, Dabbs 8, Lecuyer 5, Shaw 4, Januszewska 4, Bird 2, Cox 2

Cavaliers: Goldsby 21, Okwuosa 9, Dela 6, Lisk 6, Bush 4, Bishop 3, Sironi 2, Abramova 2,

Next, Riders face BA London Lions with an away game on Saturday 5th December.

Fraser added to roster

Leicester Riders are pleased to announce the signing of Ali Fraser to this years’ roster.

Ali joins the Riders after spending the start of the season with NM1 side Avignon in France. But with the CoronaVirus pandemic putting the French season in doubt, Fraser opted to join Rob Paternostro’s side.

“I’m happy to have the opportunity to be back playing in the BBL again,” commented Ali. “I am looking forward to practicing with the team and getting the league season started. I have been following the games in the BBL Cup and can’t wait to get back on court.”

“Hopefully this team can continue to build on the success that has been seen over the years from this organisation.” 

The Great Britain Senior International arrives with a great reputation and will be familiar to the Riders faithful having spent three seasons in the BBL with Glasgow Rocks (2017-20).

“We are looking forward to working with Ali. He is a veteran player who has good experience and has proven himself in our league” commented Head Coach Rob Paternostro.

“I thought he was really good last season, he was always a tough guy to play against, he is strong, skilled and smart.”

“He is a big guy that can do a lot of productive things on the floor. He scores in different ways, rebounds on both ends, sets very good screens and has shown the ability to make plays with his passing.”

Fraser started his playing career at Falkirk Fury before heading to D1 with Maine in the NCAA. He returned to Europe post-college with spells in Germany and the Netherlands.

After representing Scotland at every age group, Fraser was part of the Scotland Commonwealth Games side that finished 4th in the Gold Coast last time out.

Ali is due to make his Riders debut in the first league game of the season against Surrey Scorchers on 5th December.

Riders through to the L Lynch Trophy Quarter final

Loughborough Riders continue their good form with a strong showing to beat the Nottingham Hoods 85-56 in this Lynch Trophy matchup, confirming their 1st place seed in the tournament. 

Riders’ Jonas Dieterich led the scoring with 22 points on the night, but it was captain Kyle Jimenez who stole the show with a classy performance. A worthy MVP, he controlled the tempo of the game, clocking in 35 minutes with 16 rebounds, 13 assists and 9 points, leaving him just a point away from a 2nd triple double in his last 2 games. From setting up baskets and bringing each player into the play, to slowing the game down in the final quarter to manage the game, his unselfish play was a joy to watch from start to finish. 16 points off the bench, a notable dunk and a big block to deny Nottingham in the 4th quarter, demonstrated an impressive showing from Carl Ntifo likewise.

The Riders moved the ball extremely well all game, picking the right passes and taking the higher percentage shots, with 48 points in the paint to Hoods’ 26. Loughborough’s 47% field goal shooting to Nottingham’s 34% and 30 points off the bench to Hoods’ 17, it’s clear to see the wealth of quality Loughborough carry throughout the roster. Despite a lively showing from Victor Olarerin with 20 points, Nottingham couldn’t escape the Rider’s defensive press, and were forced to shoot the tough shots – a testament to the game plan set out by Rider’s coach Mark Jarram today. With a young team of nearly entirely new players this season, we can expect to see better games ahead for Nottingham; tonight being only their 2nd game back since Lockdown. 

Head Coach Mark Jarram commented of the win saying “Great win. It’s nice to again get contributions throughout the roster, but more importantly to play the same team 3 days apart and get such a different result, guys were much better at following game plan and scout. A much more mature and composed performance but still so much room for growth ahead. We will continue to focus on being better every game.” 

Next up for the Riders is a game against the Leicester Warriors away on Saturday 28th November with a 3pm tip off. 

Riders clinch a 77 – 74 victory over hoods in a hard-fought game.

Loughborough Riders came out on top in a very tough game against the Nottingham hoods.  

As the game tipped off Riders opened up an 8-point lead, their biggest of the game but a few poor turnovers and efficient offence from the Hoods left them trailing by just 1 point at the end of the first quarter. Riders edged the Hoods with an impressive 93% conversion rate from the free throw line by making 15/16 and also making 19/33 2-point shots resulting in a much needed 57% conversion rate. Once again Jonas Dieterich, 25 and Harrison Gamble 12, led the scoring for the Riders. 

Head Coach Mark Jarram commented on the win saying  “Really positive to have an improved performance and contributions from throughout the roster. It was a tough grind it out win. We still have plenty of areas of growth, but it’s since to get a win whilst we continue to look to improve as we go!” 

He added “We shift our focus to Tuesday where we again simply pursuit an improved performance on our areas of focus.”  


Hoods: Olarerin 20, Powell 15, Parker 9, Juffer 9, Adjei 8, Ward-Hibbert 7, Babalola 6

Riders: Dieterich 25, Gamble 12, Jimenez 9, Hayden 8, Bielak 6, Emejuru 6, Ntifo 4, Orija 4, Johnson 3 

The Riders will once again face the Hoods on Tuesday evening in the L Lynch Trophy with a 7pm Tip off at Loughborough University. 

A competitive bout from start to finish ended with the Wolves claiming a 67 – 82 victory in overtime 1.

Loughborough Riders fell a hard-fought overtime defeat at home against Worcester Wolves in their 2nd competitive game of their WNBL Division One season. 

The game was end to end throughout, with both teams applying full court pressure all game. The Riders ended the 1stquarter in the lead, but the Wolves ended the 2nd quarter strong, with 3 consecutive threes to put the Wolves ahead going into the 3rd quarter. Makana Stone stood out with her physicality, especially late in the game, ending with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Riders to pull ahead late in the game. 

