Morningside Arena hosts Riders against Lions for BBL Cup South decider

Leicester Riders will play London Lions at the Morningside Arena to complete the BBL Cup South qualifying on Sunday 7th November at 4pm. The teams are currently tied on 6 and 1 at the top of the South Group.

The winner will take first spot in the South Group, setting up a tie with either Sheffield Sharks or Cheshire Phoenix in the BBL Cup Quarter Final.

Riders have confirmed that the switch to the Morningside Arena means that Riders Season Tickets holders will have complimentary admission meaning that Season Ticket holders will have an extra home game on their calendar.

Game tickets are available online.

The date for the BBL Cup Quarter Final has also been confirmed as Saturday 13th November 2021 at the Morningside Arena.

Riders start the BBL Championship with a win

The Riders dominated their BBL Championship opener against their BBL rivals, beating the Newcastle Eagles 100-77 to continue their seven-game winning streak. Zach Jackson went off for a season-high 26 points through three quarters, Leicester’s 28 point lead allowing them to sit their starters in the fourth. Jackson’s performance came off just 14 shots, the Omaha graduate torching the Eagles by making four of his five threes.

The BBL’s best offence went off for a big scoring night on the Sky Sports cameras, making 11 threes for 47% from deep. Patrick Whelan, who had an 11 point performance on the game, enjoyed his success in the spaced offence.

“It’s great. A lot of times they have to close out on Zach, Marc or Kimbal, and it leaves me wide open. It makes my job so much easier”. 

The Riders offence clicked, its elite ball movement generating a massive 28 assists. Leicester had six players scoring in double digits, sharing the wealth in the blowout win in an electric Morningside Arena.

“Keep showing up and we’ll keep getting wins”, said Whelan in his post-game message to Riders fans. “We loved the energy in here tonight and next time we’ll win even bigger if you guys come out!”

On his return to Morningside Arena, former Rider Corey Johnson led the Eagles with 22 points. The Canadian wing made six of his eleven shots and all seven of his free throws in an attempt to battle back into the game. However, Newcastle’s league-worst defence continued in their struggles despite Johnson’s efforts, unable to contain the Riders fluid offence. 

Despite the final scoreline, there was little to separate a tightly contested opening period; the Eagles up 22-20 through ten minutes. Mo Walker and Whelan kick-started the Riders season with back to back dunks, as Marc Loving led Leicester’s first quarter with five points. 

The Riders established a lead in the second. Geno Crandall’s handles started a 12-4 Riders run, the Gonzaga graduate beat two-time MVP Rahmon Fletcher off the dribble before dishing down low to Mo Walker. Leicester took their first double-digit lead of the game, locking down the short-handed Eagles, who waited 15 minutes for their first bench points. Crandall finished the half with a drive and finish at the hoop, the teams entered the locker room with the hosts up 51-35. 

Leicester came out firing in the second half, knocking down five threes to extend their lead to 20. Jackson hit two deep shots, leading the Riders through the quarter with ten points to put the game beyond much doubt. The hosts entered the final period up 78-58, in a strong position to see the tie out. 

Up big in the fourth quarter, the Riders stepped on the pedal to blow the Eagles out the water. Seven quick points put Leicester up 28 with nine minutes on the clock before they saw out the game comfortably for their first win of the season.

“Our offence this year has been excellent. Three-point shooting, free-throw shooting, two-point shooting. Everything” said coach Rob Paternostro post-game. “The other stat that is important for us is 11 turnovers. When you shoot the ball, move the ball and take care of the ball that well, you’re going to put big numbers on the board”.

Paternostro gave credit to the fans for the energy on the court. “The atmosphere was great, and our players fed off that. Everybody loves playing in front of a packed house”. 

The Riders conclude their BBL Cup Group next Sunday, fighting for the top spot against the London Lions. They head to the Copperbox Arena, hoping to secure home-court advantage for the knockout stages. 


Leicester Riders produced an astonishing second half comeback on the road to beat the Newcastle Eagles 59-51 in their WBBL Championship encounter.

Playing short handed the Riders showed tremendous character and togetherness as they turned around a 12 point half time deficit to win the second half by 20 points.

A victory looked highly unlikely as the Eagles took advantage of a stuttering Riders offense in the first half. The Eagles jumped out to an early lead with at 10-2 run including 8 points from former Rider Ebony Horton as the Riders were held to just 5 first quarter points.

The second quarter followed a similar pattern as the Riders couldn’t find any fluidity on the offensive end and the hosts extended their lead to 28-16 at the half.

Riders sparked into life in the third quarter led by an inspired display by Hannah Robb. It was her two quick three’s either side of buckets by Oceana Hamilton and Katie Januszewska that saw the Riders begin to claw things back with an 8-0 run.

Another 10-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter saw the Riders hit the lead for the first time. This time it was Louise Rouse who was the catalyst as she connected twice from distance as the Riders made a game changing charge. Eagles seemed unable to respond as Riders poured in 25 fourth quarter points to gain a morale boosting win and move to 2-2 in Championship play.

Robb led the Riders with a courageous 23 points, 8 rebounds & 5 assists. Makana Stone & Januszewska both had 10 points, while Oceana Hamilton scored 8 points to go with her 13 rebounds.

Riders are back at home this Saturday as they host the Caledonia Pride under the stewardship of new head coach Marg Jones.

Tip off is 7pm at Loughborough University and tickets are available to buy by clicking HERE

Jones takes charge in WBBL, Parr Returns & Moodey gets promoted

Leicester Riders can confirm that Marg Jones has taken charge of the WBBL side.

The experienced Jones takes the reins after it was announced that Derrick Washington and the club agreed to part company.

“We decided to make a change and it was a no-brainer for us to hand over the reins for the WBBL team and Loughborough University to Marg,” commented Riders Managing Director Russell Levenston.

“Marg has been with the club previously and the program is in great hands moving forward. We are excited to be able to offer the role to Marg and for her to continue to build on the foundations we already have in place. I feel we have a great coaching team to support the academy programmes and teams moving forward”

“The girls have had a solid start to the season and we believe we can be very successful year in all competitions.”

Jones has previously assisted the Great Britain U20s national team, coached at various levels within Canadian basketball as well as assisting the WBBL with the Riders. Most recently Jones has coached the WNBL Division One women’s side and in the academy program.

