Riders record dominant win

The Riders pulled off a dominant 106-89 win against the Bristol Flyers, in a key fixture in the fight for second place. 

Led by a monster 28 performance from Zach Jackson, who went 9-12 from the field and 9-9 from the free throw line, the Riders jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. They shot 45% from three and dished 27 assists in a complete team performance. 

Four Riders scored over 16 points, and Carrington Love put up nine points and 10 assists, as players contributed up and down the roster. The win sealed the season series between the sides, putting Leicester in the driving seat in their pursuit of the second seed. 

VJ King scored 25 for the visitors, but the problems lay on the other end of the floor for Bristol. The Riders shot 60% on their defence, as they gave up their second-highest points tally of the season. 

The Riders charged out the gate to a 19-5 lead. Their offence began at an electric pace as they ran in transition for buckets at the rim. On the other end, Carrington Love set the tone with lockdown perimeter defence, then hit his first three of the night to the team’s 19th points. 

The Flyers’ offence found its rhythm midway through the quarter to stem the Riders’ run, led by Thomas Bell’s seven points. Jackson’s seven led the Riders through the opening period, which they won 29-17. 

An 11-8 start to the second rebuilt the lead to 15, capped off by Patrick Whelan’s fastbreak bucket. Whelan scored five quick points to bring his game tally to 11. 

Leicester’s first half was an offensive clinic, as they went into the locker rooms with three starters already hitting double-digit points. The team put up 56 in the first half, leading by 17. Jackson’s six-point quarter brought him to 14 by the half. 

Back-to-back trips to the free throw line made the Riders lead 20 as they got the second half underway. Jackson continued his hot first half form, following up the foul shots with a corner three for his 20th points. 

Marc Loving too over proceedings midway through the third with back to back threes. His aerial bombardment marked an 18-8 start to the quarter. 

An 8-0 run from the visitors pegged the Riders’ lead back to 18, before Jackson’s two finished off the period. The Riders held a commanding lead entering the fourth. 

And the hosts continued to charge in the final quarter. They scored five quick points as Jackson drove coast-to-coast, getting a bucket and a foul. 

Mackenzie got hot, scoring eight points in six minutes, including a midrange jumper to score the Riders’ 100th points of the evening. He scored 12 in the quarter to see it home in style. 

The Riders have a quick turnaround for their next game, heading to the South West on Sunday to take on the Plymouth City Patriots. 

The game tips off at 3 pm, streamed live on the BBL Official youtube channel. 

LRF host Inclusive Basketball Tournament

On Tuesday 4th April we hosted our first inclusive schools basketball tournament of the season at the Morningside Arena. We welcomed the students from Westgate, Quorn Hall, Sketchley and Birchwood that we have been coaching at our in school sessions for the past year.

The tournament was a success with Quorn Hall coming out on top winning all three of their fixtures however, all 4 of the teams gave a great effort and had a lot of fun.

Adam Wheatcroft from Quorn Hall School thought the tournament was a fantastic experience for his students.

“This is the first tournament our students have experienced and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing on the professional court and are eager to experience this again. The staff at Leicester Riders Foundation were helpful, supportive, and engaged our students in friendly competition. I was to thank each member of staff involved for their hard work in getting the day organised and the running of the day. ”

Darren Kay our Head of Education & Schools Sport was delighted to be able to host an inclusive tournament at Morningside Arena and to continue to support the students in their basketball development.

“The Leicester Riders Foundation is delighted to have hosted our inclusion tournament. Supporting young people to take their first steps in sport but also to participate using the values that make basketball such a inclusive sporting activity. Teamwork and Equality regardless of ability. All participants upholding these values with commitment and support. A massive thank you to all our schools who participated today and my staff who supported the tournament throughout the course of the day. 

If you would like the Leicester Riders Foundation to get involved with your school contact [email protected] for more information!

BBL Championship preview: Riders vs Flyers

Friday will see the Riders finish March with a crucial clash against the second-place Bristol Flyers.

The Morningside Arena will host the second of a two-game home stand as the Riders look to build on Tuesday’s victory over the Plymouth City Patriots.

Riders’ Season So Far

The win was the Riders’ 19th of the season in the BBL Championship, keeping them fixed in third place in the standings and now within reaching distance of Friday’s visitors.

Leicester consigned Plymouth to a fifth straight loss, but the game was never a foregone conclusion.