Riders Head Coach Antonio Quintero commented “We played a very even game, where both teams were able to win. We made too many mistakes in our offensive transitions and had problems against the good pressing of Wolves. For sure this is something we will fix for our next fixture. Without any doubt they arrived with more gas than us to the overtime and deserved the victory, so all credit to their work.” 

He commented on the team’s development by saying “For us, it was a new situation that will surely make us grow as a team and gain experience. We are gradually building a strong group and I am sure that we will see improvement every week, I think that’s extremely important for us that our young players acquire this type of experience in key moments of the game where the pressure is high to keep themselves as competitive players.”   

Christina Gaskin of the Leicester Riders on commentary singled out Marques as her MVP for the game, with a game high 27 points showing her offensive prowess and drove the Wolves to a late comeback. The Wolves tied the game with a three in the last 20 seconds forcing overtime and carried their momentum into overtime ending the game 82-67. Their defensive intensity was relentless and this and their field goal shooting percentage of 36% to the Rider’s 32% ended up being the difference between the two sides. 

The Riders will now prepare to play at home against the Thames Valley Cavaliers on Saturday 28th November with a 1pm tip off. Livestream details to follow.  

Conner Washington to represent GB in Eurobasket Qualifiers

Leicester Riders point guard Conner Washington has been called up by Great Britain for their rearranged EuroBasket games in France.

Washington was in the original 24 squad selected, and his recent performances has meant he has earned a slot on the plane.

Great Britain are in a qualifying group with France, Germany and Montenegro.

GB face FIBA sixth-ranked France and Montenegro (26th ranked) in the Pau ‘bubble’ in what were scheduled to be home games before Covid-19 played havoc with the sporting calendar.

GB play France on this Friday and Montenegro on this Sunday. Both games tip off at 17:00 GMT.

But despite being rated 42nd in the world, GB will go into the pair of qualifiers for the 2022 finals in confident mood.

All four nations in the group have a 1-1 record and GB go into the games coming off a strong win over Germany in Newcastle in February.

With Riders already shorthanded due to injuries, Washington’s selection means Leicester’s final North Group qualifying match in the BBL Cup against Sheffield Sharks will be rescheduled from this Friday to Tuesday 1st December at the Morningside Arena.

Scorchers first up!

The BBL today confirmed the remaining schedule for the 2020-21 season. Leicester Riders will face Surrey Scorchers in Guildford in the first league game of the new campaign on 5 December 2020.

Riders first home game will come in the shape of Sheffield Sharks on Friday 11 Dec, who also visit the Morningside to complete the BBL Cup group phase on 1 Dec.

The BBL Trophy First Round will take place the first week in February, with the knockout stages taking place thereafter before moving onto the Final with details to be announced.

The Championship will wrap up on the weekend of Friday 23 April, with the Play-Offs then commencing the week after and the season concludes with the Play-Off Final, details also to be announced.

The full game schedule can be found here.

Riders fall to Lions in the Capital

A short handed Leicester Riders fell short on Sunday afternoon 98-89 in a tough BBL Cup group qualifying match against the London Lions. Riders overcame a slow start to push the Lions all the way, but former NBA star Deandre Liggins proved the difference. However Leicester remain tied at the top of the North Group.

Leicester started the game tentatively, struggling to score the basketball, and turning the ball over uncharacteristically. With London needing a win to assure they progress in the Cup they jumped out quickly and fine interplay between two time MVP Justin Robinson and former Rider Chris Tawiah saw Lions into an early 11-3 lead, following consecutive mid-court turnovers by the Riders. Riders three point shooting has been excellent so far this season, but they managed just 1 from their first 6, and that single make was by Corey Johnson to stop the Lions momentum, with a minute left in the first quarter. But at the end of the first period the Lions were cruising 25-12.

Geno Crandall started the second quarter with a three point play, but, once again sparked by Robinson, the Lions went on a 9-nil run to build their largest lead of the game at 36-19. But Riders went with a smaller line-up, and a three point play by Johnson was followed by a Jamell Anderson triple. From then on, Riders dominated the second period, with Darien Nelson hitting a couple of baskets inside, and with fine play from Zach Jackson, they were back in the game, trailing just 45-40 at half-time, in spite of shooting 35% from the floor at that stage.

Riders started the second half with a 5 nil run that included a rare Crandall dunk. And the teams then traded blows with the scores tied on 53 four minutes in. Then former Cleveland Cavalier Liggins took over the game, and swung it decisively in London’s favour. He hit a driving layup, followed by a long three, then another three, following by a another driving lap-up, and Lions were suddenly 10 points clear at 63-53. A technical on the London bench stopped the rot, and then Crandall was switched onto marking Liggins and that slowed the momentum to cut the London lead to 71-67. But Liggins then hit a three, and a Robinson threw up a hail-mary three point shot on the buzzer, to put London up 77-67 with ten minutes left.

Riders kept plugging away in the final quarter, and a Zach Jackson three point play kept Riders within 7. But London got good shooting from Robinson and Kevin Ware and were eyeing the 21 point win Riders had achieved in the home leg, when Riders were forced to a timeout trailing 92-77 with four and a half minutes left. Three 3 pointers by Johnson in the final minutes ensured Rider maintained their points edge over the two legs, but Leicester couldn’t prevent the Lions from taking the win.

Riders again had 5 players in double figures, led by another double-double by William Lee with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Crandall looked very impressive with 18 points and 9 assists as well as some fine defence, while Darien Nelson Henry also managed a 16 points and 10 rebounds double-double.