Marg Jones commented “I am excited and honoured for the opportunity to be head coach of the Riders Women’s WBBL Program. The team this year is incredibly talented with a mixture of youth and experience. Success is always a collaborative effort and our coaching staff will work with the leadership and experience of our players to continue the legacy of Riders success in the WBBL.”

Riders are also announcing that Oli Parr will be rejoining the club and will support as an assistant for Marg and support in coaching the academy programme.

Oli Parr commented “I’m glad to be back involved with the Riders organisation, really excited to work with all levels of the programme and bring that energy everyday”

Nick Moodey will take over as the women’s Division 1 head coach from Marg as well as continue to assist Marg at WBBL and within the academy.

Nick Moodey commented “I am really excited for the opportunity to head coach the Division 1 team for the remainder of the season. I have been around the team since the start of the season and I am really grateful to have the opportunity to coach such a talented group of players and hope to build on the successful start to the season the team has had.”

Leicester Riders would like to thank Derrick for his work over the last three months and wish him all the best in his future career.

Preview: Riders v Eagles

Season So Far- Riders

The Riders kicked off their season in style, cruising through their BBL Cup group with a 6-1 record. After an opening day loss to the Bristol Flyers, Leicester won six on the bounce, including a statement win to hand the London Lions their first loss of the season. Their most recent game was a composed 81-64 victory at home to the Plymouth City Patriots, in which the Riders led from the opening quarter. Ohio native Marc Loving led the Riders with 20 points, the BBL’s most efficient three-point shooter (on over 25 attempts) going four of seven from behind the line. Leicester have dominated both ends of the court, possessing the league’s best offence and defence. They scored 90.3 points per game through the BBL Cup group stage, and gave up just 74 points. In addition, they have been red hot from three, knocking down a BBL best 42% of their attempts, contributing to the league’s most efficient offence, which makes 48% of its field goals. Led by last season’s MVP Geno Crandall’s 17 points and eight assists a night, the Riders look in solid contention to retain their BBL Championship title.

Season so far- Eagles

The Eagles defence of their BBL Cup title ground to an early halt, as they started their season 1-7 to crash out of the group stage. They enter this fixture on a four-game losing streak, enduring their worst start to a season in 22 years. The Eagles have been ravaged with injury problems early in the year, only listing seven players for their recent 99-84 road loss to the Cheshire Phoenix. While Newcastle’s offence, the third-best in the BBL, has been firing nicely with 86 points per game, their defence has been the root of their struggles this season. They give up a league-worst 90 points a night, their defensive inefficiencies highlighted by their 38 point loss to the
Manchester Giants. The Eagles gave up 111 points in the tie, allowing their opponents to shoot 66% from the field. They will hope to patch up holes in their defence before facing the best offence in British Basketball on Friday.

Ones To Watch

Earning Premier Logistics Player of the Game in his previous fixture, Jubril Adekoya has stepped up in the clutch since singing for the Riders. He and Loving scored 14 of Leicester’s 16 fourth-quarter points against the Patriots, Adekoya registering a season-high 16 points and three steals. The 6’7” forward has stepped up to play at center in the absence of Darien
Nelson-Henry, demonstrating his ability to play multiple positions. The Valparaiso graduate spent the last four seasons in the Spanish second division, after averaging 8.6 points and five rebounds as a senior in college.

Former Rider Corey Johnson has gotten off to a hot start to his Newcastle tenure, putting up 17 points, six rebounds and two steals a night. The 6’5” sharpshooter out of Harvard College has played all eight Eagles games so far, after averaging 11 points for Leicester last year. Johnson gained experience with the Canadian u19s team, and is capable of going off for a big performance any given game, scoring 20 on four occasions last season.

Previous Fixture

The teams last met in last year’s BBL Playoffs, the Eagles coming off the better of the two sides on this occasion. Newcastle won the second leg 69-88 after a close first leg, going on to beat the Lions in the playoff final. Darien Nelson-Henry put up a solid performance for Leicester, getting a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.


Tickets are still available to support the Riders in the BBL Championship opener, CLICK HERE to book yours.

Riders beat Patriots to make it 6 Wins on the bounce

The Riders made it six wins on the bounce, beating the Plymouth City Patriots 81-64. Ohio graduate Marc Loving led the team with a 20 point performance, he and Jubril Adekoya scored 14 of the Riders 16 fourth-quarter points to seal the victory.

The hosts took a double-digit lead in the second quarter which they would never surrender, managing the game after taking an early lead. But despite falling down 24 in the second half, the Patriots fought back to make it a game late. However, the Riders survived the late Patriots charge to take the win, ending the BBL Cup group stage with a 6-1 record. 

Plymouth’s top scorer on the season, Denzel Ubiaro, scored 19 points to lead the Patriots back into the tie. The 6’3” guard shot 54% from the floor in an efficient shooting night, but his team will not advance to the knockout stages despite his best efforts. 

Back to back threes gave the Riders their first edge of the game, opening the floodgates for the BBL best Leicester offence. Adekoya led the Riders with nine of their 24 opening quarter points, the Valparaiso graduate’s hot start off the bench earning the home side a six-point lead. 

After a slow start to the second, with just four points scored between the teams in the first five minutes, the Riders began to extend their lead with a 12-3 run. They locked down the Patriots, holding them to nine points in the quarter to take a 40-27 lead into the locker rooms. 

In the second half, the Riders exploded out the gate, knocking down four threes in five minutes to stretch their lead to 20. Patrick Whelan led the deep artillery, the two-guard who spent three years in Spain making three threes in the third for eleven points. Despite falling into a deficit, the Patriots battled back into the game late in the quarter, cutting the lead to 13. The hosts took a 64-51 lead into the fourth. 

With Plymouth riding a wave of momentum entering the final quarter, the Riders had to stem the tide to reassert themselves on the game. Seven straight points from Adekoya snatched back the flow of the game for Leicester, who saw out the tie comfortably.

“After playing an emotional game on Friday night, coming back today is challenging, but I think we did enough to be in control most of the way” said coach Rob Paternostro post-game.

“They did a good job. They were much improved from the last time we played them. Their team is improving and they showed that today”. 

The win concludes the Riders BBL Cup group campaign. They begin their BBL Championship defence on Friday by hosting their rivals, the Newcastle Eagles, on Sky Sports. 