The Patriots mounted a spirited fourth-quarter comeback and the 92-89 scoreline perfectly reflects the competitiveness of the contest.

Marc Loving and Kimbal Mackenzie typically topped the Riders’ scoring output, dropping 24 and 23 points respectively. Loving especially had his stroke going, hitting 61% from the field including six from downtown.

Zach Jackson also had a nice night with an energetic 18 points, but it was two late plays on the defensive side of the ball that clinched victory for the Riders.

Holding a tenuous one-point lead with less than a minute to go, the Riders needed a stop. Up stepped Jubril Adekoya, one of Leicester’s most tenacious stealers of the ball.

The strong forward shot out a quick hand and pilfered possession away from the Patriots’ guard, forcing the away team to foul.

A couple of clutch Mackenzie free throws and a last-second block by Loving put the seal on an entertaining game.

No doubt more of the same will be needed to stop a high-flying Bristol team.

Flyers’ Season So Far

The Bristol Flyers have been one of the best teams in the BBL this season and travel to Leicester boasting a 21-9 record.

They sit a narrow four points above the Riders in the table, the proximity between the two teams adding extra spice to Friday’s contest.

Mixed results in recent weeks have seen the Flyers go 3-2 in their last five meetings, both losses coming against a Manchester Giants squad that fell 104-84 to the Riders in February.

Bristol’s latest game ended in a 39-point win however, the Flyers prevailing over Leicester’s Tuesday night opponents riding a strong 23-point show by guard, Tevin Olison.

A dangerous three-point threat when on the left side of the court, Olison is averaging 9.58 PPG and shoots a respectable 82% when he gets to the free-throw line.

Despite the single-digit PPG average, Olison can rack up buckets, as shown by his dominance over Plymouth.

Leicester will want to keep him in check as they did when the teams met on January 6.

Key Players

The Flyers are the least accurate team in the BBL when shooting, currently hitting 43.58% of their shots.

What they lack in efficiency, they make up in scoring chances.

Bristol attempt 69.82 field goals per game, second in the BBL. The key to this plethora of shots is their ability on the offensive glass – the Flyers are the only team to have snagged over 400 offensive rebounds this season.

The driving forces behind Bristol’s thirst for second chances are forward Thomas Bell and Flyers veteran, Malcolm Delpeche.

Both Bell and 6’8” center, Delpeche, sit in the league’s top 10 in offensive rebounds per game, pulling down 2.34 and 3.03 respectively.

This front-court hustle gives extra opportunities to players like top-scorer, VJ King, who is a force when driving to the basket.

Tasked with boxing out Bell and Delpeche will be the interchanging Darien Nelson-Henry and Aaron Menzies.

As a result of swapping in and out at the center position, the two big men don’t trouble the BBL’s top 10 in defensive rebounds per game.

However, they rise up the statistics table when the criteria is changed to DREBs per 40 minutes.

Nelson-Henry and Menzies grab 7.87 and 9.78 DREBs per 40, the 7’3 Brit placing second in the championship in that metric.

While players like Jackson, Mackenzie and King may grab the post-game headlines for their ability to sink the rock, the battle of the frontcourt may be the true area where this game is won and lost.

Where to watch

The game tips off at 7:45 pm on Friday 31 March. Get your tickets here!

Alternatively, it will be streamed on the BBL Official youtube channel from 7:30 pm.

Riders win in the clutch

The Riders saw out a clutch win, beating the Plymouth City Patriots 92-89. Marc Loving led the team with 24 points, and came up with a clutch block to seal the game. 

Loving scored eight points in the fourth, taking over when it mattered most. He was backed up by 23 points from Kimbal Mackenzie, who knocked down his late free throws to put the Riders up three with seconds left. 

The Patriots made big shots late in the shot clock to stay in it. Former Rider Rashad Hassan put up 21 points in their effort, going 9-14 from the field. 

The Riders stamped their authority on the game early. The Riders hit three triples in a minute before Jackson scored five straight to build a lead. 

It was an eight-point lead by the end of the first. Marc Loving had eight points, hitting two of the team’s five threes in the quarter. 

The threes kept falling in the second. Kimbal Mackenzie got the action back underway with a three from the corner to make it a double-digit lead.

The Riders maintained a lead by the half, but the Patriots went on a 5-0 run to end it, cutting the lead to seven. Mackenzie scored 10 in the first half, scoring and playmaking, dishing three assists. 

