Riders to play Cup Semi in Manchester

Following consultation with the BBL, the four BBL Cup Semi-Finalists have come to an agreement to amend the format for the BBL Cup Semi-Finals due to fixture pressures due to COVID-19 implications.

The changes are:

  • Moving from two-legs to single-leg.
  • Playing both games in one central venue
  • Playing both games on the same day

Therefore the BBL Cup Semi-Finals have been agreed as follows:

Date: Tuesday 12 January 2021
Venue: National Basketball Performance Centre, Manchester

Game 1: Leicester Riders v Newcastle Eagles – 5:00pm
Game 2: London Lions v Manchester Giants – 8:00pm

Both games will be broadcast live via BBL Player.

BBL Statement: Postponements

Surrey Scorchers BBL Championship fixtures against Worcester Wolves (28 December), London Lions (1 January) and Leicester Riders (3 January) have been postponed due to self-isolation requirements following a player testing positive for Covid-19. Under the Covid-19 rule amendments, these fixtures will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

With an abundance of caution, the game between Leicester Riders and Bristol Flyers scheduled for 23 December has also been postponed and will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

For fans who have purchased a pass from BBL Player please contact [email protected]

Preview: Riders v Flyers

Season So Far – Riders

This is the second of back to back games against the Flyers for the Riders, after an 85-73 win on Friday evening at the Morningside Arena. The win protected their undefeated BBL Championship record, as they moved to 3-0. The Riders are the only undefeated team remaining, sitting top of the table with a game in hand on the four teams below. They have the best defensive record in the league and are the only team holding their opponents to under 70 points on average. The 73 points they gave up to the Flyers in their most recent game was the most they have given up in the Championship this season, however, Geno Crandall’s 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds were enough for Leicester to take the win. 

Season So Far – Flyers

After finishing eighth in the table at the cancellation of the 2019/20 season, Bristol currently sit midtable in the BBL Championship, splitting their first six games 3-3. After their loss to the Riders, the Flyers won their most recent game 79-99 away to the Surrey Scorchers. They dominated the glass in typical fashion, outrebounding the Scorchers 44-24. Bristol has owned the offensive glass to start the season. They pull down 26% of offensive rebounds a game, resulting in an abundance of second-chance points for their big men. The Flyers have three who average more than seven rebounds a game, and four players who grab at least one offensive rebound a game, the Riders will have their hands full to keep Bristol off the glass. 

Ones To Watch 

In the Riders’ previous game, Geno Crandall took control from the point. He displayed his whole offensive arsenal throughout the game, acting as a floor general to dish out eight assists, and using his handles and quickness to attack the hoop. Crandall had 19 points in the game, nine of which came from the foul line as he shot 90%. The 6’3” point guard, who scored 14 points a game in his year at Gonzaga, is averaging 10 points and five assists in his debut BBL season, after averaging 14 points and six assists in his Cup campaign so far. 

Daniel Edozie’s incredible life-story, which includes being homeless at the age of just 12 on the streets of Los Angeles, has led him to his sixth season in the BBL with the Bristol Flyers. London-born Edozie put himself through college, getting an athletic scholarship to play in the  NCAA for Iowa State, with the help of his foster mother. After graduating, Edozie flew back to his home country, to begin his six-year stint with the Flyers. He is averaging nine points and seven rebounds on the year so far. The 6’8” big man is capable of highlight plays on both ends, using his athleticism to throw down huge dunks and swat away shots. Edozie uses his frame down low to come up with rebounds at a high rate also. 

Previous Meeting

The Riders beat the Flyers in their most recent game, winning 85-73. Leicester shot 38% from three in the game, compared to Bristol’s 27%, which was ultimately the difference between the two teams. Corey Johnson, who shot 37% from three at Havard College, led the way from deep for the Riders, draining three from nine shots. Meanwhile, Marcus Delpeche continued his successful start to the season in which he is averaging 19.6 points and eight rebounds, with 19 points and nine rebounds. 

How To Watch

Although the game will be behind closed doors, Riders fans will be able to watch the game by  purchasing a pass from BBL Player. Riders Season Ticket Holders will be able to access the game for FREE by logging into their BBL Player account.

Riders defeat Flyers to move to 3-0 in the BBL Championship

Leicester Riders stay undefeated in the BBL Championship, with a solid 85-73 win over Bristol Flyers at the Morningside Arena. The Riders dominated the first quarter, and then held off multiple efforts at a comeback by the Flyers, who never got Riders lead down to single figures for the rest of the game, played before the Sky TV cameras. Riders American point guard Geno Crandall was man of the match in a mesmerising performance of ball handling under pressure, faced by a Flyers backcourt of two GB Internationals, Ben Mockford and Teddy Okerafor.

Bristol started the game impressively scoring twice inside, carving Riders offence open rather too easily. But Crandall hit a jumper and then assisted on a Darien Nelson-Henry dunk. Mockford hit a very long three, but that was quickly countered by one by William Lee, and that was the last time the visitors led, as Riders went on a tear. Corey Johnson hit a three, which was followed by one from Zach Jackson, and a breakaway dunk by Lee forced Bristol to an early timeout, trailing 17-7. Straight out of the break, Riders forced Bristol to a shot clock violation, and then Nelson-Henry and Lee scored inside, followed by another Johnson three. Jamell Anderson came off the bench, upping Riders defensive intensity even further, and he joined in the fun with a three, as Riders dominated the first quarter 34-19.