Preview: Riders v Patriots

Season So Far – Riders 

On Friday the Riders continued their winning streak as they defeated the red hot London Lions. A very close game was finally decided in the 4th after Zack Jacksons roof-raising dunk put the Riders up by 10, a lead they managed to add to making the final score 93-76. 

The victory puts the Riders in a great position securing them one of the top two seeds in their group. A win in their last game of the group stage would see them level the Lions 6-1 record in the group. The Riders remain the leading scorers this season averaging 91.8 points a game and also comfortably have the best 3 point percentage. 

Season So Far – Patriots

Plymouth City Patriots sit rock bottom of their BBL cup group having failed to win any of their 6 games. They also average the least points scored in the competition, averaging a mere 63.7 points per game, 10.8 points per game less than Cheshire Phoenix who sit second bottom of the points scored chart. Furthermore they have the worst field goal percentage inside and outside of the arc. 

Last time out the Patriots were beaten fairly comfortably in a must win game by the Bristol Flyers 69-82. It was the 5th game in a row that they failed to score 70 or more points. Patriots player Joe Hart led the game in points with 22, scoring 3 more than their star man and this season’s leading points scorer Denzel Ubario. The pair accounted for 41 of the teams 69 points. The Patriots managed just 4 second chance points compared to the Flyers 18 which isn’t unusual as they also average the second least rebounds in the league. 

Ones to watch

Due to Darien Nelson-Henry still being out injured, the Riders squad is significantly shorter but there’s still a big man in the team whose importance has grown. Mo Walker stands at 6’10 and dominates most players in the league. He also averages the most rebounds on the Riders team with 7.3 and gets just over 10 points a game. Mo Walker was instrumental in the Riders recent win, he kept them in the game with his dominance in the paint when they were shooting just 2 from 12 from 3. He shot 8 from 9 and ended the game with a season high of 16 points. He also added another 7 rebounds to his tally and an impressive 5 assists. 

The Patriots main outlet of points comes from the BBL Cups leading scorer Denzel Ubario who averages 19.2 points a game and Joe Hart who averages almost 3 field goals from outside the arc. One player to look out for however is 6’9 Centre Cameron King. The big man averages 9.2 rebounds a game which is the 4th highest in the league and averages 6.7 defensive rebounds which is the most from any player. He could prove to be vital in stopping a similar scoreline to when the two teams last met.  

Previous meeting

Because the Patriots are a newly formed team, the sides have only ever met once and it was one to forget for the Patriots. A 25 point game for Zach Jackson helped make it Rider’s highest scoring game of the season. It was a complete blow out and the game was finished at half time as the Riders led by 25 points, a lead they increased to 51 points to make the score 58-109 at full time.


Tickets are still available for Sunday’s game, CLICK HERE to purchase yours!

Maynard & Vazquez step up in the New Era for Loughborough

Riders BBL Assistant and Head of Charnwood College basketball programme Will Maynard will take charge of the Loughborough Riders NBL division one side for the remainder of the season. 

Maynard, who continues his coaching journey having graduated from the programme as a player, Maynard will now return to the University side alongside his duties with the Charnwood basketball academy.

“We’re delighted for Will to have the opportunity to further his coaching career in the Division 1 moving up from coaching the Division 2 for the past few seasons.” Reflected MD Russell Levenston.

“Will is a shining example of fulfilling the pathway as a player, having graduated from that Loughborough team. And now following a similar route with his coaching and he is ready for the new challenge”

Maynard comments “I’m really excited about getting started with the division 1 group. it’s going to be a challenge for us in a tough league this year, but we have potential and will grow as the year goes on. I’m humbled to be given the opportunity to lead on a such a prestigious programme. I’m looking to continue to build on what Mark and the rest of the staff have built over the years.”

BBL Riders assistant coach Pablo Vazquez will take charge of the BUCS first team for the remainder of the season.

“We have a successful track record in BUCS having won gold in 2016-2019. Pablo comes with vast experience at the professional level assisting Coach Rob, so it’s great to be able to offer him the opportunity to head up our University BUCS team. Pablo has completed delivered many coaching roles within the club and excited to start his new role”

Coach Pablo Vazquez commented on his new role “I’m super excited for this new opportunity and challenge. Being able to work with this group of players and first class university like Loughborough is going to be great, everyone has been super welcomed so far. I would like thank everyone for believing that I was the right fit to take this role alongside wishing Coach Jarram all the best in his personal future and personally thank him for everything he is done for me since I first arrived in England.

Maynard will head coach today’s game when Loughborough Riders take on Hemel storm at Loughborough University at 4pm tickets to buy tickets visit

End of an era for Coach Jarram

Loughborough University Head Coach Mark Jarram has decided to step down from his coaching role after eight and a bit seasons with Loughborough Riders.

Jarram, who has assisted in the BBL since 2012-13 season, took charge of the Loughborough programme in 2013 and went on to win eleven trophies working with the likes of Conner Washington, Jamell Anderson, Reiss Pinnock, Josh Ward-Hibbert, Levi Noel, Max Richardson and Lucien Christofis.

In 2015-16 he got the side promoted to the NBL division one, making the Playoff final in their first season in the top league, Jarram would go on to win the NBL division one league title the following season.

In the universities competition, Jarram won BUCS Gold four years in a row – 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 – and despite making the BUCS final in 2020, his side were denied the opportunity of a fifth straight trophy due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During his time at the helm, Jarram won three Coach of the Year awards and two Team of the Year awards. 

Riders Managing Director Russell Levenston commented:

“We would like to put on record our thanks for the fantastic work that Mark has achieved during his time running our Loughborough programme. His impact on the lives of so many of our student-athletes has been immeasurable. Mark has helped to transform the programme the over the last 8 years and leaves it in a much better place than when he arrived”

“He decided he needs a new challenge in a different role and we fully support his decision and wish him all the best for whatever lies ahead.”

Coach Jarram reflected: “Being the Head Coach at Loughborough University has been an honour and a privilege. I close this chapter in the very same way I opened it, with gratitude.” 

“So many players, staff, volunteers and people have influenced the last nine years, to all I am extremely appreciative.” 

“Coaching and leading this program has been some ride. It’s never easy to leave something that has meant so much to you, the people and relationships are everything. This program will always hold a special place and that’s the thing about sports and the magnificent gift of teams – they get in you and never go away. It’s been an absolute blast, full of lifetime memories!!”

