All Girls Basketball Event

The Leicester Riders Foundation is hosting an All Girls basketball Event at the Morningside Arena on Saturday 14th January.

The event is open to girls & women of all abilities, ages 8+, providing opportunities for players to develop their game in a fun, sociable and safe environment with Leicester Riders Foundation community coaches.

CLICK HERE to book your place.

Riders advance to BBL Cup Semi-Final

The Riders got the best of the Newcastle Eagles, winning to advance to the semi-finals of the BBL Cup. 

Marc Loving led the team with 27 points, his fourth 20-point performance on the season. He scored 11 in the first quarter to get the Riders rolling, and went 10-12 from the field and 5-5 from three on the game. 

He was one of two 20-point scorers for Leicester, as Derryck Thornton put up 21 in 25 minutes. The California-born point guard attacked the rim relentlessly, going 8-9 from the free-throw line and 6-12 from the field. 

The Riders put up an efficient and clean offensive effort. They shot 49% from the floor, 43% from three and turned the ball over just eight times to blow out their long-standing rivals. 

Kyle Johnson put up big offensive numbers for the visiting Eagles. The Canadian guard put up 24 points, six rebounds and four assists in an effort to swing the scoreboard in his team’s favour. 

Loving caught fire to get the Riders’ offence firing early, scoring 11 of the team’s first 15 points to pull back an early eight-point deficit. After the slow start, the Ohio native’s electric play got the Riders in rhythm to make a quick recovery. 

They finished the first up 24-20, and the sides continued to trade baskets in the early stages of the second. Thornton was the hot hand midway through the period, making back-to-back buckets, including an and-one on the fastbreak.

With two and a half minutes remaining in the half, Jubril Adekoya, returning to the lineup after missing the previous game through injury, hit a corner three to give Leicester a seven-point lead: their biggest of the night. 

The triple saw momentum shift the Riders’ way, and Kimbal Mackenzie dished a flashy pass to a cutting Darien Nelson-Henry to continue to grow the lead. 

The Riders finished the half on a 10-0 run, going into the locker rooms up 49-37. 

Zach Jackson came out into the second half gunning, scoring nine straight points to put the Riders up 20. Leicester started the third on a 17-6 run, making the run 27-6 since late in the second period. 

Thornton got back to work, taking over from Jackson to bag seven points on the bounce. Mackenzie concluded the period with a two at the rim, as the Riders won the third 29-13. 

The Riders saw the game out comfortably, led by Loving’s six points in the fourth to take a 21-point win. 

The Riders return to league action in their next fixture, heading to Surrey to take on the Scorchers. A win would see them improve to 8-4, and bring the season series against the Scorchers to 2-0. 

LRF offering HAF places on Christmas Camp

As part of our on-going partnership with Leicester City Council we’re offering a number of free places on our Christmas Camp.

In order to be eligible children must live in Leicester, be aged between 8 to 16 and in full-time education are receiving benefits related free school meals.

CLICK HERE to register.

Riders pop-up shop in John Lewis now open!

Leicester Riders are delighted to partner with John Lewis at Highcross in Leicester, and open a brand new pop-up shop from now until the end of December!

Shoppers will be able to buy all official Riders merchandise including a brand new range of products ahead of Christmas.

Be sure to check it out!

Riders fall to Gladiators

The Riders lost their first game in six, falling 92-66 to the Caledonia Gladiators. 

Leicester fell into a 20-point hole in the opening stages, and despite cutting it to single digits in the third, failed to recover all the way. The Gladiators, who lead the BBL in steals, played intense defence to force 25 turnovers from the Riders.

Marc Loving led the attempted comeback with 15 points, going 55% from the field and 50% from three. He made momentum-building plays throughout, but the Riders could not climb all the way back. 

Jeremiah Bailey had a season-high 23 points for the Gladiators, the 6’6” wing grabbing six rebounds and dishing five assists to stuff the stat sheet. The first-year pro found form in key moments in the game to rebuild the hosts’ lead. 

The Gladiators took the ball from the Riders three times in the first three minutes to jump out to a 13-2 lead. Leicester stemmed the tide momentarily, keeping them off the scoresheet for the next few minutes, but ended the first period in a  31-12 hole after a 10-point quarter from the BBL’s leading scorer, David Sloan. 