The visitors continued their run to start the second half. But after Isa Brandon made it a four-point game after two minutes, Loving scored eight quick points to stall their progress, draining two threes. 

The lead was seven going into the fourth, the game in the balance. 

The Patriots started hot in the quarter, as Ty Gadsden cut it to three with a layup. They tied the game up four minutes in the quarter with another layup by Gadsen, finding joy attacking the rim.

The clutch was a back-and-forth affair. Both sides traded big shots, as Loving scored eight, including two threes to edge the Riders ahead. But the Patriots found responses from deep, and the game came down to the wire. 

Loving’s three with a minute left gave the Riders a one-point advantage and Jubril Adekoya’s momentous block on Hassan meant Mackenzie’s subsequent free throws made the lead three. 

On the final possession, Loivng blocked Elvisi Dusha’s three to end it, winning it for Leicester.

The Riders play the second of a three-game week on Friday, taking on the Bristol Flyers. Tickets are selling quickly.

Get them here!

BBL Championship Preview: Riders vs Patriots

The Morningside Arena will be buzzing with activity on Tuesday night as the Leicester Riders host the Plymouth City Patriots for the first time this season.

The Riders will want to get back to winning ways in the BBL after Friday’s game at the home of the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks did not fall in their favour.

Riders’ Season So Far

Leicester’s record now stands at 18-9 following the 71-62 loss to the Sharks.

They sit comfortably third in the BBL standings, six points behind the Bristol Flyers and four points ahead of a Manchester Giants team that are finishing the season strong.

If the Riders are to claim victory over the Patriots and close the gap on the Flyers, they must shoot better than last Friday.

Leicester hit 36% of their shots against the Sharks as well as 61% from the free throw line – numbers that have been a rarity for the Riders this season.

Controlling ball possession will also be a key factor against Plymouth after the Riders gave up 27 points from 23 turnovers last time out. Premier ball handlers like Kimbal Mackenzie and Carrington Love should lead the way, both finishing Friday night without coughing up a single ball to the opposition.

The top of the stat sheet against Sheffield belonged to versatile forward, Marc Loving. Loving finished the game with a double-double, dropping 18 points and snagging 11 rebounds in a defiant display.

His late three-pointer brought the Riders level in the fourth quarter, but accurate shooting from the Sharks saw them pull away in the final four minutes of the game.

Patriots’ Season So Far

The Patriots sit in eighth place in the BBL standings with a 10-17 record.

They are currently working through a rough patch in their season, last winning a game on February 19 at home to the Newcastle Eagles.

Plymouth’s latest matchup came when they welcomed the Cheshire Phoenix to Plymouth Pavilions, the home side falling 67-90 to their neighbours.

Solid free throw shooting and good production off the bench was not enough to secure a win for coach Paul James’s men, who (like the Riders) shot under 40% from the field.

The best performance came from Plymouth’s newest signing, Otas Iyekekpolor, a 6’8” forward who has played in leagues across Europe.

The Canadian dropped just six points but his 10 rebounds were the most of any player on the court.

His ability on the boards will be crucial if Plymouth hope to halt their current skid and overturn the 101-79 scoreline that occurred when they last met the Riders.

Key Matchup

Not known for their three-point shooting, the Patriots may pose a more telling threat inside the paint. Aggressive around the rim, Plymouth are one of the best teams in the BBL at infiltrating the interior and drawing fouls.

The key man in the middle for Plymouth is former Leicester Riders center and BBL veteran, Rashad Hassan.

The 6’8” American can take over a game with his close-range skills and has dropped over 20 points on seven occasions this season, including 32 on the Bristol Flyers.

Hassan is averaging 14.73 PPG over a 30-game span, bucketing close to 70% of his shots when around the basket.

He has also been useful on the boards, pulling down 6.67 RPG, most of any Patriot who has played more than 10 games.

Tasked with fronting up against Hassan will be a combination of Riders’ captain – Darien Nelson-Henry – and the 7’3” GB international, Aaron Menzies.

The experience and endeavour Nelson-Henry brings to the front court and Menzies’s pure shot-blocking ability should be key to limiting the effectiveness of the Patriots’ center.

Menzies is averaging 0.68 BPG, good for second on the Riders, and will need all of that 7’3” frame to affect Hassan’s looks in the post.