Everyone at the Riders would like to wish Coach Jarram all the best for the future.

An announcement will be made shortly as to Coach Jarram’s successor. 

Strong fourth quarter sees Riders defeat Lions

The Riders handed the Lions their first defeat of the season, beating London 93-76. A 25-12 fourth quarter sealed the tight affair, with Geno Crandall’s 20 points and nine assists leading the Riders to a 5-1 record. 

With four minutes remaining in the tie, Zack Jackson produced the play of the game to turn the tide for the Riders. The Ohama graduate drove at the hoop before rising high and jamming it down over two Lions defenders, sending Riders fans into a frenzy and putting Leicester up 10. The visitors never recovered against a rocking home crowd: Jackson’s jam giving the Riders the momentum they needed to see the game home with a 15-0 run. 

Dirk Williams caught fire for the Lions, dropping 30 points in his side’s loss. The second-year Lion, who averaged 18 a game last season, went 12 for 18 to quiet the home crowd with critical buckets. 

After the hosts fell into a slight deficit early, Jackson took the game by the horns midway through the first. Playing in isolation, Jackson demonstrated his ball-handling ability to take defenders off the dribble, going off for six successive points. The 6’7” wing shot momentum into the Riders team, who went on a 14-2 in the period to take an 18-10 lead. 

The Lions started the second quarter hot, pegging back the Riders to take the lead into the locker rooms. With two minutes remaining in the second, a Williams step-back three put the Lions up one, the 6’5” two-guard scoring 18 in the half. Down 42-39, the Riders were 2-12 from deep through the opening two periods. However, their defence and shot-making at the hoop kept the tie close, with big man Mo Walker scoring 10 in the half from just six shots. 

With their shot not falling early, the Riders took the ball inside to keep in the game. Feeding Walker, who scored six in four minutes to open the third, the Riders kept the score close, before a Jackson corner three reclaimed the Riders’ lead. Jackson’s bucket took the lid off the basket as Leicester made four straight threes to build their advantage. 

It was then the Lion’s turn to survive the Riders’ charge, with Williams making tough shots to keep the score tight. Williams had seven third-quarter points, rising above defenders to make deep shots. But, despite Williams’ scorching hot form, the Riders took a four-point lead into the fourth.

In a close final period, Jackson’s jam took momentum for the Riders to seal the win. They held the Lions offence to 12 in the quarter, locking up the visitors to claim the victory. “It was a great play from a player that had a really good night”, said coach Paternostro post-game. “Any time a player makes a play like that, the team and fans get excited”.

Paternostro also had praise for Valparaiso graduate Jubril Adekoya, who signed with the Riders in the offseason. With captain Darien Nelson-Henry sidelined due to injury, Adekoya stepped up off the bench to play key minutes at center. He had 11 points, four rebounds and a crucial, momentum building block late in the fourth. “Jubril was an unsung hero of the game tonight. His defence is excellent at that position, and his rebounding was really good”. 

The Riders improve to 5-1, sharing the top spot of their BBL Cup group with the Lions. They play their last game of the group on Sunday, facing off against the winless Patriots in the hopes of locking up the one seed for the knockout stage.

Preview: Riders v Lions

Season So Far – Riders

After an opening day defeat to the Bristol Flyers, the Riders have won four on the spin to cruise through their BBL Cup group. Their most recent game, a 94-89 win away to the Surrey Scorchers, earned them qualification to the knockout stages in coach Rob Paternostro’s 400th career win. The Riders now aim to top the group, with the one seed coming down to points difference should they win their two remaining games. 

Leicester leads the league in scoring with 91.6 points per game, helped by their BBL best 43.2% shooting from behind the arc. In Surrey, the Riders knocked down a red hot 13 of 24 threes, led by an immense 27 point performance by reigning BBL MVP Geno Crandall. Crandall tops the Riders scoring charts early in the year, continuing last season’s form with 17 points and seven rebounds a night.  

Season So Far – Lions

The Lions remain undefeated in the BBL this season, starting their Cup campaign 5-0. In response to the Riders’ dominant 109-53 win against the Plymouth City Patriots, the Lions balled out in their previous game with a 101-62 victory against the same opponents. London’s European campaign began emphatically also, beating the Netherland’s Donar Groningen 79-55 in the FIBA Europe Cup. They now turn their attention to the BBL to defend their top spot in the BBL Cup South group. 

The Lions, led by second-year Lion Dirk Williams’ 21 points per game, are the BBL’s most efficient shooters, making 51% of their 69 attempts per night. Their team brand of basketball early in the year has earned them the league’s highest assist tally, and their rim protection also tops the BBL, swatting away 5.3 shots per contest. 

Ones To Watch

Patrick Whelan has enjoyed a blistering start to Leicester life after signing for the Riders in the summer. Brother of Jordan of the Manchester Giants, the 6’5” two-guard has cooked from behind the three-point line, making 50% of his 22 attempts for 10 points per game. A William Jewell graduate, Whelan averaged 19.2 points in his senior year of college before achieving promotion to the Spanish second division with Real Murcia. Whelan’s shooting ability has contributed greatly to Leicester’s fine form, and is always a danger when afforded a yard of space. 

A man who may attempt to go punch for punch from deep at the Morningside Arena is Italian wing, Lorenzo Cugini. The High Point graduate caught fire in his previous game, going 9/12 from three on his way to 35 points. Cugini played last season in the Spanish second division for Palencia, after previously playing in Norway after college. Shooting 43% from three in his senior year, he possesses the ability to consistently knock down shots and explode for historic scoring nights. 

Previous Meeting

The teams last met towards the end of last season, as the Lions delayed Leicester’s league win with an 86-81 nail-biting win.  The Riders shot 19% from three in an off shooting night, while Dirk Williams scored 29, his third-highest tally of the year. 


Tickets are still available for Friday’s game, CLICK HERE to secure your seats!


Leicester Riders slipped to a 74-77 defeat at home to the Sheffield Hatters in the WBBL Championship. For the second home game running the outcome wasn’t decided until the final seconds of yet another thrilling game.

The encounter was only 8 seconds old when Georgia Gayle nailed a three as the visitors started brighter racing into a 11-6 lead. Riders mounted a fightback led by Chelsea Jennings’ 9 first quarter points as Riders trailed 20-23 after the first quarter.