Liggins 26, Williams 20, Robinson 19, Ware 11, Taiwah 9, Okoroh 8, Ikhinmwin 3, Lockhart 2


Crandall 18, Jackson 17, Johnson 17, Nelson-Henry 16, Lee 15, Anderson 3, Washington 3

The Riders return to action on Tuesday 1st December when they take on the Sheffield Sharks at the Morningside Arena in their final BBL Cup qualifying game.

Injury update: Walker & May-Thompson.

Leicester Riders can confirm today that they are likely to be without Mo Walker and Raheem May-Thompson for the remainder of the season.

Walker pulled up in the home fixture versus London Lions earlier this month and after scans revealed a hamstring tear, will see a specialist on Monday and undergo surgery this Tuesday. May-Thompson was injured in practice ahead of the season, rupturing his achilles, and is also due to see a specialist this week. 

“We expect both players to make a full recovery, but the timing of both makes it unlikely they will feature in this campaign,” commented Riders MD Russell Levenston. 

“We really feel for both Mo and Raheem – they are two talented players and great guys in the group.”

The club would like to wish both players a speedy recovery and give a special thanks to Spire Hospital Leicester for their continued support of the club. 

Preview: Riders at Lions

London Lions v Leicester Riders

Competition: BBL Cup

Date: Sunday 22nd November

Venue: Copper Box Arena, London

Tip-off: 2:30 PM

Season So Far – Riders

One week on from their impressive victory over the London Lions at the Morningside Arena and it’s the turn of the Leicester Riders to make the trip down south for the return fixture. The Riders have won their last three games on the bounce and will be looking to carry their momentum down to the Copper Box on Sunday. The Riders currently hold a 3-1 record in the North Group of the BBL Cup and are in a good position to make the quarter finals. 

Season So Far – Lions

The Lions had a tricky start to their BBL Cup campaign dropping their first two games to Newcastle and Sheffield. Since then, the Lions have somewhat found some form winning two of their last three games as they eye a spot in the BBL Cup Quarter Finals. At times the Lions star studded roster has looked to be lacking chemistry however, their 99-79 road win over the Newcastle Eagles on Friday Night was arguably their most impressive performance of the season.

Ones To Watch

American Forward William Lee has made an impressive start to his time with the Riders and is currently averaging 13.3 points and a team high 8.7 rebounds per game. Lee’s athleticism and length coupled with his ability to step out and shoot the ball from the outside make him one of the most versatile big men in the league. Lee has two double doubles in his last two outings and will be looking to carry this impressive form down to the capital on Sunday. 

Former NBA player DeAndre Liggins has been the standout player for the Lions so far this season. Liggins is averaging an impressive all action stat line of 20 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game which includes a season high 32 points against the Sheffield Sharks last weekend. The Riders held Liggins to a season low 14 points the last time the two teams met and will no doubt be looking to replicate that defensive performance on Sunday afternoon.

Previous Meeting

The Riders and Lions last met last Sunday is a one-sided affair at the Morningside Arena. The Riders led from tip to buzzer in an impressive display on both ends of the floor that saw them run out 97-76 winners. With a place in the BBL Cup Quarter finals on the line the Lions will be looking for a much improved performance on this occasion.

How To Watch 

The game will be available to watch for free via YouTube, CLICK HERE to tune in as the Riders and the Lions do battle in the BBL Cup!

Riders defeat Sharks to move to 3-1 in the BBL Cup

An undermanned Leicester Riders defeated the Sheffield Sharks away in the BBL Cup qualifying with a comprehensive 85-64 victory. The result improves Riders record to 3 and 1 in the North Group and puts them in a good position to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Leicester came out strong at the start, with sharpshooter Corey Johnson opening their account with a three pointer. A Zach Jackson three helped Riders to a 10-3 lead after three minutes, with a William Lee dunk off a Geno Crandall assist also catching the eye. Rob Marsden then scored four points in a row for the home side in a 5 nil Sharks run, before Darien Nelson-Henry and Lee combined well inside for a 18-10 Riders lead. Another Jackson three helped Riders to a 24-17 first quarter lead.

Crandall and Johnson picked up 2 fouls apiece in the second period which meant an extended period on the bench in an already depleted Riders team. But Conner Washington was an able deputy at the point guard position and his three pushed Riders 30-24 clear 3 minutes into the second period. Riders defence was causing Sharks to miss some close-in shots under pressure, and with Lee impressive and another Johnson three, Riders pushed their lead out to 40-26. Johnson hit another three in the final minute to give Riders a well deserved 45-31 lead at half-time.

Sheffield needed a strong start to the third quarter to get back into the game, and Nick Lewis obliged with a three, and then Marsden hit a couple of buckets in a row to cut the Riders lead to 49-38. But fine play from Lee and Johnson sparked a Riders revival and suddenly the Sharks scoring dried up. They were forced to a timeout with three minutes left in the quarter trailing 57-38. Another Jackson three pulled Riders further in front, and then there was a crucial blow against the Sharks when their star Antwon Lillard fouled out of the game, following a technical foul. Riders led 64-43 with ten minutes left.

Riders kept up the pressure in the fourth quarter with an eye to retain their lead, in case points’ difference came into deciding the tough North Group. But the Sharks were picking up the fouls and Washington was the main beneficiary, picking up his points from the free throw line. When Sheffield’s big man Bennett Koch also fouled out with 4 minutes left, the game was up. Corey Johnson hit another three and Jamell Anderson did the same, as Riders eased to a comfortable victory.