The former Dresden Titan has never shied away from using his length on the defensive end of the court, setting a Seattle University record for blocks with 79 in his junior season.

Stout defence inside and a more efficient shooting display from the Riders than displayed in the last couple of games should see them in the best position for victory.

Where to watch

The game tips off at 7:45 pm at the Morningside Arena. Get your tickets here!

If you can’t make the game, it will be streamed live on the BBL Official youtube channel, starting at 7:30 pm.

Riders fall just short in Trophy final

The Riders fell just short of their fourth WBBL Trophy win, losing 81-70 to the London Lions. 

They pushed the Lions wire to wire, cutting the game to five with six minutes remaining. Star forward Ashley Arlen led the Riders’ effort with 22 points, and an eight-point start to the fourth quarter from sharpshooter Hannah Robb made it a game late. 

It took a monster 33-point effort from former WNBA player Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan to beat Leicester. It was the record for the most points in a WBBL Trophy final, and a well-earned final MVP performance from the brit.

The Riders got off to the perfect start. They scored six points from their first two possessions and edged the early lead through five minutes thanks to threes from Oliana Squires and Arlen.

London found their offensive rhythm in the final stages of the first, jumping out to a 15-8 advantage. Fiona O’Dwyer stemmed the Lions’ run four points to close the quarter, but London scored five points in the last 22 seconds to make it a 10-point game after one. 

The Riders came storming back into the tie in the second. O’Dwyer got the second quarter underway from the midrange, getting her sixth points of the afternoon, an eight-point explosion from Arlen made it a one-score affair. 

The Lions made attempts to rebuild the lead, getting it back to eight, but the Riders found responses throughout the quarter with big shots dropping from Arlen, O’Dwyer and Robb. 

40-36 was the score in London’s favour at halftime.

It took a minute and a half for the Riders to take their first lead since early in the first. Robb followed up Arlen’s midrange jumper with a three, making it 41-40. 

The Lions jumped out to a double-digit lead with 10 points from Herbert-Harrigan. The Riders stalled the Lions progress mid-quarter, and Mckenzie Johnston made it a 10-point game going into the fourth.

Robb took over the opening stages of the fourth to chip into the deficit. She scored seven points in four minutes to make it a five-point game with six to play. 

But the Lions closed the game out stronger, and the Riders could not get over the crest to win it.

Betty Codona WBBL Trophy Final Preview: Riders vs Lions

The Riders take on the London Lions in their second WBBL final of the season, battling for the Betty Codona Trophy. 

It would be the fourth time the Riders have lifted the Trophy, most recently in 2020. 

Season so far: Riders

The game is a first vs second clash, as the Riders currently sit a place from the top spot in the WBBL Championship. They possess a 12-2 record and are level on points with their final opponents. 

They’re an efficient outfit, ranking top four in field goal, free throw and three-point percentage, and dominate the defensive boards, ranking second in the league. 

Ashley Arlen leads the scoring for the team this season, putting up 16.1 points per game. The veteran forward’s eight rebounds a game leads the team also, as she leads the front line for Leicester. 

The Riders will look for a big game from Arlen in this one! 

Season so far: Lions 

The league-leading Lions hold a 12-1 record this season and enter this one on a three-game winning streak.

They’re the league’s top scorers, putting up 95.6 points per game, 12 points more than the second-highest scorers. But last month, the Caledonia Gladiators came up with a winning formula against the Lions with a 68-67 road win. 

It was the first domestic defeat for London in two seasons after the Riders beat them in April 2021. 

The Lions won the previous meeting between the sides in the WBBL Cup final, taking home the first piece of WBBL silverware of the season. 

Since then, London have seen a change of personnel in the head coaching role, with Greek international Stella Kaltsidou taking the helm. It remains a tough test for the Riders as they go for the trophy. 

Road to the final: Riders

The Riders fought through three games to reach the final, winning them by an average of 30 points.

They started their campaign against the Oakland Wolves, winning in a dominant 104-55 fashion. Oliana Squires led the game with 24 points in a game the Riders held the lead since early in the first quarter. 

The quarter-finals was a hard-fought 54-44 win against the Caledonia Gladiators. The Riders held a one-possession lead going into the final quarter, but a 7-0 run to start the fourth allowed them to jump out to a double-digit lead, which they held until the buzzer. 