Crandall piled on the misery early in the second period with a step back three and then Aaron Falzon hit another, as Riders racked up 10 three pointers in the first half from just 15 attempts. A beautiful pass from Johnson found Nelson-Henry open for an easy score and Riders lead ballooned to 48-27 midway through the second quarter, their biggest of the game. Raphael Thomas-Edwards then made a couple of exceptional plays at both ends of the court for Bristol, and by half-time the Flyers had whittled down the Riders lead to 56-40.

Both defences tightened up considerably in the third quarter and with the defences on top both teams found it hard to score. Marcus Delpeche was causing Riders plenty of problems when he got the ball near the basket, but Nelson-Henry hit an extraordinary three under pressure at the end of the shot clock, to keep Riders on top. Zach Jackson hit a three in an otherwise relatively subdued performance, and Riders lead was still 70-54 with a quarter left.

The teams continued trade baskets early in the fourth quarter with Lee picking up a couple of scores off offensive rebounds to keep Riders lead in double figures. As the clock ran down Crandall performed his magic drawing multiple fouls near the end of the shot clock, which he then converted from the free throw line. If he was not being fouled, Crandall found Nelson-Henry with space underneath the basket, and that was good enough to snuff out any attempted Bristol recovery.

Crandall finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists, also converting 9 of 10 free throws to stifle the Bristol comeback. Nelson-Heney was once again very efficient with 15 points on 87% shooting, and added 6 rebounds and 3 assists.William Lee also impressed with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, but it was Riders 12 three pointers at 38% shooting to just five by Bristol at 27% conversion rate, which proved the difference between the teams.


Crandall 19, Nelson-Henry 15, Lee 14, Johnson 13, Jackson 8, Anderson 5, Falzon 4, Fraser 4, Washington 3


Delpeche 19, Lockett 15, Thomas-Edwards 12, Copeland 8, Mockford 6, Okerafor 5, Edozie 4, Rogers 4

Riders to face Eagles

Riders have been drawn to face Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Cup Semi Final over two legs.

The draw, made live on Sky Sports during the half-time break in Riders win over Bristol Flyers, also saw London Lions match up with Manchester Giants.

The exact dates are still to be confirmed but will be played at the start of January.

Preview: Riders v Flyers

Season so far – Riders

The Riders have enjoyed a great start to their BBL Championship campaign, winning their first two games by double digits. Leicester’s defence has been their greatest strength, giving up just 68 points per game, the best defensive record in the league. This defence was on full display in their most recent BBL Championship fixture against Sheffield Sharks. The Riders held the Sharks, who were averaging 91 points a game going into the tie, to just 64 points as they shot 40% from the field. William Lee led the team with his three steals, nine rebounds and a block in the game, and led the team offensively with 17 points also. 

Season so far – Flyers

After a successful season in 2019/20, reaching their first BBL Cup final in franchise history, the Flyers began the 2020/21 season 0-2 before playing a single game. With four players testing positive for Covid-19, Bristol were unable to field a team for 14 days, meaning their first two BBL Cup fixtures were forfeited. Despite this, the Flyers still qualified for the knockouts in dramatic fashion, beating the Worcester Wolves in their final group game to finish ahead of them on points difference. However, in their most recent game, the Flyers were knocked out of the Cup by the Newcastle Eagles, losing 72-64. In the BBL Championship, the Flyers split their 4 games and currently sit with a 2-2 record.

Ones to watch

Darien Nelson-Henry has been an interior force to start the season, averaging 14 points and 7.5 rebounds across the two BBL Championship games. The American big-man, who led Pennsylvania in points, rebounds and blocks in his senior year in college, sets hard screens in the pick and roll to get open drives to the rim. He has been also been successful working down in the post, which has opened up space for the Riders’ shooters. In Leicester’s last BBL Championship fixture, Nelson-Henry dished out five assists, kicking the ball out after being double-teamed down low. 

After averaging 10 points a game for the Flyers last season, Marcus Delpeche appears to have taken a big leap forward this year. In the BBL Championship, Delpeche is averaging 19.8 points and 7.8 rebounds, leading his team in both categories. He is a freight train when driving to the hoop coming off the pick and roll; capable of throwing down monster dunks over anyone in the league. Delpeche shoots the ball efficiently, 63% from the field this season, and the 6’7’’ forward uses his frame effectively to box out opponents and pull down rebounds at a high rate.

Previous Meeting 

It was Bristol who took the victory the last time the Riders faced the Flyers in the 2019/20 season, in a well-fought contest. It was a one-possession game with a minute left on the clock, and Eric Lockett made a free-throw in the final 10 seconds to put the Flyers up by four. Corey Johnson couldn’t make his three with four seconds left to make it close, ending the game. Darien Nelson-Henry was big on the glass for Leicester in the game. He had seven rebounds to go along with his 12 points, which came from just eight shots. Lockett was a big contributor for Bristol, putting up 16 points and six rebounds. 

How To Watch

Although the game will be behind closed doors, Riders fans will be able to watch the game by either tuning into Sky Sports Mix from 7pm or alternitavely purchasing a pass from BBL Player. Riders Season Ticket Holders will be able to access the game for FREE by logging into their BBL Player account.

Riders blow out Rocks to reach the BBL Cup Semi Finals

Leicester Riders made light work of Glasgow Rocks in the quarter-finals of the BBL Cup, coasting to a 93-59 victory at the Morningside Arena. The Riders led from start to finish, and had a massive 48 point lead early in the fourth quarter, before the Rocks made a modest recovery in the final seven minutes of the game. 

Riders will now go into the hat for the draw for the Cup semi-finals, where they could draw London Lions and Newcastle Eagles from the group of death, who also progressed, along with Manchester Giants.