It was the home side who came out firing at the start of the second quarter as Louise Rouse had 7 points in a 15-4 run that saw Sheffield call time out with the Riders up 35-27.

Sheffield were able to trim the lead to 41-38 going into the break with Helen Naylor scoring 7 second quarter points.

It was Naylor again to the fore as she opened the third quarter with back to back three pointers to give the Hatters the lead. From that point on the there was never more than one shot in the game as the teams exchanged the lead multiple times.

With 3 minutes to go Riders were hoping a 68-65 lead would prove crucial but four in a row from Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee would again give the visitors the edge.

Hatters Ariona Gill scored both sides of an Oceana Hamilton bucket and the Riders were forced into foul mode. Gayle & Naylor ultimately kept their cool from the line and secured the Hatters a first win in Leicester since January 2016.

Riders will be buoyed by the performance of Jennings who had 20 points and 7 assists. Anna Lappenkuper scored 16 & Makana Stone 13. Oceana Hamilton was again impressive on the boards grabbing 19 rebounds to go with her 8 points.

Riders will look to return to winning ways as they head north on Saturday to face the Newcastle Eagles in a Championship game that is also a dress rehearsal for their upcoming WBBL Cup Semi Final.

Riders seal victory in Surrey

The Riders secured a win in Surrey, beating the Scorchers 94-89. They improved their record to 4-1 in the BBL Cup group stage, surviving a late Surrey surge to seal a victory. 

For the third straight game, dynamic duo Geno Crandall and Zack Jackson led the scoring column for Leicester. Crandall had 27 points, seven assists and six rebounds: the reigning MVP dominating the fixture, while Jackson followed up his 25 points against Plymouth with 15. 

The win was coach Rob Paternostro’s 400th in his career, the third-most of any BBL coach. It also extended the Riders’ 31 game winning streak against Surrey, the second-longest in BBL history behind their 33 game streak against Plymouth. 

Leicester’s lead was built in the second quarter, which they won 32-20 after a cagey opening period. They shot 54% from three, shooting the lights out with 13 makes. However, after establishing a comfortable lead, they endured a 9-2 Surrey run in the final minute and a half of the tie, the hosts showing fight until the last seconds.  

7-year Scorcher Tayo Ogedengbe led the Scorchers through a hard-fought game. After scoring 28 in his previous fixture against the Riders, the 34-year-old scored 19 points from 13 shots, grabbing eight rebounds in the process. 

There was little to separate the sides through the best part of a gritty first half, with the score tied at 28 with four minutes left. Ogendengbe flew out to a hot start, scoring 10 in the opening period, yet Leicester caught fire to end the half, turning up the heat on the Scorchers to establish a lead. 

Crandall scored or assisted on four straight buckets to put the Riders up eight, showcasing his typical flair to breeze past defenders and drive to the hoop. Leicester, who leads the BBL in three-point makes, continued their superb form from beyond the arc by knocking down 10 in the first half, including a miracle half-court three at the buzzer from Marc Loving to send the teams into the locker rooms with the Riders up 48-37. 

‘General’ Geno continued to lead the Riders charge in the third, scoring 13 in the period to keep the Scorchers at arm’s length. Eight of those points came at the rim or at the free-throw line as the Gonzaga graduate forced the issue, playing aggressively to get points on the board. 

Despite Crandall’s emphatic scoring night, the Scorchers made it a game late. In the final 90 seconds, Surrey cut a 10 point deficit to two, forcing a thrilling finale from a game that seemed over. Nevertheless, Leicester survived Surrey’s surge, making their free throws to kill the tie and take home the win. 

The Riders will return home after a month on the road, facing the London Lions on Friday. The Lions are undefeated to start the season, but Leicester will look to end that in their quest to qualify out of the group. 

Preview: Riders at Scorchers

Season So Far – Riders

Having won their last three fixtures, the Riders enter this game brimming with confidence after dominating the Plymouth City Patriots 109-58. The win was their 10th biggest in the BBL and their biggest ever against Plymouth, leading from wire to wire in the 50 point blowout. Zack Jackson enjoyed a scorching shooting night, shooting 6/7 from three on his wat to 25 points. 

Marc Loving tops the Leicester scoring charts with 14 a game, shooting 50% from the field and 58% from three. Loving leads the BBL in three-point percentage for those who have over five attempts. 

Season So Far – Scorchers

The Scorchers sit second from bottom in the BBL Cup group, having picked up just one win in four games. They have endured a tough schedule, falling to the Lions twice and the Riders away, their victory coming at home to the newly founded Plymouth City Patriots.

7-year Scorcher Tayo Ogendengbe has led them through their difficult fixtures, averaging 17 points per game and two steals. Surrey leads the league in turnovers per game with 19. Should they cut out their mistakes and take advantage of extra possessions, they can put themselves in a position to qualify out of the group. 

Ones To Watch

The Riders’ sixth man, Kimbal Mackenzie, plays a vital role off the bench for his team early in the year. Playing behind reigning MVP Geno Crandall, Mackenzie has run the offence off the bench, averaging the third-most minutes on the roster this season. With a +/- of 24, the Riders have been a substantially better team with the Bucknall graduate on the floor, as he holds the fort superbly with Crandall on the bench. Mackenzie is averaging 10 points and five assists, his IQ and playmaking ability leading to ball movement and open shits. 

Lamar Hamrick torched the London Lions in the Scorchers’ previous fixture in just his second professional game, leading his team with 20 points. The 6’4” guard out of Portland State led St. Georges Tech to a state championship in high school, tallying 39 points and 15 rebounds in the title game. Delaware born sharpshooter Hamrick shot 44% from behind the arc in his senior year in college, able to hurt his opponents should they dare leave him open.

Previous Meetings 

The Riders are unbeaten in 30 games against Surrey, their most recent loss dating back to 2012. The last time the sides faced off was in September, a 96-80 win in Leicester’s favour. Loving led the scoring for Leicester, scoring 21 and going 7/10 from the floor. Ogendengbe scored his season-high for the Scorchers with 28 points and six rebounds. 