Zach Jackson hit back-to-back threes near the end of the first, as the Riders tried to find some momentum. 

Loving came out gunning to start the second, making two three-point plays to chip into Caledonia’s lead. Leicester commenced a 14-4 run to cut it to single digits, capped off by a Loving triple. 

Leicester won the second 27-19, as Patrick Whelan hit a pair of free throws to close the half with 11 points, with the score 48-39 to the hosts. 

The Gladiators started the second half with four steals in three minutes, going on an 11-0 run to build their lead back to 20. 

After a tough start to the third, Loving and Jackson snatched back the run of play again, scoring six straight between them to once again chip away at the deficit. Kimbal Mackenzie followed up his teammates to get points in transition, making it 61-47. 

The teams closed the quarter with traded baskets, the difference still 14. But the hosts started the final period the hotter of the teams, hitting three threes in two minutes. They blew the game open to start the fourth and took their lead to the final buzzer. 

The Riders take a break from BBL Championship action on Saturday to take on the Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Cup quarter-final. The game will be played at the Morningside Arena, tipping off at 7:45 pm. 

BBL Championship Preview: Riders at Gladiators

The Riders head to Glasgow for the second time this season, where they take on the Caledonia Gladiators. 

Riders on a roll

Leicester comes into this one having won five on the bounce, finding their rhythm early in the season. They hold a 7-3 record, one behind the league leaders as they climb the BBL Championship table.

A 71-58 home win against the Sheffield Sharks was their seventh of the year. Zach Jackson’s 11-point fourth quarter saw the Riders burst out to a late lead, as Leicester looked to the Kansas native down the stretch, as they have many times this season. 

“Zach’s been awesome this year, night in, night out,” said head coach Rob Paternostro. “He’s a guy that picks his spots, but you know when the money is on the line, he’s ready to contribute.” 

Jackson is averaging 15 points per game this season and is one of three Riders players scoring that many on the season. Marc Loving and Patrick Whelan are also achieving the feat, Whelan leading the team with 15.9 a night, shooting 47.5% from three. 

The team leads the BBL in three-point shooting and is the most efficient team shooting from the field. They score the second most points per game and will hope to continue that trend in this one. 

Gladiators back home

The Caledonia Gladiators possess a 3-5 record, despite having played just one of their first eight games at home. Their only game in Glasgow came against the Riders, where they secured an 89-81 win. 

David Sloan showed out for Caledonia in the game, putting up a monumental 36-point performance. The American point guard made five threes and shot 57% from the field to will his team past the defending champions. 

Sloan has exploded offensively early in the season, his 23.4 points per game leading the BBL. The first-year pro’s 36 against Leicester was still only his second-highest-scoring tally of the season, having hung 37 on Bristol earlier in November. 

The Gladiators look to turn games into gritty affairs, playing at the second-slowest pace in the league. They get their hands in the lane on defence, averaging the most steals, often forcing their opponents into mistakes. 

Caledonia enters this one having lost three on the bounce, but a second-straight win against last season’s treble winners would go a long way to restoring momentum to their season. 

Key matchup

The BBL’s highest scorer David Sloan will look for a similar performance to his 36-point showing last time out against Leicester. The East Tennessee State graduate has torched the league with his scoring so far, and can go off for huge numbers every night. 

Sloan scored 12.6 points per game in his final college season, and dished five assists per game. The Louisville native ranked third in his conference in assists, showing off his ability to both score and facilitate. 

Sloan possesses all the qualities needed to score in the backcourt. He’s a quick, athletic ballhandler with crafty moves and a quick release, keeping defenders alert for all 40 minutes. 

Facing up against Sloan off the Riders’ bench will be Kimbal Mackenzie, who has given the Riders great minutes off late. He did not miss a shot in his most recent game, the win against the Sheffield Sharks, scoring 11 points from five shots. 

“Kimbal’s playing great basketball. He recovered from an ankle injury from last week, and was awesome tonight,” said Paternostro after the game. 

Mackenzie is shooting 51% from the field this season, a steadying presence off the bench. 