Riders raced to an early 9-2 lead after three minutes, with a superb pass from captain Darien Nelson-Henry setting up William Lee for a huge dunk, and the Rocks were immediately on the back foot. Their experienced player-coach GB International Gareth Murray started the game, after starring in their upset win at Plymouth last Sunday, but he could do little to stem the tide against intense defence from the Riders. A Jamell Anderson three, followed by good work inside by former Rock Ali Fraser, and Lee again with a dunk, gave Riders a 20-10 lead. With the first period gone, Murray left the game for good, to concentrate on coaching, having failed to score in four attempts.

Fraser caught fire early in the second period, as he found his way to the basket three times in succession with his trademark baby hook shots, and Riders other recent signing Aaron Falzon also responded with 5 points in a row,  to push Riders lead out to a commanding 29-12. Corey Johnson, who has had a quiet last few games shooting – wise, then hit 2 three pointers in a row to break the game open 39-18 midway through the second period. Johnson rounded off the first half with yet another three, to take Riders to the locker-room up 51-26 at half-time.

Riders were a little slow starting the second half but 2 unsportsmanlike fouls on the Rocks were evidence of their increasing frustration. Another huge Lee dunk got Riders 60-33 up, and more fine work by Falzon had Riders 76-41 clear at the third quarter break. Crandall was starting to weave his magic in the paint, and found Lee open again for another monster dunk.

Riders opened the fourth quarter with successive three pointers from Johnson, twice, and Conner Washington, forcing the Rocks to a time-out. From then on Riders gave minutes to some of their pathway players as the teams traded baskets in the closing minutes of the game.

Johnson finished up the top scorer in the game with 20 points, which included 6 three pointers, but he also grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 3 assists, while playing excellent defence on the relatively inexperienced Glasgow guards.

The remaining points were spread amongst another eight Riders, with Nelson-Henry again very solid with 15 points and 6 rebounds in just over 17 minutes of play, including 6 from 6 shooting from the floor. Conner Washington ran the point once again with efficiency, dishing out 11 assists, and he added 7 points. 

But it was Riders defence that made the difference holding the Rocks to just 42% from the floor, whilst out-rebounding the Scots 37-28, and they moved the ball as a team extremely, well with 30 assists, 13 more than the Rocks managed.


Johnson 20, Nelson-Henry 15, Falzon 11, Lee 11, Fraser 8, Crandall 8, Anderson 7, Washington 7, Jackson 6, Ndoukou, Jimenez, Hedley


Jacdonmi 17, Brandon 14, Van Sauers 11, Bunyan 5, Mpondo 5, Mortimer 3, Kwedi 2, Harte 2, Malcolm, Murray

The Riders are next in action on Friday evening when they take on the Bristol Flyers in the BBL Championship, a game that will mark the Riders first appearance on Sky Sports this season.

Riders let lead slip

Loughborough Riders let a 13-point lead slip against Team Newcastle University going into the fourth quarter, losing the game 77 – 74. 

Riders looked to be in control for most part of the game with valuable points from Jonas Dieterich (19) and Harrison Gamble (18) with Kyle Jimenez leading the assists (16) but a strong fourth quarter performance from Newcastle University handed the Riders their 3rd loss of the season.     

 Mark Jarram commented “Disappointing loss, but a good one for the teachable moments. Credit to Newcastle for making the momentum plays when it counted but it was very self-inflicted mistakes that they rightfully capitalized on. There are a number of clear things we can’t afford to do, in the manner that we did, especially with a lead.  

He added “We are far from the finished product with this group and we need to use these games maturely with an urgency to adapt for the rest of the season.”   


Riders: J.Dieterich 19, H.Gamble 18, K.Jimenez 13, K.Gudza 8, C.Hayden 6, J.Bielak 5, G.Emejuru 3, D,Orija 2

Newcastle: D.Moya 26, R.Blain 25, B.Federici 9, C.Smith 9, N.Urli 6, E.Kabengele 2 

The Riders are now back in action on the 9th January against Bradford Dragons. 

Preview: Riders v Rocks

Leicester Riders vs Glasgow Rocks 

Competition: BBL Cup Quarter Final

Venue: Morningside Arena

 Tip-off: 8:00 PM

Season so far – Riders

The Riders qualified for the BBL Cup Quarter Finals with a game to spare. Leicester won three games on the bounce despite losing their first game to the Eagles 106-96 in a tightly contested game. They split the series between each team, finishing the group with a 3-3 record. This was enough to earn them the second seed in the group dubbed ‘the group of death’. In the BBL Championship, the Riders got off to a flying start, winning consecutive games by double digits to start 2-0. Their most recent game, a 74-64 win against the Sheffield Sharks has taken their record to 2-0.

Season so far – Rocks

The 2020/21 season marks the beginning of a new ear for the Glasgow Rocks you are now being led by Gareth Murray as player/coach following the departure of Vincent Lavandier. Murray has played for a total of 11 years over three stints for the Scottish club, averaging 10.7 points last season. Glasgow comfortably progressed through the group stage of the BBL Cup, with a 3-1 record. They started their season with back to back wins, including a 30 point blowout against the Cheshire Phoenix. They did lose their third game to the Manchester Giants, but bounced back to beat the Giants in their final group game. Glasgow lost their first two games of the BBL Championship, the second to the Bristol Flyers by over 40 points. They responded in their most recent game, a narrow 63-61 overtime win to the Plymouth Raiders.

Ones to watch

William Lee has been an interior force in the group stage of the competition, leading the Riders in rebounds and blocks. The 6’9” big man is the all-time leading shot-blocker at his hometown college, the University of Alabama, winning the conference defensive player of the year twice. His defensive talents have translated fluently in his first BBL season. Lee averaged 1.6 blocks a game in the group and performed efficiently on offence, shooting 51% from the field on his way to 13.5 points a game. Lee led the team in points, rebounds, steals and blocks in their last game, a BBL Championship tie against the Sheffield Sharks. Lee scored 17 points and grabbed himself nine rebounds in a near double-double performance, in which he played his usual elite brand of defence, blocking a shot and stealing the ball three times.  