Once again Riders spread the scoring load, with five players in double figures. William Lee again caught the eye with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while his front court partner Nelson-Henry also had a double-double, with 14 points and ten rebounds. But it was Riders three point shooting prowess that provided the edge, as Riders made 10 from 24, with Johnson best with 4 from 8, as he top scored with 20 points. Washington also impressed with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists.


Nichols 13, McKnight 12, Marsden 10, Lewis 9, Lillard 9, Koch 7, Tuck 3, Campbell 1


Johnson 20, Washington 15, Nelson-Henry 14, Lee 13, Jackson 10, Crandall 8, Anderson 5

British Basketball to receive £4m from Govt

The British Basketball League is delighted with the support announced today for basketball by the Government. The Government has announced a rescue package of up to £4 million for basketball to address the impact of the absence of spectators because of coronavirus.  The bulk of that is targeted at the BBL and WBBL who have been hardest hit by the loss of spectators at games. 

BBL Chairman Sir Rodney Walker said, “We are very pleased with the announcement by the Minister for Sport, Nigel Huddleston MP, today. Our league was hit very hard last season by the Covid-19 pandemic, causing us to have to curtail the season, to the great disappointment of our Clubs, players and fans.” “DCMS did give us the confidence to start the 2020/21 season a few weeks ago, with a commitment of support, and we are particularly pleased with the level now confirmed.” 

“Our Clubs have worked extremely hard to mitigate the impact of loss of spectators at our events, and sadly that has included job losses.” 

“With no certainty of when spectators can return, the announcement today ensures we can now go forward with some confidence, and continue our competitions and our planning for when we can welcome fans back to games.” “It will also be very important to ensuring the Clubs’ vital community engagement programmes will be able to continue with confidence, giving the stability this provides overall to the clubs, their Foundations, and the sport in general.”

“Clearly recognising the sustained impact on our league and clubs, including the large seven figure loss we sustained last season, we are hopeful that the Government will ensure that a significant portion of funding will be via grants.”

Matt Neville, chair of Basketball England said: “This is fantastic news for the whole sport of basketball. Clubs are right at the heart of “This is fantastic news for the whole sport of basketball. Clubs are right at the heart of communities right across the country and have been suffering like many so others have during the Covid-19 lockdown.

“We welcome and are grateful for the financial assistance that the Government is providing and are sure it will be a massive boost for us and our top-level clubs, allowing them to continue to play this season and helping to protect jobs and livelihoods. “It will also help basketball carry on with the great work done to support their communities, many already suffering hardship, as we work through the challenges of the pandemic with this vital support.” 

Preview: Riders at Sharks

Sheffield Sharks v Leicester Riders

Competition: BBL Cup

Venue: Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield

Tip-off: 6:00 PM

Season So Far – Riders

The Riders currently sit second in the group with a game in hand and are coming off the back of a resounding 97-76 victory against the London Lions on Sunday. William Lee will be looking to build off arguably his best performance of the season to date, in which he scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Lee played big minutes as a result of Mo Walker’s early injury and shone in the role. Geno Crandall, who has averaged 18.5 points in his last two games, will also hope to continue his good form after a dazzling display at point guard as the Riders look to build on their impressive display last weekend. 

Season So Far – Sharks

The Sharks have had a tough start to their cup campaign, they currently find themselves third in the group, after losing two of their three group games thus far. They will want to bounce back after their last game, a 97-87 loss to the Newcastle Eagles. The Eagles were up 75-55 going into the fourth quarter but a late fight back from the Sharks wasn’t enough to get the win on the road.

Ones To Watch

American Guard Geno Crandall has been electric in the Riders opening 3 games of the season and currently leads the Riders in scoring and assists with 16 points and 5.3 assists per game. Geno’s ability to get into the lane to both score and create for others is an important weapon for the Riders and is something that Sharks will have to do their best to contain if they are to be successful on Friday Evening.

Antwon Lillard has made a bright start to life in the BBL after arriving from Canada in the off season, the Sharks current leading scoring is averaging 20 points and 7 assists per game and is coming off the back of a 23 point performance against the Eagles. Lillard will no doubt be a man who the Riders will look to slow down on Friday Evening.

Previous Meeting

The last time two teams faced off was in this year’s preseason, and the Riders will hope for a different result this time around. They lost narrowly to Sheffield, 66-70, in a tight game at the Morningside Arena. Riders will want to settle the scores this time around.

How To Watch 

The game will be available to watch for free via YouTube, CLICK HERE to tune in as the Riders and the Sharks do battle in the BBL Cup!

Riders Women take victory over Reading to improve to 1-1 in NBL play.

Riders Women clinch their first win of the 2020/21 season, at home against Reading Rockets in second league game.

Women grabbed a 64-61 victory in a game which they led from start to finish. Katie Januszewska opened the scoring for the Riders with a driving layup, marking the beginning of the Riders scoring 30 points in the paint. Rockets stayed in touching distance of taking the lead in the game but were outdone by the efficiency of the Riders who scored 17 second chance points.

Makana Stone had an outstanding debut performance with a huge 18 points and 25 rebounds, earning her the spot as WNBL Player of the week. The American forward took down an impressive 11 offensive boards, with a huge block in the first quarter and three steals across the ball game.

Head Coach Antonio Quintero was pleased with the win and commented on Makana’s performance saying “Makana had an amazing performance, showing leadership and full effort during the whole time she spent on court. She adapted very well and incredibly fast to our playing philosophy and I am very sure that as the season progresses Makana will improve adding more value to the team week by week.” 

He added “Getting our first win of the season is a great motivational boost which will help us to continue working hard and building our game philosophy as well as evolving as a team. By the end of the game, we were able to solve some trapping and pressing situations and it was encouraging to see us calm the pace of the game to our advantage.”