Kimbal’s college career was spent in the NCAA D1 for Bucknall. He enjoyed a sensational senior year, scoring 17.6 points per game, the seventh-most in a season in college history.

Mackenzie can play either guard position effectively on and off-ball offensively. He can score from anywhere on the court, making 37% of his threes in his senior year in college. His skill set allows him to fit seamlessly into any Paternostro lineup.

Where to watch

The game will be streamed live on the British Basketball League Youtube channel, tipping off at 7:30 pm! 

Riders take the win against Sharks

The Riders improve their season record to 7-3, after a gritty 71-58 win against the Sheffield Sharks. 

A 21-11 fourth quarter saw the Riders win a closely fought contest, where the Sharks’ kept the hosts honest throughout. Zach Jackson led the scoring with 17 points, 11 coming in the final period to see out the game. 

The Sharks’ BBL-best defence proved a tough test for Leicester, whose three-point shooting saw them build a lead late. They shot 40% from deep and held their opponents to 27%, which proved the difference between the sides. 

Kimbal Mackenzie continued his hot form, providing a hot hand from the bench. He did not miss from the field, scoring 11 points in 15 minutes of action. 

The opening stages were closely fought between two great defensive outfits. Both sides struggled to find an offensive rhythm, but the Riders closed the quarter with a 9-0 run, led by four points and an assist from Jackson. 

His assist fed new man Aaron Menzies for his first points in Riders’ red, slamming it down with two hands to get the home fans on their feet. They ended the first up 15-10, and with the wind in their sails. 

The Sharks fought back in the second, playing tough defence to keep it a low-scoring affair. Bennet Koch got to work down low, scoring 12 of his team’s 32 points by halftime. The Sharks won the second 22-15, to go into the half up 32-30. 

The sides fought closely in the third, as the score remained within a score throughout the period. Marc Loving concluded the action in the quarter with a three to put Leicester up 50-47. 

The Riders burst out the gate in the fourth, taking the game by the reigns. Jackson’s finish in close made it 54-47 a minute and a half into the final period of play. 

The Riders kept their hands in the lane, their intense defensive pressure forcing five Sharks turnovers early in the quarter. They kept the Sharks at arm’s length, as Patrick Whelan’s three made it a ten-point game with three minutes remaining. 

Jackson kept the foot on the accelerator, draining another three for his 11th points of the fourth. Darien Nelson-Henry’s putback sealed the deal with half a minute remaining, securing a hard-fought win. 

“Defensively, I thought we were excellent tonight,” said coach Rob Paternostro post-game. “Holding them to 58 points, 30 in the second half, is a great effort, and it’s something that’s been a point of focus for us.”

“They played good defence too. They like to play slow-paced games, and the important thing was not to panic. It’s easy for guys to get out of rhythm a bit, but we were solid in the second half, and we’ve got a lot of veteran guys who understand what it takes to get a win.”

The Riders take a trek up north for their next future, heading to Scotland to take on the Caledonia Gladiators for the second time this season. A win would see them improve to 8-3, as they contest the top spot in the BBL Championship standings.

BBL Championship Preview- Riders vs Sharks

The Riders take on the Sheffield Sharks at home, trying to make it five wins in a row. A win would improve their record to 7-3, as the reigning champions climb up the league table. 

In-form Riders on the charge

Coming out of the international break, the Riders are looking to build on the momentum they gained and continue their longest winning streak of the season.

They were in full control against the Plymouth City Patriots in their previous outing, outscoring them in every quarter of the game. Finishing the game with a 79-101 win, five Riders players scored double digits for the second game in a row.

Since then, the Riders’ made a major addition to their squad, as GB international Aaron Menzies signed from Germany to join the Leicester frontcourt. The 7’3” center steps in for the injured Mo Walker and looks to make an impact inside. 

“It’s an exciting signing for us. He’s great on the glass, he adds a lot of size and the ability to change the game for us. What’s really exciting for me is that his best basketball is ahead of him. He’s getting better every day, and we’re looking forward to seeing him wear the red.” 

Menzies will join the team for this one, after playing twice for GB in the break. 