Season so far- Riders

Having won their last three fixtures, the Riders enter this game brimming with confidence after dominating the Plymouth City Patriots 109-58. The win was their 10th biggest in the BBL and their biggest ever against Plymouth, leading from wire to wire in the 50 point blowout. Zack Jackson enjoyed a scorching shooting night, shooting 6/7 from three on his wat to 25 points. 

Marc Loving tops the Leicester scoring charts with 14 a game, shooting 50% from the field and 58% from three. Loving leads the BBL in three-point percentage for those who have over five attempts. 

Season so far- Scorchers

The Scorchers sit second from bottom in the BBL Cup group, having picked up just one win in four games. They have endured a tough schedule, falling to the Lions twice and the Riders away, their victory coming at home to the newly founded Plymouth City Patriots.

7-year Scorcher Tayo Ogendengbe has led them through their difficult fixtures, averaging 17 points per game and two steals. Surrey leads the league in turnovers per game with 19. Should they cut out their mistakes and take advantage of extra possessions, they can put themselves in a position to qualify out of the group. 

Ones to watch

The Riders’ sixth man, Kimbal Mackenzie, plays a vital role off the bench for his team early in the year. Playing behind reigning MVP Geno Crandall, Mackenzie has run the offence off the bench, averaging the third-most minutes on the roster this season. With a +/- of 24, the Riders have been a substantially better team with the Bucknall graduate on the floor, as he holds the fort superbly with Crandall on the bench. Mackenzie is averaging 10 points and five assists, his IQ and playmaking ability leading to ball movement and open shits. 

Lamar Hamrick torched the London Lions in the Scorchers’ previous fixture in just his second professional game, leading his team with 20 points. The 6’4” guard out of Portland State led St. Georges Tech to a state championship in high school, tallying 39 points and 15 rebounds in the title game. Delaware born sharpshooter Hamrick shot 44% from behind the arc in his senior year in college, able to hurt his opponents should they dare leave him open.

Previous meetings 

The Riders are unbeaten in 30 games against Surrey, their most recent loss dating back to 2012. The last time the sides faced off was in September, a 96-80 win in Leicester’s favour. Loving led the scoring for Leicester, scoring 21 and going 7/10 from the floor. Ogendengbe scored his season-high for the Scorchers with 28 points and six rebounds. 

How To Watch

Fans can watch the game free of charge by either signing up or logging into their BBL Player account.Riders on Sky Sports.


Leicester Riders look to return to winning ways in the WBBL Championship as they host the high-flying Sheffield Hatters at Loughborough University this Sunday (4pm).

Riders will be looking to build on their performance in the first three quarters against the London Lions last week. While the Hatters who have returned to the WBBL having had a year out are unbeaten in both WBBL Cup & League action this season.

Sheffield look to pose plenty of offensive threats with Helen Naylor back in the ranks after spending last year with the Manchester Met Mystics. GB guard Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee made the same move in the summer and seems to have settled in quickly as she racked up 23 points, 7 rebounds & 7 assists last week in the Hatters 33-point win over the Mystics.

Another returnee in shooting guard Georgia Gayle has started the season in fine form. She has hit 20 three pointers in her four outings in WBBL competition this term.

Throw into the mix three new American signings in the guise of playmaker Rebecca Cardenas. A big inside presence with Euro Cup experience in the shape of Nyilah Jamison- Myers as well as swingman Ariona Gill and the Hatters really do look like they mean business.

Riders will be encouraged by the performances of their new signings as Brooklyn McAlear-Fanus, Chelsea Jennings & Oceana Hamilton have all shown that they will be very useful acquisitions this season, but they’ll be aware that they will need a strong team performance across the board in what looks to be the stand out WBBL fixture of the week.

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Riders on Sky Sports

Sky Sports have today announced their schedule for the new BBL championship season – games to be shown on Sky Sports Mix and Arena.

Leicester Riders will feature in the very first Sky game of the season later this month when they host Newcastle Eagles on Friday 29 October 2021, 7.30pm tip.

Riders will be back on Sky in December in the same fixture versus Newcastle on the 17th, again at the Morningside Arena.

February sees the Riders feature twice with their away game at London Lions on Friday 4th and home game against Manchester Giants on the 11th also being featured.

All other games will be streamed online via

Jackson & Crandall named in weekly awards

Americans Zach Jackson & Geno Crandall have been named in this weeks’ BBL All-star 5 after a weekend that saw two wins in their South-West double-header.

Jackson scored an impressive 38 points over the two games with general Geno putting up 30 points and 13 assists in the west-country.

Zach also leads the votes in the BBL Show’s Player of the Week vote making it a double-honours for our no. 21.


Leicester Riders suffered their first defeat of the WBBL season at the Copperbox on Sunday as they went down 85-53 to the London Lions.

The Riders were highly competitive for the first three quarters of this game but were on the end of a Lions blitz in the final quarter as the hosts dominated the final stanza 28-5.

Although trailing 44-33 at the break, Riders were led by Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus and Chelsea Jennings who had combined for 23 of the visitor’s points.

A third quarter rally and 15-3 run inspired by seven in a row from Anna Lappenkuper saw Riders close the gap to 6. Crucially there was one more score to come in third quarter and as the seconds ran down Holly Winterburn netted a long distance three to extend the lead at the end of the third to nine points.

Ultimately the quality and length of the London bench proved too much in the fourth quarter as the Lions were able to pull away convincing winners.

Former Rider Winterburn returned to haunt her former side as she had 21 points including 5/6 from three point range. Cassie Breen was also a perfect 4/4 from down town for the hosts.

There were plenty of positives for the Riders to take. McAlear-Fanus finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Chelsea Jennings had 16 points and 3 steals while Oceana Hamilton battled away on the boards grabbing 14 rebounds to go with her 6 points.

Riders return to action at Loughborough University on Sunday 17th October for a 4pm tip off as they take on the unbeaten Sheffield Hatters.

Buy Tickets : Riders Vs Hatters

Riders beat Patriots

The Riders dominated in Plymouth, leading the Patriots wire to wire to win 109-58. Zack Jackson’s hot form continued from his previous fixture, leading the team with 25 points and six rebounds, shooting a blistering 6/7 from three. 

For the second game running, dynamic duo Jackson and Geno Crandall topped the Riders box score. Crandall had 17 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three steals in just three-quarters of the blowout. The reigning MVP produced the play of the game in the third, driving to the rim among three defenders before finishing through contact, throwing the ball up high off-balance to lay in a circus shot for a three-point play. 