Riders: Stone 18, Bird 11, Hikin 9, Ainge 7, James 6, Januszewska 4, Dabbs 4, Morris 3, Cox 2.

Rockets: Hermida Nunez 17, Gines Espinosa 14, Comesana 14, Thompson 6, Burgess 6, Ford 2, Luzon 2.

The Riders next test will be on the 21st November with a home game against the Worcester Wolves. Livestream details to follow.

Riders Men fall to Barking Abbey London Lions on the road in second NBL game

A game that the Riders were in control of, slipped away from them with 5 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Jonas Dietrich led the scoring for the Riders with 20 points, meanwhile in his second game for the team, youngster Kanu Gudza added a valuable 16 points with a 60% field goal percentage.

Head Coach Mark Jarram was disappointed by the loss “We were in control and let that one get away. Credit to Barking, they played their tails off and created some momentum and maintained that momentum.”

He added “We have to look after the basketball better for us to improve as a team and become more clinical. It will be a major focus moving forward. But it is all part of the process. We learn, adapt and we move on. This season is going to be full of teachable moments for us to grow.”


BA London Lions: Harrison 21, Eze 18, Hayes 16, Vijber 14, Okunola 11, Adedo 9, Carmichael 2

Loughborough Riders: Dieterich 20, Gudza 16, Gamble 15, Jimenez 15, Orija 9,  Emejuru 7, Johnson 4

Riders now prepare to get their first win of the 2020/21 season away to Nottingham Hoods on the 21st November.

Riders beat Lions in an impressive Home display

Leicester Riders completed a hugely successful second weekend of the new season, with a stunning 97-76 win over a powerful London Lions side at the Morningside Arena, after beating the Newcastle Eagles away on Friday night. Riders dominated the game from start to finish and have now improved their record to 2 and 1 in the North group of death in the BBL Cup.

Riders were clearly lifted by the win against the Eagles and came out in a determined mood. Geno Crandall set the mood early, mesmerising the Lions with his dribbling and a Crandall assist to William Lee, and fine play inside by Darien Nelson Henry had Riders 8-3 in front. The Lions offence by contrast was mis-firing and not even a three from ex-NBA star Deandre Liggins could get them going. Another jump shot from Crandall and a three pointer from Conner Washington pushed Riders 21-9 clear. Jamell Anderson added the icing on the cake with a typical three from the corner to give Riders a 26-11 first quarter lead.

Riders continued the relentless pressure in the second period, marred only by an injury to big man Mo Walker who limped off with what looked like a hamstring injury. Corey Johnson hit a long three to push Riders 33-14 clear, and although the Lions stepped up their defensive pressure, Riders maintained their composure and kept the score board ticking over. Crandall again penetrated the London defence at will, and hit a couple of ten foot jumpers. The Riders benefited from the Lions foul count, which was mounting up, and by half-time were well in control, leading 53-31.

Riders came out with determination in the second half and kept up the defensive pressure on London. Another Crandall three point play got Riders 61-36 clear, before Dirk Williams helped a mini comeback for the Lions with a three followed up by a quick jumper. But Riders were getting contributions from everywhere and another Washington three followed by a Lee dunk kept them well in front. Once again Riders delivered a killer blow with a three from Johnson on the third quarter buzzer to keep them 75-49 in front.

London mounted one final charge early in the fourth quarter, helped when Riders captain Nelson-Henry picked up his fourth foul. Ex-Sheffield star Williams hit another three, and his teammate Kevin Ware finally got untracked hitting a couple of long jump shots. When Riders were called for a technical with the Riders lead cut to 84-64 with six minutes left, it could have been a turning point. But Riders held their composure, Anderson hit a big three from the corner, and that took the steam out of any London comeback.

Once again Riders got contributions from all over, with 5 players in double figure points. Washington top scored with 20 points including 4 three pointers, and added 4 assists. His back court partner Crandall had another big game with 17 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. And big man Lee had his best game in a Riders shirt with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists, shooting 53% from the floor. Johnson also had a welcome return to the score sheet with 17 points including 3 three pointers.


Washington 20, Lee 18, Johnson 17, Crandall 17, Anderson 12, Nelson-Henry 8, Jackson 5


Williams 20, Liggins 14, Ware 14, Lockhart 11, Walker 7, Taiwah 5, Robinson 2, Bristol 2, Dang Akodo 1

Riders defeat Eagles on the road

Leicester Riders bounced back from their opening night defeat to Newcastle Eagles, with a dominant final quarter in the away match at the Eagles Community Arena, winning 88-82 in the BBL Cup Group stages. It was Eagles first defeat of the season. 

Once again the teams could barely be separated in the opening three quarters, but with Riders point guard Geno Crandall pulling the strings, Riders pulled away in the final quarter.

Riders had been burned in the last game by the Eagles experienced back court of Rahmon Fletcher and Cortez Edwards, but Riders made adjustments defensively, and held Edwards to just 8 points, all in the second half. 

Riders game plan was clearly to put pressure on the Eagles big men offensively, by pounding the ball inside, and their first three baskets were scored by Riders captain Darien Nelson-Henry. Former Notre Dame star Rex Pflueger responded with a three, to put Eagles 7-6 ahead, but Riders fired back with two three pointers from Conner Washington. Fine inside play by Mo Walker had the teams tied at the end of the first quarter on 20 points.

Walker continued to cause problems on the Eagles on the boards, and Crandall started to impose himself on the game, but the teams could hardly be separated, with a Zach Jackson 20 foot jumper taking Riders just clear, 30-27. Walker and William Lee combined for good play inside and by half-time Riders had edged in front 43-38.