This is the second time these two teams will have played each other this season, with the Riders coming out on top in the last game, winning 86-72. Derryck Thornton posted an impressive stat line of 21 points and 4 assists.

They will look to replicate their success to continue to build into a long season. 

Sharks save their season

The Sharks come into the game 5-5, having overcome a poor start to the season that left them 0-4. They look to improve on their 17-10 season last year and gain their first win against the Riders in the BBL Championship since December 7th, 2018. 

Since then, the Sharks have lost 10 consecutive games to the Riders in the league. They enter the game with three players scoring with a double-digit average, Saeed Nelson, Kipper Nichols and Bennet Koch. 

Leading them is Nelson, who has started his third pro season strongly with 13.7 points and 5.6 assists per game. The 6’2” guard exploded for 31 points in his second Sharks game and has scored double-digit points in seven of his ten outings this year. 

Leicester will have to put pressure on the Sheffield offence, as the Sharks enter the game with the least turnovers in the league. They succeeded in their last game, winning the turnover battle in Sheffield 11-8 in their 86-72 win in October. 

The Riders will have their hands full, facing this in-form Sharks team for the second time this season. 

Key matchup 

Kipper Nichols has been on a tear as of late, entering this one having scored over 20 in two of his last three games. The third-year Shark put up 20 points and five rebounds against the Riders last time out, going 9-17 from the field. 

Nichols has shown improvement every year of his young career. He scored 10 points per game last season and was an integral part of his team’s second-placed finish. The Illinois graduate stands at 6’6” on the wing, and uses his shooting touch to score from anywhere on the court. 

Lining up against him is Zach Jackson, who has established himself as one of the BBL’s elite wings this season. He’s scoring 14.7 points per game and led the team to a win against the Patriots with 18 points and eight rebounds. 

The Omaha graduate excels on both ends, able to get his head down and get a bucket and take on a defensive assignment one-on-one. He showed his in a recent win against the Cheshire Phoenix, scoring a go-ahead basket late before locking up former Rider Jamell Anderson to seal it. 

Jackson will need to be at his brilliant best on both ends on this one, as the Riders go for their fifth straight win. 

Where to watch

Tip-off is at 7:45 for this fixture. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, and streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel!

Riders sign GB International Aaron Menzies

Riders are thrilled to confirm the signing of Great Britain International Aaron Menzies.

The 7’3” big man will join Riders on a return from International duty after a buy-out deal was agreed with German side Dresden Titans for his services.

Aaron, who spent his college career stateside with Seattle Redhawks and Saint Mary’s Gaels, started his professional career in Spain for Ourense and HLA Alicante. He joined Dresden at the start of the 2022-23 season, averaging 8.6 points a game for the Titans.

“I’m excited to be returning to the UK,” reflected Menzies. “After six and a half seasons playing overseas it’s great for me to play in front of my family and friends again week in and week out.”

“I spoke to Pat (Whelan) and he had nothing but good things to say about the Riders. It’s a great club with a history of success. I can’t wait to get started and continue that success with some silverware before the end of the season.”

Head Coach Rob Paternostro commented:

“It’s an exciting signing for us. He’s a guy that we’ve been paying attention to over the last two years with him being from the UK.”

“He’s had a great start to the season this year. We feel that we’ve added a player with size and an ability to change the game for us. We are all looking forward to having him wear red.”

Menzies will play for Great Britain again on Monday in Latvia, having made his debut on Friday night in Newcastle.

Academy Fixtures: November 12th & 13th



U16 Boys II v Milton Keynes – 13:00 Tip at Morningside Arena


U14 Girls v Encon Derbyshire Arrows – 11:00 Tip at Morningside Arena

U14 Boys Premier v Manchester Magic – 13:00 Tip at Morningside Arena

U 16 Girls Premier v Newcastle Eagles – 13:30 Tip at Vertu Motors Arena

U16 Boys Premier v York Eagles – 15:00 Tip at Morningside Arena

U18 Men v Derby Trailblazers II – 14:00 Tip at Derby College

Academy players feature on CITV’s Makeaway Takeaway

A number of our LRF Academy players and coaches have featured in the latest episode of CITV’s children’s arts and crafts show Makeaway Takeaway.