They took a trip to the North East for the semi-final, as they booked a place in the final with a 91-63 win against the Newcastle Eagles. Kirsty Brown’s 18 topped the team’s scoring tallies, as Leicester went 15-16 from the free-throw line to dominate the Eagles. 

Road to the final: Lions

The Lions progressed through the Trophy’s three rounds thus far confidently, dismissing the Brent Bulls, the Cardiff Met Archers and the Sheffield Hatters

.Paulina Hersler’s 25 points led a first-round win against the Bulls, as the Lions took a 98-42 win. They forced 33 turnovers from their opponents with suffocating defence. 

The Lions then beat the Archers 104-55, led again by Hersler who scored 20. Hersler went 9-17 from the field, grabbed seven rebounds and blocked three shots, dominating inside. 

Lions’ duo Mikiah Herbert Harrigan and Holly Winterburn took over the semi-final with 26 points each, blowing out the Hatters 112-77. London went just 3-14 from three and still dominated the game, making 45 field goals. 

Where to watch

The game will be shown live on Sky Sports, and the Sky Sports Youtube channel. 

Tip-off is at 1 pm, with coverage starting at 12:30 pm. 

Riders fall on the road

The Riders fell 71-62 on the road to the Sheffield Sharks. 

They came back to tie the game late, after trailing by 10 going into the fourth. But the Sharks took the late momentum to win the game. 

Marc Loving led the team with 18 points, including five in the fourth to get the Riders back in it. The Riders bounced back from a low-scoring third quarter, but could not make their deep shots in the tie, shooting 26%. 

Rodney Glasgow Jr. led the Sharks with 15 points off the bench. His late three all but won the game, as he went 3-6 from behind the arc in the game. 

The Sharks jumped out to an early lead after explosive plays at the rim. A Kipper Nichols layup triggered a Rob Paternostro time-out, as the Riders found themselves down 16-8 with seven minutes played. 

Carrington Love checked into the game to generate scoring from the backcourt, scoring five quick points late in the first. Despite their point guard’s play, the Riders were down seven at the buzzer. 

The Riders made in-roads as the clock ticked down in the half. Patrick Whelan and Marc  Loving connected with a minute to go, making it a one-possession game. The Riders came up with a stop on the next possession, and the deficit was three going into the locker rooms. 

The Sharks regained control in the third with an 8-3 run, in a low-scoring start to the second half. They once again went up double digits, led by big man Marcus Delpeche, and took a 10-point lead into the fourth. 

The Riders fought back immediately in the final period, cutting it to five following a three from Whelan and a tough finish from Jubril Adekoya. 

Loving’s three then tied the game up with four minutes remaining. Back in the game, the Riders made it a tense affair late. 

But the Sharks got over the line, making tough shots down the stretch. Rodney Glasgow Jr’s three with 35 seconds left sealed it for the hosts. 

The Riders return to action on Tuesday, hosting the Plymouth City Patriots. Get your tickets here to see the Riders attempt to improve to 19-9. 

BBL Championship Preview: Riders at Sharks

The Riders will take a short trip north this Friday to face the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks.

Victory for Leicester would give them three wins in a row following positive results against Newcastle and Caledonia, the latter falling to the Riders 84-81 in a tightly contested game.

Riders’ Season So Far

After the aforementioned result at home to the Gladiators, Leicester’s record stands at 18-8.

The Riders sit third in the BBL Championship, six points behind the Bristol Flyers. Friday’s game is one of four that Leicester have in hand over Bristol, giving them the chance to close the gap.

The Riders hope victory over the Sharks will be a little more comfortable than it was against Caledonia. The Gladiators kept the home team honest throughout the game, which turned into a cat-and-mouse affair.

It needed a fourth-quarter takeover by Kimbal Mackenzie to drive the Riders to success, the energetic guard scoring 25 points including a perfect 12 from the line.

Mackenzie is one of the BBL’s most reliable free throw shooters, hitting close to 88% of his attempts.

If the fourth quarter belonged to #1, the second was all about Evan Walshe. The former Surrey Scorcher brought speed and power off the bench and helped the Riders build an early double-digit lead.

The wing ended with 15 crucial points, rewarded for his hard work, especially on the fast break.

Something the Riders will want to clean up on Friday is their shooting percentage after hitting just 35% of their shots against the Gladiators.