The Eagles came back in the third quarter, as Edwards finally found some space, and they tied the scores on 53 points midway through the quarter. Successive threes by Justin Gordon and Pflueger gave Newcastle their biggest lead of the game at 59-55 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter, but back came the Riders, sparked by Washington, to close the gap to 62-61 with one quarter left, with Newcastle just in front.

Crandell hit a three early in the fourth quarter to spark a 21-11 Riders run that took the game away from the Eagles as the Riders matched the Eagles winning margin from their previous meeting taking the game by 6 points.

Crandall was Riders top scorer with 20 points, and dished out 4 assists, while William Lee was all action with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. But most pleasing for Paternostro was that Riders had 6 players in double figure points.


Pflueger 21, Maxwell 15, Gordon 13, Fletcher 11, Edwards 8, Louis Sayers 6, Darius Defoe 4,


Crandall 20, Jackson 19, Nelson-Henry 13, Washington 11, Walker 11, Lee 10, Anderson 4,

BBL returns to Sky Sports

The British Basketball League is delighted to announce the return of coverage of the BBL to Sky Sports this season. The two-year agreement will see Sky Sports air 30 live BBL matches a season.

As part of the agreement Sky Sports will also air the BBL Trophy Final, BBL Cup Final, BBL Playoffs and live coverage of the Women’s BBL Playoff final.

  • Sky Sports will show 30 live matches a season
  • Sky Sports will air both the men’s and women’s finals including BBL Trophy Final, BBL Cup Final, BBL Playoffs
  • Kieron Achara MBE and Drew Lasker to be part of the Sky Sports broadcasting team
  • Newcastle Eagles v London Lions to headline the opening night’s action on December 3 in a double header also featuring B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Cheshire Phoenix live from Eagles Community Arena. Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event, 4.30pm

Sky Sports will broadcast a double header live from the Eagles Community Arena on December 3 to kick-start the coverage. Newcastle Eagles, who are the BBL’s most successful side with 25 major titles to their name, host a London Lions side who have been very busy adding to their line up in the close season in an eagerly anticipated opening night encounter in the BBL Championship. B. Braun Sheffield Sharks will tip-off against Cheshire Phoenix in the league season opener earlier in the evening. Both matches will be live on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event from 4.30pm.

It promises to be a highly exciting time for British Basketball as the road to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where 3×3 basketball will be a featured sport, draws ever closer. Sky Sports coverage will include expert analysis from Kieron Achara MBE, who was part of the London 2012 Olympics Basketball squad, and current Newcastle Eagles star Drew Lasker.

BBL Chairman Sir Rodney Walker said: “It is fantastic to be teaming up again with Sky Sports to bring the excitement and action of the BBL to basketball fans at home. We are going to see some excellent games this season as there are incredible British and international players at all 11 clubs. We look forward to working with Sky Sports and the producers Buzz16 to showcase the best of British basketball over the next two years.”

Kieron Achara MBE said: “Although I may have stopped playing, I’m still part of the BBL family so it’s great to see this partnership with Sky Sports giving BBL the attention it deserves. I’m looking forward to working with Sky Sports to share the sport I love and grow our community.”

Sky Sports Managing Director Rob Webster said: “We are delighted to welcome the BBL back to Sky Sports. We look forward to showcasing the best of basketball from across the country in what promises to be a busy but exciting period with the 2022 Commonwealth Games on the horizon. We hope an event of that magnitude on UK shores will enable what is a big participation sport to continue its growth. We at Sky Sports are thrilled to be able to support the sport.

“With continued coverage of the NBA and WNBA, the addition of the BBL makes Sky Sports the home of basketball. We can’t wait for the action to get underway on December 3 from Eagles Community Arena”

Buzz16 Productions will produce BBL coverage for Sky Sports. Additionally, they will commit to including Mama Youth apprentices on the production team for BBL coverage.

Loughborough Riders Men & Women open NBL season with defeat to Solent.

It was a tough opening day at home for both the Men’s and Women’s team who fell short against two very good Solent Kestrel sides.

First game of the day saw the Men’s side which included three new faces step up to the roster, from the Charnwood Riders; Giovani Emejuru and Kanu Gudza and from Loughborough University second team last season, Conor O’Reilly took the floor for the first time. Loughborough faced off against a powerhouse Solent side who made the most of getting into the paint. Jonas Dietrich (19 points) and Harrison Gamble (11 points) led the scoring for Loughborough Riders but a 63% 2 point conversion rate saw the Kestrels seal the victory.

Men’s Head Coach Mark Jarram commented “Credit to Solent, the roster they have complied this year and the brand of basketball they are playing is impressive.”

He added “We are looking forward to the growth over the course of the season and are very intrigued to what type of team we will become as we settle into the season.”

Next up the Women’s team put up a good fight but were out done by an experienced Kestrel sides that controlled the tempo in the second half and took advantage of the Riders being unable to stop them in the paint by scoring 48 points in the game.

Erin Hikin led the scoring for the Riders with 26 points, followed by Hannah Bird who scored 12 points.

Women’s head coach Antonio Quintero said, “We have a very young roster and most of the players will be gaining valuable experience game by game; this will help us to build the chemistry we need to grow as a team and get the right results.”

Loughborough Men will now prepare to face off against Leicester Warriors on Tuesday night at 8pm at Loughborough University in their second game in the L Lynch Trophy. The game will be live to watch on Basketball England’s YouTube Page.

The Women will look to get back to winning ways against the Reading Rockets in their second league game on Saturday 14th November with a 4pm tip off.