Julius Van Sauers played a significant role in getting the Rocks through the group stage. The Dutch big man is coming off the back of a BBL Cup winning rookie season with the Worcester Wolves, and this season averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists through the group stage. Van Sauers was part of the Dutch team that qualified for the Eurobasket tournament for the first time in 25 years after spending four years at Long Island University. 

Previous meeting

The Riders and Rocks are yet to meet this term, the last time the Riders came up against the Rocks, it came down to the last play of the game. The score was 68-71 in favour of Glasgow with just five seconds on the clock. Leicester got a wide-open three off a give and go from the inbound, but the shot was missed and tipped in by Jamal Anderson, resulting in the Rocks taking the victory 71-70. Riders’ recent signing, Ali Fraser, was wearing Glasgow colours in this one. He led the opposition in scoring with 17 points, along with nine rebounds and six assists.  Fraser blocked Anderson’s game-tying three attempt with six seconds to go, a defensive play which ended up winning the game for the Rocks. 

How To Watch

Although the game will be behind closed doors, Riders fans will be able to watch the game by purchasing a pass from the brand new BBL Player, CLICK HERE to purchase your pass. Riders Season Ticket Holders will be able to access the game for FREE by logging into BBL Player.

Riders win with 2 seconds to go

Loughborough Riders defeated top of the league Ipswich 77 – 76 with a big bucket by Makana Stone with 2 seconds left on the clock. 

Ipswich started the better of the two teams opening an early 10-0 lead, their biggest scoring run of the game. Molly James got the Riders going with a 3-point shot which got the Riders into their flow, ending the first quarter 19 – 19. Once again Ipswich looked to get away from the Riders, creating an 8-point lead but a 3-point shot from Robyn Ainge and two lay-ups followed by a brilliant 2 point turn around jump shot from Makana Stone put the Riders in front by 1 point. Ipswich replied with a lay-up from Esther Little, followed by a free throw shot from Harriet Welham giving them a 30 – 32 lead going into the half-time break. 

The Riders came out for the third quarter with unmatched energy from Ipswich, creating a 14-point lead (their biggest of the game) with Molly James hitting three 3-point shots. Harriet Welham kept Ipswich in the game and left them trailing by 4 points heading into final quarter. The final quarter turned into a 3-point shootout with Ipswich’s Susannah Rafiu getting hot and connecting with three 3-point shots giving her team a 1-point lead with 60 seconds left on the clock. Both teams failed to make shots and a foul on Robyn Ainge, forced Riders Head Coach Antonio Quintero into a timeout with 5 seconds left to play. Makana Stone put Riders up by 1 point after a successful lay-up with 2 seconds to go which gave the Riders a win in this exciting game. 

Head Coach Antonio Quintero was delighted with the performance commentating “We believed from the start we could win the game; it was an incredible win. Ipswich are for sure the toughest team in the league, so to win against them in manner we did will give the team a great confidence boost. 

He added “Everyone is adapting to the league well and we are building a good base to be a strong side for the season.”  

Loughborough Riders now prepare to play away to Nottingham Trent University on Saturday 19th December. 


Riders: M.James 24, M.Stone 20, R.Ainge 16, H.Bird 7, K.Januszewska 7, S.Lecuyer 3 

Ipswich: H.Welham 18, E.Little 15, S.Rafiu 15, C.Ka Yin Leung 9, C.Redhead 6, E.Pearson 6, D.Cazey 3, C.Taylor-Willis 2, B.Hardwood-Bellis 2 

Riders defeat Sharks in a hard fought contest

Leicester Riders won a tense game against the Sheffield Sharks to maintain their unbeaten start to the BBL Championship, in a tight, defensive affair at the Morningside Arena, 74-64. The teams were playing for the second time in 5 days, and for the fourth time in this young season, and with both sides very familiar with their opponents’ strengths, they tended to cancel each other out over the first three quarters, before Riders finally took control in the final period to take the win.

It was the Sharks that started the better, with a driving lay-up from the impressive new signing Jeremy Hemsley, and a dunk from Kipper Nichols, helping the visitors to an early 6-2 lead. Riders were a little tentative on offence, and a couple of sloppy cross-court passes were turned over by the Sharks, and converted into breakaway scores. Darien Nelson-Henry was keeping Riders in the game in a low scoring affair, and after six minutes the scores were level on just 8 points apiece. Conner Washington came off the bench to hit 5 points in a row for Riders, and Nichols responded with 7 points in succession for the Sharks, to leave the teams at parity after ten minutes, at 17-17.

It was a grind out affair in the second period as tough defence limited scoring opportunities, and then 7 points in a row from Sheffield, capped by a Nick Lewis three pointer, pushed the Sharks lead to 27-21, forcing Riders Head Coach Rob Paternostro to a time-out. Half way through the second period the Sharks led 31-25, but then it was Riders defence that turned the screws, and fine play from Geno Crandall who was closely marked by the Sharks throughout, and a turnaround jump shot by Zach Jackson had Riders back in it, trailing just 35-32 at half time.

The game stayed close, with the Sharks ahead 44-41 with six and a half minutes gone in the third quarter, but Riders then turned the tide. A William Lee lay-up was quickly followed by one from Jackson, Corey Johnson scored 5 points in a row, and Riders finally had some breathing space, leading 50-44. The Sharks would not lie down, Nick Lewis responding with a three pointer, and the game was still in the balance after three quarters, Leicester leading 54-50.