The game marked the return of BBL basketball to the Plymouth Pavillions, as the home fans got their first glimpse of their Plymouth City Patriots. Despite the heavy defeat, Patriots fans were in full voice throughout, appreciating the effort from their team. Denzel Ubairo provided reason to cheer, the 6’3” guard scoring 17 points in the first half and 22 in the game. 

Injuries played a significant role in the Patriots struggles, with starting point guard Elvisi Dusha and starting center Kingsley Okoroh both absent. Plymouth came unstuck against the stifling Riders defence, shooting 31% from the field and 23% from three. Leicester was dominant inside, blocking five shots, including two from 6’9” forward Marc Loving. 

The game was all but won in the first half, the Riders bursting out the gate to enter the locker rooms up 55-30. In their fifth game of the season, Leicester’s offence clicked, dishing out a monumental 33 team assists. All five Riders starters scored in double digits, and every Leicester player scored at least five in an emphatic scoring night.

The visitors set the tone with a commanding opening quarter, establishing a 26-15 lead. They exuded confidence from the tip, encapsulated by Crandall’s outrageous deep three from several feet behind the line hitting nothing but net midway through the period. Crandall scored 12 in the first quarter, leading his team to a red hot start. 

Winning the second quarter 29-15, the Riders stretched their lead to 25 by halftime to put the game beyond much doubt. They assisted on all 17 of their field goals through the first two periods, shooting 51% from the floor in a fluid offence. 

Leicester kept their foot on the pedal, displaying professionalism and ruthlessness to kill the game. With points difference a potential factor at the end of the group stage, the Riders ran up the score to put themselves in a secure position in the table. They won the third quarter by 14, taking a 39 point lead into the final period. 

A 28-16 fourth quarter capped off a display of dominance, the Riders hitting six threes in the period to finish the game in style. Young Charnwood star Victor Ndoukou gained valuable on-court minutes, the 18-year-old scoring five in the quarter in just his fourth year playing basketball. The Riders finished the game up 51, their tenth biggest win in their BBL history and their biggest against Plymouth. 

The Riders head to Surrey on Friday, to take on the Scorchers in the final game of their road stint. They hope to improve to 4-1 in their BBL Cup group to place themselves in a solid position to qualify for the knockout stages. 

Preview: Riders at Patriots

Season So Far – Riders

In their previous fixture, the Riders beat the Flyers 75-67 in a close-fought affair to improve to 2-1 in their BBL Cup group. Geno Crandall and Zack Jackson led the way with 13 points each, as the Riders steadily build chemistry with the pair absent for preseason. 

The Riders sit second in their BBL Cup group with a game in hand, hoping to start their season positively by qualifying for the knockout stage. 

Season So Far – Patriots

After splitting their preseason results 1-1, beating Team Wales after falling to the Manchester Giants 61-59, the newly founded Patriots have endured a difficult beginning to their franchise’s first season. They began with a three-game road trip, starting the season 0-3. Most recently, they lost 65-57 to the Surrey Scorchers. 

Denzel Ubairo has led the Patriots in all three games, averaging 20 points and five rebounds early in the season. The 6’3” guard dropped 15 points against the Scorchers, which was a one-possession tie with two minutes remaining. 

Ones To Watch

Plymouth has BBL Cup winning experience on their roster, with former Newcastle Eagle Joe Hart suiting up for the Patriots. The 6’4” wing is playing in his ninth professional season, after spending the last two in the German fourth division with Wolmirstedt. Hart has experience playing in Italy and Spain, and is a natural leader, captaining GB u20s back in 2013. 

Zack Jackson found his form in the previous game after missing most of last season through injury. Jackson led Omaha University in scoring in his junior and senior years and shot 44% from three for the Riders last season. Against the Flyers, Jackson enjoyed an efficient night, shooting 6/12 from the field for his 13 points. The 6’7” wing will look to carry his hot shooting into the next Riders run of games. 

Previous Meetings

This is the first-ever game between these sides, with the Plymouth City Patriots forming in the offseason. The tie is Plymouth’s first home fixture, so expect a rampant crowd in a tricky away fixture for the Riders. 

Riders defeat Flyers on the road

The Riders move to 2-1 in their BBL Cup group, tipping off their road trip with a 75-67 win against the Bristol Flyers. Reigning BBL MVP Geno Crandall stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals, leading the Riders over the line in a hard-fought encounter. 

With captain Darien Nelson-Henry going down with an ankle injury early in the third, the Riders relied on a team performance to secure the win. Four players scored in double digits, with Zach Jackson enjoying a solid shooting night, going 6/12 from the field for 13 points. 

The game proved to be a superb sequel to the thrilling season opener between these sides. The score went back and forth in a tug of war contest, with the Riders establishing several leads only to be pegged back by a gritty Flyers outfit. In the final four minutes, Crandall’s six points secured the win; the Gonzaga Graduate attacking the Flyers defence to score at will. 

The Flyers, led by 18 points from 6’8” big man Malcolm Delpeche, showed tremendous fight despite falling into significant deficits on multiple occasions. Runs in key moments kept Bristol in the game, as they hit big shots to fire up the Flyers faithful. 

The first quarter set the scene for a close encounter: the score swinging back and forth as the Riders edged a slight lead. Leicester’s defence was the key to their early advantage. The Flyers were forced to wait four minutes for their first field goal, beginning the game 0-5. Leicester found their offensive rhythm courtesy of Kimbal Mackenzie. The Bucknall graduate, who joined Leicester in the summer, scored seven in the first to put his team up 20-16. 

The Riders fired out the gate in the second quarter, stretching their lead to double digits for the first time in the tie. Another summer signing took over the game, with Patrick Whelan scoring eight in the quarter to build the Riders lead to 14.  

With the game slipping away from the hosts, Bristol crucially seized back momentum to close the half. Six straight Delpeche points helped the Flyers rally back into the tie, before the home crowd were lifted to their feet at the buzzer by a Mike Miller half-court three. Miller’s miracle shot brought the game back to a single possession, sending the Riders into the locker room up 36-39. 

The third quarter developed into a back and forth battle. The Flyers responded to the Riders reestablishing their double-digit lead with a run of their own, as both teams hit big shots to swing momentum to and fro. Leicester’s offence clicked, assisting on seven of their nine field goals in the third, while the Flyers hung in the game with key baskets. The Riders entered the final period up 60-55, the game firmly in the balance. 