Loughborough improve to 2-0 in L Lynch Trophy

Loughborough Riders claimed a narrow victory over Leicester Warriors winning by 83-80.

Riders took advantage of the Warrior’s lack of size, going to work inside early and often resulting in 60 points in the paint on the game. The Riders fell behind in the second quarter before a scoring burst before the half gave them a narrow lead at the break.

Warriors rallied in the fourth to cut the game close but Loughborough kept their resolve late to improve to 2-0 in the competition, and 2-1 on the season in the NBL.

Kyle Jimenez played the full game, proving to be influential at both ends of the court and got a triple double (13 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists) to show for it. Harrison Gamble led the scoring for the Riders with a solid 24 points and 11 rebounds to seal the win.

“Warriors are always a tough game. They are disruptive and relentless and do good job making things scrappy and never go away forcing us to really earn that win and grind it out,” said Loughborough Head Coach Mark Jarram.

“It’s still very early for us and so much to work on. It’s good to have games with so many teachable moments.

We have to be mature and learn and progress from here. We move on with our sole focus on being better than our last game.”

Loughborough Riders will look to continue to build on this performance when they travel to face Barking Abbey on Saturday 14th November in NBL Division One League action.

Opening Day win for the Riders against the Mystics in the WBBL CUP

The Riders controlled the game with a solid performance on both ends of the court, resulting in a 65-44 victory against the Manchester Met Mystics. 

Following a slow start to the game, the Riders gained momentum with Hannah Robb’s much needed 3 point shot and closed the first period with a 21-6 lead. Riders continued to extend the lead with the help of Winterburn’s outstanding performance leading the team with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. 

Riders once again dominated in the paint scoring 32 points and out-rebounded the Mystics, 47 rebounds to their 35. At one stage the home team led by 35 points and had a huge scoring run of 20 points.

Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “We played very well defensively throughout the game, controlling their shots and putting pressure on the ball. Overall it was a great team effort and we enjoyed being back on the court.”  


Riders: Winterburn 15, Clarke 13, Hinriksdottir 8, Gaskin 8, Lappenkuper 6, Robb 3, Allen 3. 

Mystics: Shaw 8, Jones 6, Allen 6, Fong Lyew Quee 6, Song 6, Bailey 4, Horton 2

The Riders next play Nottingham Wildcats at home on the 21st November with a 4pm tip off in the WBBL CUP. Livestream details to follow. 

Riders fall to Eagles in a thrilling Season Opener

Leicester Riders lost out to Newcastle Eagles in their opening match of the season in the BBL Cup Group stages, 102-96 at the Morningside Arena. 

The match was high quality shooting fest, with twenty three lead changes, and still the scores were tied on 96 with just under three minutes left, before the Eagles scored the crucial points to come out victors.

Both teams started on fire, with the game taking on the characteristics of a playoff battle, rather than an early season encounter. Riders point guard Geno Crandall was dazzling with his ball handling running the Riders offence with aplomb. Riders raced into a 6-2 lead, but a big three pointer Evan Maxwell pulled the Eagles back. 

Zach Jackson fired a three back for Riders and then the game turned into a shootout, with Corey Johnson firing in a three, which Maxwell matched. Justin Gordon got in on the act with a three pointer of his own to claw the Eagles back to 12-11, but a three point play by Crandall took Riders 15-14 clear. Johnson has looked very impressive in Riders curtailed pre-season and that has earned him a starting place, and he hit another three, four of six he made in the first half, to give Riders a narrow 30-29 first quarter lead.

There was no let up in the second period as it started with three consecutive threes, with Eagles MVP guard Rahmon Fletcher now starting to assert himself. Riders keep pulling away to 4 point margin, leading 39-35, and then 41-37, before a Rex Pflueger three got the Eagles to within one, trailing 41-40.  Maxwell was continuing to cause Riders all sorts of problems with his size inside and he converted two three point plays to keep Eagles in it. Another Johnson three had Riders in front 55-52 with 1 minute 52 left, but a flurry of scores had the teams tied at halftime at 57 all.

Riders raced into an early 69-64 lead in the second half, but the Eagles then outscored Riders 5 nil to tie the scores again. Consecutive baskets from the classy Cortez Edwards got the Eagles in front 73-70 but Mo Walker was started to put his weight about under the basket, and Riders came roaring back. A William Lee three on the buzzer saw Riders with a 78-77 lead heading into the final ten minutes.

The game stayed close throughout most of the final quarter with a fine move by Darien Nelson-Henry edging Riders ahead and then a Zach Jackson three point play midway through the final period had Riders 92-89 in front. But Maxwell made some baskets down the stretch to help Eagles pull clear.

Corey Johnson was top man for Riders with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, but Riders had five players in double figures, including Mo Walker with 11 points and 10 rebounds, a testament to his continued recovery from long term injury.



Johnson 20, Jackson 19, Lee 12, Walker 11, Crandall 11, Anderson 8, Nelson-Henry 8, Washington 7


Maxwell 26, Gordon 19, Fletcher 18, Edwards 17, Pflueger 10, Darius Defoe 9, Louis Sayers 3

Rob ahead of Cup start

Coach Rob Paternostro can’t wait for the first competitive game of the season this weekend as his Riders side face Newcastle Eagles at the Morningside Arena, 5pm tip-off, on Sunday 8 November 2020.

The game is part of the first phase of BBL Cup fixtures which sees the Riders pitted against Newcastle Eagles, London Lions and Sheffield Sharks.

Riders beat Cheshire Phoenix 88-62 in their final pre-season game last Sunday and have been back in the gym each day this in preparation.

“I think we are all looking forward to starting the BBL season,” commented Coach Rob.