The start of the final period proved decisive, as a Washington three pointer was quickly followed by one from new boy Aaron Falzon, and with Riders then pressuring the Sharks to a shot clock violation, and the visitors were forced to a timeout.

Riders were racking up the fouls, and 4 free throws in a row from the Sharks closed the gap, but a Lee dunk followed by a powerful inside hook shot from Nelson-Henry followed by a three from Lee, got Riders lead back to ten points, with four minutes left. From then on it was just a matter of managing the clock and Riders came out with the hard fought, but deserved win.

Lee was the star man for the Riders, hitting six of eight shots on the way to 17 points, highlighted by a couple of ferocious dunks, along with 9 rebounds, including a couple of crucial ones in the fourth quarter, along with 2 assists, 3 steals and a block.

Captain Nelson-Henry was his solid self with 13 points and 7 rebounds and an eye-catching 5 assists, while Conner Washington also scored 13 points, including 2 three pointers and 4 assists, guiding Riders home in the tense fourth quarter.

Preview: Riders v Sharks

Leicester Riders vs B. Braun Sheffield Sharks

Competition: BBL Championship

Venue: Morningside Arena 

Tip-off: 8:00 PM

Season so far- Riders

The Riders started their season strongly, by securing qualification to the knockout stages of the BBL Cup. Three consecutive wins were enough to achieve this, as they beat each of the teams in their group; an impressive run of games coming after a narrow 96-102 loss in their first match to the Eagles. Their most convincing win came against their opponent for the upcoming tie, defeating the Sharks by over 20 points. The group stage wasn’t without its difficulties for Leicester however, as they split the group series against each of the teams in the ‘group of death’. The Riders also got off to a winning start in the BBL Championship last weekend, beating the Surrey Scorchers 84-72 behind 16 points from Jamell Anderson.

Season so far- Sharks

Despite beating the London Lions 70-61 in their first game, Sheffield’s win in their most recent match against the Riders was only a consolation, as they found themselves eliminated from the competition already. This came after losing their next four games, all by double digits, in a highly competitive group. The Sharks fell short in their first game of the BBL Championship, losing to the Cheshire Phoenix 92-82, however, they bounced back in their next game, torching the Scorchers 105-61.

Ones to watch

In the group stage of the BBL Cup, Corey Johnson shot the lights out. Johnson hit 45% of his threes, and against the Lions went four for five from deep, resulting in 17 points. If Johnson continues his hot streak on Friday night then the Sheffield defence may well be in for a long night, as they were the last time he faced the Sharks. Johnson was four for eight from deep in that game, and led the Riders on scoring with 20. 

The Sharks recently signed Jeremy Hensley, after the departure of Mackay McKnight. Hensley shone on his debut, dropping 21 points and getting six assists, leading his team in both categories, before following the game up with another 21 point performance. The 6’3” guard was ranked 63 in ESPN’s top 100 high school athletes when he graduated and went on to play for Division 1 San Diego State University in college. Hensley uses his electric speed and tricky handles to get to the rim with ease and can make acrobatic lay-ups at a high rate this is something the Riders will have to do their best to contain on Friday Night.

Previous meeting

The Riders last faced the Sharks earlier in the week, in a game with little consequence. With home court in the second round already secured for Leicester, and Sheffield out of the competition, the Riders gave game time to some of their young talent. New signings Ali Fraser and Aaron Falzon saw the court too, Falzon leading the team in scoring with 16 points. The two teams also met earlier in the group stage. The Riders led wire to wire and had established a significant lead by halftime. They never looked back, winning the game 85-64. It was Corey Johnson’s 20 points that led the Riders to victory in the fixture.

How To Watch

Although the game will be behind closed doors, Riders fans will be able to watch the game by purchasing a pass from the brand new BBL Player, CLICK HERE to purchase your pass. Riders Season Ticket Holders will be able to access the game for FREE, an email will be sent to you from BBL Player instructing you on how to gain access.

Levenston elected to BE board

Riders Managing Director, Russell Levenston, has been elected to the board of Basketball England.

Russell has been with the Riders since 2007, transforming the club both on and off the court. He has been integral in developing the Riders player pathway from Charnwood College through Loughborough University and the senior teams. Having also spent 13 years at Milton Keynes Lions/Hemel Royals as a volunteer then later as a general manager, Levenston has vast experience in the basketball community.

Elected Directors are from within our sport and are appointed through an election process in which BE voting members can vote for their preferred candidate.

Levenston has been appointed an Elected Director for an initial term of three years.

A huge congratulations Russell, from everyone at Leicester Riders, Loughborough Basketball, and Charnwood College.

Riders team up with Glencar for Sky Sports game

Britain’s oldest BBL franchise, Leicester Riders, has partnered with Glencar Construction for the upcoming Sky Sports game against Bristol Flyers on Friday 18th December (7.30pm tip). 

The game will be the first time the reigning Playoff champions have featured on Sky Sports since coverage got underway last week. The club are delighted to welcome Glencar Construction to the Riders family as an official game night sponsor for the first game on the channel.

“The Leicester Riders young player pathway and community development programme has contributed massively, not only to the success of the team on the court, but also off the court in terms of providing young people with opportunities to grow, develop and be part of a success story,” commented Glencar Managing Director Eddie McGillycuddy.

“Basketball is an integral part of community sport and actually one of most played sports in the U.K. amongst young people. Glencar are very happy to partner with one of The British Basketball League’s leading teams who share our core values in investing in young people, education and community development.”

Glencar Construction is a contractor specialising in the creation of high quality turnkey facilities in partnership with some of the UK’s leading developers, occupiers, retailers and logistics businesses.