With the encounter tied at 64 with five minutes remaining, the Riders closed out strongly. Marc Loving’s corner three kick-started an 11-3 Leicester run, in which Crandall took charge. His six late points sealed the game, as he relentlessly attacked his defender with his elite ball-handling ability. Crandall produced the play of the game during this run, dancing on Trejon Jacob before pulling up for a smooth mid-range jumper, putting the Riders up nine. 

After the win, the Riders have a quick turnaround, travelling to Plymouth for the second fixture of their three-game road trip. They face the Patriots in their first home game of the season. Expect a rampant, packed house, as the Riders hope to improve to 3-1. 

Preview: Riders at Flyers

Season So Far – Riders

The Riders return on the road after a fortnight break from basketball. They bounced back brilliantly after opening night heartbreak against Bristol, beating the Surrey Scorchers 96-80 at home to improve to 1-1 in their BBL Cup group. The hosts were cooking from deep, making half of their 20 three-point attempts to cruise to a confident win. 

Marc Loving led Leicester with 21 points, firing out the gate with 19 in the first half. The Ohio State graduate has hit the ground running for the Riders, averaging 15.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in his opening two games. 

Season So Far – Flyers

Bristol successful beginning to the season took a setback in their last fixture, a 90-80 home loss to the London Lions. After a 2-0 start, beating the Riders and the Plymouth City Patriots in their first two games, a slow beginning to the Lions game left them in a 22 point hole by halftime. 

They fought back valiantly, scoring eight points in the final two minutes to make it a 10 point game. These points may prove vital come the end of the group stage, should points difference prove a factor in the standings. 

Ones To Watch

After a solid 14 points and eight rebounds in his previous game against the Flyers, captain Darien Nelson-Henry will look to continue his hot start to this campaign. The Penn State graduate averaged 12 points and six rebounds, shooting 50% from the floor through the opening two games. Nelson-Henry led the Riders on a charge back into the Flyers fixture with four points and an assist in the final four minutes. His impact on the tie encapsulates the leadership Darien brings to the Riders. 

Malcolm Delpeche is enjoying a breakout season in his opening three games in his return to British basketball. Delpeche is leading his team in points and rebounds, putting up 16 and eight a night. Twin brother of Marcus, who competes in the BBL with the Sheffield Sharks, Malcolm helped Munster to the playoff final of the German Third division last season, averaging 10 points and eight rebounds per game. The 6’8” forward is a dominant paint presence, demonstrated by 12 of his 19 points against the Lions scored at the hoop. 

Previous Meeting 

These teams met on the opening day of the season, with the Flyers edging a thriller 84-85. Conner Washington had an open shot for the win fall just short, as Bristol survived a late Riders fight back. Jubril Adekoya led the Riders on his BBL debut, scoring 15 points, including a clutch three to tie the game late. Trejon Jacob led the Flyers, the 6’5” guard scoring 21 points on his first game in professional basketball. 

How To Watch

Fans can watch the game free of charge by either signing up or logging into their BBL Player account.


The Leicester Riders hit the road on Sunday as they face the London Lions in WBBL Championship action.

Both teams enter the contest having progressed undefeated through their respective WBBL Cup groups and both having won their opening league game last week, although in very different circumstances.

While the Lions were completing a routine 54 point win up in Caledonia, the Riders had to wait until the last 2 seconds of the game before snatching the win against the Nottingham Wildcats.

Despite retaining the side that won both the WBBL Trophy and the Play Offs last year, the Lions have strengthened immeasurably as they embraced the challenge of European competition this season.

There will be familiar faces on the opposite bench as former Riders Holly Winterburn and Azania Stewart both now suit up as Lions.

Riders did take both League games against the Lions in the last campaign but coach Derrick Washington is well aware of the size of the task in front of them:

“This is a game that we are looking forward to playing. We know what we must do. We are definitely going to need to hit shots down there as well as being strong defensively. It’s a good challenge for us and we’re excited to be playing them.”

Player of the game last week Hannah Robb added:

“London are obviously a really good team but we’re definitely up for the challenge. Its not something to be nervous about. It’s a great challenge and it’ll give us a look at where we are right now as a team and identify where we have to go moving forward.


Leicester Riders opened their WBBL Championship season with a thrilling 55-53 win over local rivals the Nottingham Wildcats at Loughborough University on Saturday.

With Riders down by 2 with less than 30 seconds remaining, it was Hannah Robb who tied the game for the hosts. On the next possession, Wildcats Imani Whittingdon saw her shot rim out and Makana Stone got a crucial tip, diverting the ball to teammate Robb. With overtime looming It was Anna Lappenkuper’s drive to the basket and subsequent two free throws with only 1.8 seconds left, that won the game for the Riders.

The game had started with both teams struggling to convert good looks into points as they were locked 27-27 at the half.

The Wildcats looked to of made the crucial run with a 10-3 start to the third quarter as defences continued to dominate. However, Makana Stone hitting a three prompted a Riders response and along with scores from Chelsea Jennings & Hannah Robb the Riders clawed their way back into contention before the thrilling end to this fiercely fought encounter.

Hannah Robb led the Riders with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists & 3 steals and was quick to praise the Riders togetherness:

“It was a bit messy but we did a really good job of sticking with it as we’ve not been together that long. It was important that we tried to keep to what we do best and then to come out with a win was great.”

“We’re slowly coming together. It’s going to take time and we’ve had people coming in over the last couple of weeks so we’re still getting to know each other. The way we ground it out today shows what we are capable of as a team and we should only get better from here.”

Coach Derrick Washington was delighted with his team’s resilience:

“It was a real gritty win. Both teams struggled to score the ball but we were able to see it through. Our defence at the end of that fourth quarter really got us this win. Hannah Robb did an amazing job leading the team with 15 points & 11 Rebounds, she was all over the floor and every time we needed something she was there.”

“We also got some very important minutes for Chelsea Jennings as we continue to integrate her into our team, having only been here for a couple of weeks”

“It was a real team effort, the ladies stuck together and I’m very proud of them. We’re still in the infancy of this team. Everybody is still learning and today was a good test to see where we are.”

Riders are next in action with a trip on the road to face London Lions on Sunday 10th October