Sharks’ Season So Far

The hometown Sheffield Sharks are currently riding high after an exhilarating 82-80 comeback win over the championship-leading London Lions.

Sheffield have beaten the Lions twice this season and their latest triumph continues a winning run that stretches back to March 5. Their current vein of good form has pushed the Sharks into a playoff place with a 13-16 record.

An efficient shooting night of 49.18% and tenacity on the defensive side of the ball contributed to the win, as well as a final quarter that saw Sheffield outscore their opponents 23-12.

The standout performer was Devearl Ramsey, who dropped 22 points in a high-percentage outing. The American guard finished the game with four buckets from three-point range, the most of any player on the court.

Ramsey is currently putting up 11.79 PPG and is one of four players on the Sheffield roster that average double-digits in points.

That group includes 6’6” forward, Kipper Nichols who finished with 15 points and six rebounds versus the Lions.

A solid scoring night from both Ramsey and Nichols will be important if Sheffield hope to topple a Riders team that averages 14 points per game more than them.

Key Matchup

In a game where crisp passing and limiting turnovers is going to be essential, all eyes will be on the tussle between Kimbal Mackenzie and Sheffield’s top scorer, Sa’eed Nelson.

Nelson, who is currently on a three-game run averaging less than 10 PPG, will have something to prove matching up against one of the BBL’s in-form guards.

The 6’2” scorer has been prolific around the rim since his college days playing for the American Eagles basketball team. He holds the school’s all-time scoring record with 2,116 points and has carried that scoring touch with him to the BBL.

Nelson leads the Sharks knocking down 13.33 PPG, supplementing this with over five assists per game. His aggressive drives to the basket create floor space for the Sharks’ long-range shooters, so keeping Nelson out of the paint is essential.

Potentially going bucket-for-bucket with Nelson will be Leicester’s Canadian-born #1, Mackenzie.

The Ontario native has been in sensational form during the back stretch of the season, scoring more than 12 points in all-but-one game since December 23. This lucrative run includes a 31-point night in Chester and the 25-point performance last Friday.

Much like his cross-court rival, Mackenzie is devastating when given a lane, so look for the Sharks to close in on him on every possession.

The enigmatic combo guard possesses another string to his bow: an accurate three-point shot.

Mackenzie is currently draining 36.11% of his shots from deep and will be looking to improve that percentage further following an uncharacteristic 1-7 performance against Caledonia.

The last time the teams met. Mackenzie shot for 15 points and dished six assists in a single-point loss. He may need to surpass those numbers if the Riders are to halt Sheffield’s winning run.

Where to watch

The game will be streamed live on the British Basketball game, starting at 7:15 pm ready for a 7:30 pm tip-off.

Hiring: Community Coach

The Leicester Riders Foundation is continuing to grow in stature and workforce. We are seeking a new community basketball coach to join their Community team. LRF are looking for someone who is enthusiastic about coaching and wanting to learn more about basketball and the many pathways that Riders can offer them.

Main Duties and Responsibility

  • To deliver effective sessions with relevant skills, tactics and techniques for the age group or ability of the players involved
  • To deliver a variety of basketball and physical activity-based programmes and sessions across a variety of settings including schools, and the community
  • Deliver curriculum and non – curriculum sessions
  • Working with people from the community using basketball as a tool of delivery on programmes such as NCS, PL kicks, Street Games, Carry A ball not a blade
  • Planning and delivering sessions for SEN schools and targeted SEN / inclusion groups including Memphys and Vista.
  • Co-ordinating participants’ attendance at meetings and other sports events
  • Planning and running programmes of activities for groups and/or individuals
  • Assist with the running of festival, tournaments and leagues
  • Opportunities to be involved in BBL/WBBL Game days and events
  • Complete all necessary reports and evidencing of the sessions and projects delivered
  • Assist with the delivery of projects and satellite clubs.
  • Coaching on Holiday Camps and Development days
  • Opportunity to Coach within University Programmes and Junior National League Teams
  • Continuous Personal Development opportunities.
  • Promotion of sports events to increase participation at sessions
  • Completion of Health and safety and risk assessments when applicable.
  • Deliver with in school and education settings working with children of all ages and abilities
  • Working across a wide variety of programmes focusing on health and wellbeing
  • Delivering on programmes such as Hoops for health, Ambassadors programmes delivering assemblies within schools
  • Being a leading light working with the community and developing key relationships for programmes within the community
  • Travel is necessary to fulfil the role.