“We are extremely excited to be working alongside a company such as Glencar which clearly shares our core values and sense of community,” said Leicester Riders’ Managing Director Russell Levenston.

“Like with our recent success on court it’s a chance for us to help celebrate Glencar’s recent successes off court, after being awarded top spot in the annual Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table.”

Riders have made a great start to the 2020-21 season having qualified for the BBL Cup quarter final against Glasgow Rocks and opened their league campaign with a victory over Surrey Scorchers.

Jamell Anderson, who was a standout versus Surrey added: “Leicester is a club that’s synonymous with leading the way in British Basketball as well as its work in local community so the partnership with Glencar is a great fit.

“Everyone is looking forward to playing back in front of the Sky Sports cameras.”

Sky Sports have also confirmed that Leicester will also feature on the channel on Friday 26 February when they host Worcester Wolves.

Two more All-Star Five Selections

Riders have another two players selected in the WBBL All-Star Five. 

The team cruised to the WBBL CUP final last weekend against Cardiff Archers, which was led by a double-double from Ella Clark who put up 15 points and 13 rebounds. Clark made her presence known in the first quarter with a quick 5 points and 5 rebounds. 

Although Holly Winterburn had a quiet scoring night, she continued to show the league her all-rounded game with 9 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. This is also Winterburn’s second All-Star Five selection in a row. 

The Riders will now shift their focus to the regular-season and are travelling down to Oakland Wolves on December 12th. 

Quarter Final date announced

Leicester Riders will host Glasgow Rocks on Wednesday 16 December 2020 (8pm tip) in the quarter final of the BBL Cup.

Riders wrapped up their group phase on Monday night having already secured their spot in the quarter finals.

The game will be available to watch on BBL Player.

Youthful Riders fall to Sharks in the BBL Cup

A very young Leicester Riders team made a full strength Sheffield Sharks work hard to pick up their second victory in the qualifying stages of BBL Cup, with an 87-61 win at the Morningside Arena. Only new signings Ali Fraser and Aaron Falzon played from Riders regular senior side, in a match that had little significance, since Sheffield were already out of the competition, and Riders were assured of a home tie in the quarter-finals.

Riders will now play Glasgow Rocks in the next round, on Wednesday 16th December (8pm) at the Morningside Arena. The quarter-finals are played over a single leg. Newcastle finished up topping Riders group, and will play Bristol Flyers at home. The other quarter-finals see match-ups between Plymouth Raiders and London Lions, and Manchester Giants against Surrey Scorchers.

Riders started the game positively with Scottish International Fraser hitting an early 5 points to give the home side a 5-2 lead. Sheffield came roaring back, courtesy of their new signing Jeremy Hemsley, who looks a very good addition to the team at the point guard position. The Sharks raced into a 13-7 lead with an 11 to 2 run, but young Riders prospect Kyle Jimenez stopped the rot with a three pointer, and he handled the ball very well against the experience Sheffield guards, turning the ball over just once, while dishing out 6 assists. Hemsley and veteran Sheffield forward Mick Tuck hit consecutive threes, and Tuck finished that off with a three point play to push Sheffield 24-14 clear at the first quarter break. 

Young Leicester guard Joe Bielak responded with a three to open the second period, and Jimenez hit another, and after three minutes of the second quarter the Sharks lead was 30-20. Powerful forward Victor Ndoukou was showing his strength inside for the Riders, and he hit 7 points in two minutes to keep Riders in touch, trailing 42-27. At half-time Sheffield had a deserved 48-31 lead.

The third quarter-final was a shoot-out, as both teams started to find their range from beyond the arc. Ndoukou hit another superb three under pressure from the corner, but former Rider Johde Campbell, looking very impressive in extended minutes for the Sharks, hit back with a three, which was matched by Falzon. Campbell hit another and Falzon, now finding his range, yet another, followed by a three point play. Riders edged the third quarter 21-19, and they closed the gap to 67-52 with ten minutes left. 

With these two teams matching up again in the BBL Championship at the same venue this Friday evening, Riders Head Coach Rob Paternostro limited Fraser and Falzon’s minutes, and Riders went very young in the final period, as Sharks pulled clear. Jimenez continued to impress and he hit his third three from 6 attempts, as Sharks won the final period 20-9.

Ndoukou looked comfortable in this company, finishing with 14 points, 8 rebounds along with 3 assists, on 55% shooting. Falzon got some good minutes leading the scoring for Riders with 16 points, including 3 three pointers, and added 6 rebounds and 3 assists.



Falzon 16, Ndoukou 14, Jimenez 9, Fraser 7, Hayden 5, Bielak 5, Jordan 3, Gudza 2


Lillard 19, Hemsley 16, Campbell 14, Lewis 13, Baldwin 8, Koch 6, Tuck 6, Nichols 3, Marsden 2

Riders victorious in BBL Championship opener

Leicester Riders started their BBL Championship season with a solid win 84-72 on the road at Surrey Scorchers. The win was even more impressive as Riders had two of their players fouled out, Geno Crandall and Scottish International Ali Fraser on his debut, as Leicester racked up 25 fouls, the most in a match in four seasons. It was Riders 26th win in their last 27 games at Surrey, the other being a draw in the first leg of a playoff series. It was also the tenth season in a row that Riders have won their league opener.

Both teams got off to a slow start, with the big men Darien Nelson-Henry and the Scorchers Ryan Richards trading baskets, as Riders built a 6-2 lead after two and a half minutes. Geno Crandall was controlling the game for the Riders, and he sparked another run with a three pointer, and a layup from William Lee put Riders 13-4 up. The home side were feeling the pressure of Riders tight defence, and a Conner Washington three from a long way out pushed Riders 21-12 up. Richards helped the Scorchers pull back, with a couple of big rebounds, and at the first quarter break Riders led 21-14.