The episode was filmed at the Morningside Arena as the players joined presenter Bec Hill in creating a piece of art using basketballs in an attempt to wow coaches Greg & Damon.

The full episode is available to watch on the ITV Hub, CLICK HERE to see what they got up to.

BBL Championship Preview- Riders at Patriots

The Riders take on the Plymouth City Patriots on the road, for the second game of a weekend doubleheader. A win would improve their record to 6-3, as Leicester finds its form. 

Riders rolling to the break

Going into the international break, the Riders are on a three-game winning streak. They’re building momentum for the first time this season as they look to climb the standings. 

They fought wire to wire in their previous fixture against the Cheshire Phoenix, pulling out an 89-85 win. Patrick Whelan led the team with 16 points, as five Riders scored in double digits. 

Read our report on the win! 

“This is our third double-header in a row with a Sunday road game, which is a challenge,” said head coach Rob Paternostro after the game. “We’ve got to get some rest, recover, and give it everything because we know we have a break afterwards.”

Leicester’s offence is humming in the opening stages of the season. It ranks top two in points per game, field goal % and three-point %. They’re led by Whelan and Marc Loving’s 16 points per game, as their well-balanced offence has four players averaging 14 points. 

The Riders are familiar with their opponents, having knocked them out of the first round of last year’s playoffs. They won 174-158 over two legs, going on to win it all at the O2 Arena. They will hope for some carry-over into this year, as a win on this long road trip would see them rise to second in the standings. 

A solid start in the South West

A 3-3 start for the Patriots through the season’s early stages marks a respectable record, as they hope to improve on 12-15 from last year. It was chalked up as a successful season for the newly formed Patriots last year, as their record earned them the last playoff place. 

But Plymouth will look to build, taking confidence from their fine form to end last season. They finished the season on a 12-7 run, turning their season around after an 0-8 start. Their highflying sensation Antonio Williams, who led their scoring last season with 18.6 points per game, stayed in Plymouth this offseason to lead them again this year. 

He started the season with a bang, averaging 24 points through his first two league games. His hot form was halted, however, being ruled out with injury for several weeks. He returned in their previous game, playing just 20 minutes in his side’s 93-85 win against the Caledonia Gladiators. 

Plymouth has hung its hat on making defensive plays this season, ranking top two in the league in steals and blocks. On offence, they crash the glass to secure second possessions, grabbing 12 per game. 

Plymouth will look for revenge against the Riders from last season’s playoffs, with a win giving them a winning record for the first time since their opening game. 

Key matchup 

In the absence of Antonio Williams, BBL veteran Rashad Hassan has held down the fort for Plymouth this season with 15 points and 6.3 rebounds per outing. The eight-year pro, and former Rider, is playing in his fourth season in Plymouth and has been the hallmark of consistency and efficiency. 

Hassan has averaged 67.2% from the field this season and has averaged over 60% in seven of his eight pro seasons. The 6’8” big enters this one having averaged 24 points and 7.5 rebounds in his previous two fixtures. 

Lining up against him in the backcourt will be Jubril Adekoya, one of the BBL’s best defenders who rises to any challenge. Adekoya’s defence inside played a pivotal role in his last game, coming up with two clutch steals in the paint. 

Adekoya’s impact on winning was on full display last weekend when the Riders took on the Sheffield Sharks. He earned the Premier Logistics’ player of the game despite not scoring, ending with a +/- of 24. 

Adekoya’s defence on Hassan in this one may once again prove the difference between the Riders and their opponents. 

Where to watch

The game will be live-streamed on the British Basketball Youtube channel, tipping off at 3 pm. 

Report: Riders beat Phoenix to win three on the bounce

The Riders make it three wins on the bounce, beating the Cheshire Phoenix 89-85. their record is now 5-3, as they climb up the BBL Championship standings. 

Patrick Whelan led the team with 16 points, as five Riders hit double-digit points in the win. Kimbal Mackenzie scored a season-high 12 points, scoring eight in the final period to keep the Riders’ offence ticking off the bench. 

Leicester needed every one of the points in a closely fought game. It was a one-possession game with 20 seconds remaining before Zach Jackson hit a free throw and came up with a stop on defence to seal it. 