“It’s been a bit of a stop start to get here but as the game approaches you can feel the excitement within the team.”

“We thought it was important we played that friendly game on Sunday in Cheshire. The group enjoyed playing together and enjoyed playing against someone else. They showed some good things at both ends of the floor.”

“We’ve had a good week of practice, the guys are working hard and preparing for the weekend.”

Although the game will be behind closed doors, the game will be streamed LIVE on riders.basketball/live – available for just £4.99 and free to season ticket holders who will be emailed a pass code.

Eagles game on Live Stream

Leicester Riders’ first competitive game of the 2020-21 season will be available for fans to watch via the LIVE stream this weekend.

Riders face Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Cup group phase behind closed doors at the Morningside Arena on Sunday 8th November at 5pm.

The club have announced today that it will be available on LIVE stream for just £4.99 after a successful trial against Sheffield Sharks in pre-season.

The game will again be free for Season Ticket holders – an access code will be sent prior to the game. Fans wishing to purchase access to the game can do so at: riders.basketball/live .

Charnwood College Fall Short in L Lynch Trophy Opener

Charnwood College Riders fell short in a hard-fought battle against Loughborough Riders in the L Lynch Trophy.

Both sides were slow to open the game, with Loughborough being the first to strike and open a small lead behind the inside play of Loughborough newcomer CJ Hayden, to lead 17-13 at the first break. 

Charnwood’s Greg Wild exploded in the game, leading the way for Charnwood on route to 28 points on 7-11 shooting to help Charnwood out to a lead until mid-way through the final quarter. 

Jonas Dieterich (21 points, 9 rebounds) and Harrison Gamble (27 points, 11 rebounds) led the way scoring wise for the Loughborough Riders and it was a fourth quarter explosion on the offensive end that saw the home team extend the lead and grab victory. 

“This was a good good starting point for this group of players, however there’s much more for us to work on. I thought our lack of experience showed down the stretch and a couple of mental lapses saw the game get away from us in the fourth ,” commented Coach Maynard. 

Credit to Loughborough for making big-time plays. For our first game, I am happy with how we competed, especially due to circumstance we have been in over the past month.”

Solid performances from Victor Ndoukou (15 points, 7 rebounds), Giovanni Emejuru (14 points, 13 rebounds) and Kanu Gudza (11 points, 7 assists) to keep the game competitive in the season opener.


Charnwood now look to Wednesday where they will face the Derby Trailblazers Academy in the EABL.

Rob on final pre-season game

Riders ran out 88-62 victors over Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday evening in the final pre-season game of the campaign.

Corey Johnson led the scoring for Leicester with 24 points including six 3-pts made. Big man Mo Walker continues to impress, grabbing 12 rebounds, 11 on the defensive end.

Coach Rob Paternostro gave his thoughts, before his side turn their attention to Newcastle Eagles next Sunday in their first competitive game of the season in the BBL Cup:

“You can tell the guys where hungry right from the start.”

“Defensively in the first half we were excellent. I really like the potential of this team on that end of the floor. To hold them to 20 points in the first half really put us in a great position.”

“In the second half, they made some more shots and maybe the fatigue was there for us a little. So it’s important for us to continue to build as we head into the season.”

“All in all it was an excellent day for us. The ball movement was excellent and we shot the ball really well.”

“It was fun to be back out there on the court.”

Loughborough Open L Lynch Trophy with Victory over Charnwood.

Loughborough Riders took victory over the Charnwood College Riders in the L Lunch Trophy to being the season after delays caused by COVID protocols in the opening two weeks.

Both sides were slow to open the game, with Loughborough being the first to strike and open a small lead behind the inside play of newcomer CJ Hayden, to lead 17-13 at the first break.

Charnwood’s Greg Wild exploded in the game, leading the way for Charnwood on route to 28 points on 7-11 shooting to help Charnwood out to a lead until mid-way through the final quarter.

Jonas Dieterich (21 points, 9 rebounds) and Harrison Gamble (27 points, 11 rebounds) led the way scoring wise for the Loughborough Riders and it was a fourth quarter explosion on the offensive end that saw the home team extend the lead and grab victory.

“No doubt great to be back playing and we want to make the most of it whilst we can,” commented Coach Jarram.

“But definitely showing the anticipated challenges of a new group and our first game in long time. We have many things to work on and look forward to building and figuring it all out.”

Kyle Jimenez produced a staple all round game with 13 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds to open the year whilst Justin Hedley finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in his Loughborough debut following his transfer from Germany.


Loughborough now look to Tuesday where they will face off against the Nottingham Hoods in their second game of the L Lynch Trophy, back home at Loughborough University and live on Basketball England’s Youtube page.

Riders Defeat the Wolves in the Second Matchup

Leicester Riders Women never looked back as they won their second preseason game against Oakland Wolves. 

After the first five minutes, the Riders went on a 12-point scoring run and increased the lead to an 89-54 victory. The team dominated in the paint with 28 points and thrived in transition. 

Sara Hinriksdottir led the team with 19 points, accompanied by Kate Olivers near double-double of 16 points and 9 rebounds. Collectively the team had a strong shooting night beyond the arc, with Sara and the sharpshooter,  Hannah Robb, both hitting three apiece.


Riders: Hinriksdottir 19, Oliver 16, Robb 15, Winterburn 9, Clarke 9, Gaskin 7, Lappenkuper 5, Stone 4, Hikin 3, Januszewska 2.

Wolves: Carter 15, Harrison 12, Uprus 10, Rouse 6, Fulop 6, Boros 4, Milligan 1.

The Riders next play in the WBBL CUP opener as they face the Manchester Met Mystics on November 7th.