Both sides were tentative to start the second quarter, and with Surrey turning the ball over regularly, Riders were failing to capitalise and a Conner Cashew long range shot kept Surrey close 25-19 down. Zach Jackson hit a couple of fine turn-around jump shots and twice Crandall penetrated the Surrey defence to draw fouls, converting 2 of 4. But a no-look pass from him found Jamell Anderson wide open for a dunk, and then Riders has three breakaways in a row off Surrey turnovers, and at halftime Riders were good value for a 46-28 lead.

The Scorchers came back in the third quarter mainly from the free throw line, as their aggressive play on offence led to a succession of trips to the free throw line, particularly for their captain Tayo Ogedengbe. A three from Ogedengbe pulled the Scorchers to within 55-43, but Jackson and Washington hit successive threes, and Riders were looking comfortable with a 63-50 lead with a quarter left.

Surrey came roaring back at the start of the final period, and Riders were rocking when Crandall picked up an unlikely technical foul to exit the game, with Riders lead down to 66-58 with eight minutes left. But a Washington jump shop steadied the ship, Nelson-Henry made a tough basket inside, and then a cutting Anderson completed a huge three point play that took the air out of the Scorchers comeback, as Riders lead ballooned back to 14. Washington was reliable from the free throw line as Surrey sought to pressurise the visitors, and a William Lee dunk put an exclamation mark on the win.

Once again Riders spread the scoring with six players in double figure points. The leader was Anderson off the bench with 16 points, on 7 from 8 shooting, along with 4 rebounds. Captain Nelson-Henry was his efficient self with 15 points and 8 rebounds, while Zach Jackson contributed 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists. On a court where he scored 10 three pointers last season, Corey Johnson had a night to forget, failing to score on 11 attempts, and Fraser failed to score or get a rebound in 8 minutes play before fouling out. The other debutant for Riders Aaron Falzon was solid, with 3 points and 3 rebounds in eight and a half minutes. 


Ogedengbe 17, McLemore 11, Cashew 10, Cook 8, Walshe 7, White 6, Raftopoulos 6, Rickman 4, Richards 3,


Anderson 16, Jackson 15, Nelson-Henry 15, Washington 14, Crandall 11, Lee 10, Falzon 3,

Riders through to the WBBL Cup Final

Leicester Riders Women are now through to the WBBL Cup Final, for the first time, after a dominant 67-27 win over Cardiff Met Archers.

The Riders put their defensive tenacity on display as they held the Archers to a 14 FG% and 17 turnovers. Kate Oliver’s presence was felt in the paint as she had 5 out of the team’s 8 blocks.

Ella Clark showed her versatility on the court and led the way with 15 points and 13 rebounds. This was followed by Sara Hinriksdottir’s near double-double of 10 points and 8 rebounds. 


Riders: Clark 15, Hinriksdottir 10, Robb 10, Lappenkuper 10, Oliver 9, Januszewska 5, Allen 4, Winterburn 2, Ainge 2.

Archers: Hatch 10, Marchizotti 9, Jorgensen 4, Lewis 2, Wagstaff 2.

The Riders will take on the defending champions, Sevenoaks Suns, in the WBBL Cup Final.

Loughborough Women win at home against Cardiff Met Archers

Solid win for the Loughborough Riders Women as they beat Cardiff Met Archers 88-71 at home in the WNBL. 

It was a close game in the first half with the score going back and forth between each team. The Riders had three players in double figures, with Molly James leading the way with 21 points, 4 3-pointers, 4 assists and 4 steals. Makana Stone was next up with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Cardiff’s Amber Dean refused to give up as she put up 30 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. However, the Riders put their foot down at the 6-minute mark in the third quarter and never looked back.

“We were always trying to have a high pace but in the first half we couldn’t do it because we were struggling with rebounds. We were also having problems in defence which was the biggest difference in the first half and the second. In the second half the rebounds were better, and we were doing quicker outlets which was key to run the court” Riders’ Head Coach Antonio Quintero on improvements between the two halves.

He highlighted the performance of Makana Stone, who finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists,  ‘She is doing an amazing performance, she is helping a lot with the rebounds and mostly playing a strong defence and developed a very good offence. She is a player who is creating a very big impact in our games so I am very happy with her”.


Riders: James 23, Stone 18, Bird 15, Janueszewka 8, Ainge 8, Lecuyer 8, Hikin 4, Morris 2, Cox 2.

Archers: Deane 30, Richards 10, Roy 10, Bunyan 4, Green 4, Basini-James 2, Kvietinskaite 2, Johnstone 2, Ferguson 1.

The Loughborough Women’s next matchup is against Ipswich Basketball at home on December 12th.

Falzon is a Rider

Leicester Riders have added Aaron Falzon to their roster ahead of the start of the BBL league season opener in Surrey on Saturday.

Falzon, brother of former BBL player Tevin, joins Leicester having started this season in France with NM1 side Etoile Angers.

In college, Aaron spent four years at North Western before a final year transfer to Quinnipiac both schools in the NCAA D1. Falzon is also a Maltese international, and was part of the Gold winning side at the European Championship for Small Countries in San Marino two years ago.

“We’re excited to have Aaron”, explained Coach Paternostro. “When we lost the players through injuries we knew we needed to bolster the squad and when Aaron became available we jumped at the chance.”

“Aaron is another offensive weapon. A type of player that can stretch the defence and a guy that can put points on the board. He can really shoot the ball. We like what he brings to us. We think that his presence in the team will improve us.”