For Cheshire, Marcus Evans and Tahjai Teague ran the show off the bench. Evans scored 15 from the perimeter, going 3-3 from deep and 5-10 from the field, while Teague put on a strong showing down low, scoring 14 points and going 5-7 in the paint. 

But in a contest which was closely fought wire-to-wire, it was the reigning champs who used their wealth of experience to put one in the win column. 

Derryck Thornton picked up where he left off in his last fixture, where he led the team with 21 points. Thornton scored six of the team’s first 12 points, helping them to a stalemate at the end of one. 

Jackson also got points on the board early, bagging seven through the first ten minutes. 

Little separated the teams through a half, with the biggest lead for either team standing at just four points after the second. The score was 40-38 in Cheshire’s favour, as Maceo Jack drove inside to give the Phoenix the lead to close the period.

By halftime, the Riders had hit just two of their 14 three-point attempts, staying in the game through their offensive rebounding, grabbing seven to Cheshire’s one. On the other end, the Phoenix hit 42% of their threes at the half, with 6’4” sharpshooter Llyod Daniel’s going 2-2. 

Jackson got the second half going for the Riders, hitting his second and-one layup of the game. The Wichita native’s play lit a fire under Leicester’s offence, which scored 11 points in the next two minutes to build a seven-point advantage. 

The Riders kept the Phoenix at arm’s length for the rest of the third, but their opponents battled to keep in it. Teague and Evans scored 13 between them in the final five minutes of the quarter for the Phoenix, with six of those points coming from the foul line. 

But Jubril Adekoya had the final say in the third, nailing a corner three at the buzzer to make it 67-61 in Leicester’s favour. 

Three minutes into the fourth, Kimbal Mackenzie snatched momentum for the Riders to stretch their lead to double-digits. Following his layup inside, the Riders forced a turnover off the inbound before Mackenzie hit a tough and-one fadeaway from the corner, sending the Morningside Arena into a frenzy. 

Mackenzie scored eight in the final quarter to keep his side ahead, as the Phoenix fought to keep it close. Will Neighbour and Evan’s hit two straight threes with a minute remaining, which cut the lead to three. 

Leicester put the ball in Jackson’s hands to seal the game with 20 seconds remaining. He took his defender one-on-one, drew a foul in the lane and hit a free throw to put them up four. He then took up his defensive assignment in isolation, locking up former Rider Jamell Anderson to win it. 

The Riders are back in action on Sunday, taking on the Plymouth City Patriots on the road. A win would see them move up to second in the standings with 10 points. 

Academy Fixtures: November 5th & 6th



U16 Boys Premier at Manchester Giants – 11:00 Tip at Hough End, Mauldeth Road

U14 Girls at Nottingham Wildcats – 11:00 Tip at Nottingham Wildcats Arena

U12 Mixed at City of Birmingham Rockets – 12:20 Tip at Nechells Centre


U13 Boys at Daventry Swifts – 10:30 Tip at Parker E ACT Academy

U16 Boys II v Northants Thunder – 11:00 Tip at Morningside Arena

U16 Girls Premier v Manchester Mystics II – 13:00 Tip at Morningside Arena

U14 Boys Premier at Newcastle Eagles – 14:30 Tip at Vertu Motors Arena

U14 Boys II v Mansfield Giants – 15:00 Tip at Morningside Arena

For updates on all Academy fixtures follow @RidersBF & @LRFAcademy on all social media platforms.

BBL Championship Preview- Riders vs Phoenix

The Riders host the Cheshire Phoenix in tonight’s BBL Championship action, last season’s 6th-placed league finishers. 

Riders finding form

After an up-and-down start to the season, the Riders have strung together back-to-back wins for the first time this season, against quality opposition. A double header of the weekend, versus the Bristol Flyers and the Sheffield Sharks, moved them above .500 for the first time this season. 

The Sharks result was significant, with their opponents entering the game having won four on the bounce, beating the London Lions in their previous fixture. The Riders had four starters score over 15 points, led by 21 from Derryck Thornton. 

Read our report here! 

“We said before the game that we’re tired of this lose one win one stuff; let’s string some together,” said coach Rob Paternostro after the game. 