Falzon has been at the Riders this week and has received clearance to play in Saturday’s league opener versus Surrey Scorchers.

“I’m really excited to represent Leicester and the organisation,” commented Aaron.

“I’m really excited to get the opportunity to play in the BBL and to showcase my skills and style of play.”

“I can’t wait to get started tomorrow evening against Surrey.”

You can watch Aaron’s debut tonight at 6pm, free on bblplayer.co.uk.

Preview: Riders at Scorchers

Surrey Scorchers vs Leicester Riders

Competition: BBL Championship

Venue: Surrey Sports Park

Tip-off: 6:00 PM

Season so far- Riders

Despite a tough 98-89 loss on the road to the London Lions in their previous fixture, the Riders are sitting pretty at the top of the group of death in the BBL Cup. Geno Crandall led the scoring in the game and has enjoyed a prolific start to his first season in Leicester. Crandall has brought flair and finesse to the Riders backcourt, creating opportunities off the dribble to leave the opposing defence scrambling. He and Connor Washington, whose play so far this season has earned him a place in the GB squad, have shared the backcourt for stretches in games and worked in tandem nicely. 

Season so far- Scorchers

When the league was cancelled during the 2019/20 season, Surrey had conceded the most points of any team in the BBL. Since then, they have made several good signings during the offseason to improve their roster. These signings include ex-Rider Rashad Hassan, who led the league in scoring two years ago, and Martelle Mclemore, who returns to the franchise after averaging nearly 22 points last season with the Thames Valley Cavaliers in the NBL. The Scorchers have earned a spot in the BBL Cup Quarter Finals after finishing second in their group with a 3-3 record. Finding consistency has been the biggest challenge for the Scorchers so far this season who will be looking to make a positive start to their BBL Championship campaign on Saturday Night.

Ones to Watch

Since their last game, the Riders have announced the signing of Ali Fraser, who left French side Avignon after the Covid-19 pandemic put their season at risk. The 6’7’’ forward comes into the roster to fill the hole in the front-court left by the season-ending injuries to Raheem May-Thompson and Mo Walker. Fraser is an exciting prospect for Leicester after he averaged 16.3 points and 8.1 assists for the Rocks last season, helping them to the best record in the BBL. 

Tayo Ogedengbe has led by example early in the season for the Scorchers averaging 13.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.  Tayo has returned to play in his sixth season for Surrey, after averaging 16 points last year. He has a complete offensive arsenal, with his ability to score in a multitude of ways. Tayo can get it done from the mid-range, with a go-to move of his being a turn-around jump shot from the post. He is a crafty player in the paint, using pump fakes to get open looks, and can throw it down too. Tayo can also step outside and shoot the three, making him a dangerous opponent on all three levels.

Previous Meeting

The Riders and the Scorchers last met in the 2019/2 season in a closely contested game that came down to the last few plays. Leicester outscored Surrey by six in the final quarter and took the lead with just seconds to go. The Scorchers couldn’t make the game-winning basket, and the Riders won the game 99-96. Corey Johnson torched Surrey in this one, nailing nine three-pointers in his 32 point effort. Meanwhile, Lovell cook and Tayo Ogedengbe performed well for Surrey, dropping 27 and 20 points respectively. 

Both teams will look for a good performance in this one, as they look to kick off the new BBL Championship season with a winning start. 

How To Watch

Fans can watch the Riders take on the Scorchers for FREE on the brand new BBL Player, CLICK HERE to register!

LIVE stream on BBL Player

As you may have seen this past week the BBL Player was launched by the BBL, a central platform to watch BBL games.

This weekend all games on the platform will be FREE for registered users – bblplayer.co.uk.

Registration is free and there’s no commitment to purchase after this weekend if you don’t want to.

After feedback, the BBL has restructured the pricing so from next week, the Monthly Game Pass covers ALL GAMES shown on the platform live and on-demand for £19.99 a month. If you do choose a subscription then you can pause or cancel at any time.

All money goes direct to the clubs. Riders fans can nominate this club to receive the monthly subscription payment or share equally to all eligible clubs.

Single game passes are also available for £4.99 to watch games live. The money from single-game passes goes directly to the home club.

All-Star Five Selections and Molten’s WBBL Coach of the Month

WBBL have selected Kate Oliver and Holly Winterburn into the third week’s All-Star Five. Head coach Jesper Sundberg was also awarded the Molten WBBL Coach of the Month.

Riders came out big in a cup knockout against Newcastle Eagles. Kate Oliver was unstoppable as she led the way with 29 points, 4 3-pointers and 73 FG%. So far she is averaging 21.5 points, 2 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Holly Winterburn was all over the stat sheet with a near triple-double of 18 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. In the last three games, Winterburn is averaging 14.7 points per game and leading the team in assists and rebounds.

Sundberg’s calm and collective leadership has helped the Leicester Riders secure a perfect 3-0 record in the WBBL cup as well as ensuring the team is dominant on both sides of the floor. 

Riders are currently preparing for the WBBL Cup semifinals against the Cardiff Met Archers this upcoming weekend.

Riders reign

As Saturday’s start to the 2020-21 league season draws upon us, we thought it’d be a great time to reflect on how the Riders have contended over the last few seasons.

Under Coach Rob Paternostro’s guidance, the side have had a 116-28 record in league play since 2015/16. An incredible statistic that is the best record in the BBL.

Since Rob’s arrival, Leicester have picked up 13 major trophies… including four league titles and four play-off wins. That includes the last three Play-off finals at the O2.

Of the current squad Conner Washington (10) and Jamell Anderson (7) have claimed the most silverware – Conner featuring in three of the four league titles and three of the four Playoff victories. Jamell has won both twice.