“Our offence has been playing well. Statistically, we’ve been up there in the league offensively. That’s a product of the talent we have, and our unselfishness. We played unselfish basketball today, so I feel good about where that’s at.”

Marc Loving leads the Riders’ offence, scoring 18.1 points per game after a 34-point outing against the Flyers. Leicester has been one of the BBL’s most efficient teams, ranking top two in points per game, field goal % and three-point %. 

Winning this one would bring the Riders’ record to 5-3, as the reigning champions look to chase down the top spot. 

Cheshire building on last season’s silverware

The Phoenix were the only team to beat Leicester to a piece of silverware last year, winning the BBL Trophy during the Riders’ treble-winning season. They beat the London Lions in the final, securing the fifth BBL Trophy in their history, and their second piece of silverware in 12 seasons. 

Over the offseason, Cheshire looked to fellow North Western club, the Manchester Giants, for their most significant acquisition: GB international Jamell Anderson. The former Rider has discovered new scoring form, putting up back-to-back 20-point games to start the year and logging a career-high scoring average. 

With new addition Marcus Evans, formerly of the Bristol Flyers, lining up in the backcourt, the Phoenix built a well-balanced team. But it’s second year Phoenix Larry Austin leading the scoring for Cheshire, putting up 14 points per game. 

Austin led the team in their previous game with 23 points, as they beat the Surrey Scorchers 76-66. The win improved their record to 3-4, after losing back-to-back games previous to the result.

Defence has been key to Cheshire’s success, as they hold their opponents to an average of  71 points on their wins. Their aim will be to keep the Riders’ scoring to a minimum in this one, as they rank in the bottom two in the BBL in points per game, field goal percentage and three-point percentage. 

Key matchup 

The clash on the perimeter may prove pivotal to the outcome of this fixture, as two of the BBL’s best talents face off.

Larry Austin has led the Phoenix in points this season, scoring over 20 in back-to-back games. Meanwhile, last season’s leading scorer for the Riders has cooked from deep early in the season, putting up key points from the wing. 

Austin, a 6’2” two-guard from Springfield, Illinois, is a second-year Phoenix and a four-year pro, having played in Turkey, Portugal and New Zealand. He averaged 14.4 points per game last season, establishing himself as one of the BBL’s elite perimeter threats. 

Austin has active hands-on defence, coming up with steals for quick transition points. He is fast on the break and can run it coast-to-coast himself using his speed and handles. His handles are a weapon in the halfcourt too, with his ability to take on defenders one-on-one forcing elite defenders to take on the challenge. 

Whelan will look to be up for it though, the GB international having received another call-up for his country after playing in Eurobasket in the summer. 

Whelan was named to the BBL Team of the Year last season, averaging 15.3 points per game for the treble winners. The Warrington-born wing picked up where he left off this year, scoring 16 points per game and shooting 44.4% from deep.

Whelan is a deadly shooter from outside, his smooth release keeping defenders honest when guarding him. He’s an exceptional defensive player, and will fancy his chances of stepping up against Austin. 

Where to watch

The game will be shown live on the British Basketball League YouTube channel, tipping off at 7:45 pm.  

LRF host Lancaster Academy aspiration day

40 students from The Lancaster Academy joined us at the Morningside Arena on Wednesday morning for an aspiration day with our Foundation staff.

The morning began with a tour of the Arena followed by 3 talks from our Foundation staff on their journey to their current role within the Leicester Riders Foundation. After their talks, the students took part in an hour on court with our coaches working on dribbling and shooting followed by some game play.

Following their session on court the day was rounded off with a 30 minute Q&A with Mo Walker of the Leicester Riders men’s team. The Q&A provided a fantastic opportunity for the students to learn about his story and what it takes to be successful in your chosen field.

Baby Ballers is back!

Baby Ballers makes a return on Thursday November 17th as we begin another 5 week block.

The sessions take place 10-11am at the Morningside Arena (LE1 3UL) and our coached by our Leicester Riders Foundation coaches. Baby Ballers is a family session; you are welcome to bring family members/ friends/siblings to watch.

CLICK HERE to book your child onto our next block.