  • Clean Driving Licence and access to own vehicle
  • Applicants must live with in a commutable distance of Morningside Arena, LE1 3UL, Leicester
  • Level 2 Basketball Coach award
  • Fully enhanced DBS check
  • Ability to work with players from Grass Roots to Elite
  • Excellent communication levels and Administration skills
  • Good organisational skills
  • Ability to encourage and motivate people
  • Ability to be flexible and work unsociable hours & weekends
  • Display a professional approach at all times, setting an example to others
  • Good leadership skills
  • Experience of working in a school setting or professional environment
  • Ability to engage with people from all backgrounds
  • Be professionally approachable
  • Teaching experience within sport
  • Ability to work with partner organisations such as United Leicester to design and deliver programmes.
  • Be dynamic and a hard-working individual
  • Up to date safeguarding / child protection certificates
  • Up to date emergency first aid certificate

Job Title

Community Coach (Full Time Contract 38 hours per week)

Responsible to

LRF General Manager – Laura Shephard


Leicester City, Leicestershire & Rutland


£18,525-£19,500 (depending on experience)

Closing Date


Interview Date


How to apply:

Please complete the enclosed application form with your CV and covering letter and email to [email protected] no later than 5pm on 3/04/23.

Riders see out a close battle

The Riders won a close encounter against the Caledonia Gladiators 84-81. Kimbal Mackenzie took over the fourth quarter with eight points, helping the team see it out in the clutch. 

Mackenzie led the game with 25 points, going 12/12 from the line in the game. Off the bench, Evan Walshe put in an energetic performance with 15 points off the bench, sealing the win with his late free throws.

Leicester shot just 35% from the field in the game but attacked the hoop relentlessly and went 25-27 from the free-throw line. Defensively, the Riders’ perimeter defence held the Gladiators to 22% from three, locking down the outside.

For the visitors, David Sloan and  Aljami Durham put up 22 points each in the contest, pushing the Riders to the final buzzer. They were shorthanded following the ejections of Fahro Alihodzic in the first half and Jeremiah Bailey in the second. Still, they found themselves with a chance to tie it in the closing seconds.

Durham’s three-point attempt found only air, however, and Leicester found a way to put one in the win column. 

The Riders’ looked like they were building a comfortable lead early, leading by six points after 10 minutes. They went on a 6-0 run to end the period led by four points from captain Darien Nelson-Henry, who closed the action with a layup on the horn. 

Walshe took over the scoring in the second, putting up eight of the team’s 12 points after four minutes. His fastbreak jam made it a double-digit lead as the Riders grew their advantage. 

Despite the early form, the Gladiators pegged the Riders back to end the half with a 9-0 run capped off by a fastbreak bucket from Sloan. 

Caledonia then took their first lead of the game following halftime through a dunk from Jeremiah Bailey. Bailey then picked up his fifth personal foul shortly after, seeing him sidelined for the remainder of the game.

The Riders then stemmed the Gladiators’ momentum, and the score continued to swing back and forth. A late run from Leicester, concluded by a Walshe three, saw the Riders edge the lead going into the final period. 

The sides once engaged in a back-and-forth battle in the fourth. The score was tied at 70 with five minutes remaining following a Patrick Whelan three. 

Mackenzie attacked the rim down the stretch to score four quick points to take the lead. The team battled inside, finding joy near the hoop to generate late offence. 

The Gladiators hit big shots, including a Durham three, which took the lead with a minute and a half left. 

Mackenzie responded with a floater before making both free throws on the next possession, meaning the game came down to a chance to tie with 10 seconds remaining for Caledonia, who found themselves down three. 

Durham took a three early in the shot clock and missed right, allowing the Riders to see out a hard-fought win. 

The win sees the Riders improve to 18-18, four points behind the second-placed Bristol Flyers with three games in hand. 

They return to league action on Friday, 24 March, taking on the Sheffield Sharks on the road.

Class of 2023, Alex Shaw commits to Hillsborough Hawks and HCC for the 2023/24 season.

Alex Shaw, 6’1 forward has committed to Florida based Hillsborough Community College for the 2023/24 academic year. Shaw will continue her basketball journey within the HCC Hawks Women’s basketball programme in the NJCAA, on a full ride scholarship. 

Shaw joined the Charnwood Riders Academy in 2020 and has played within the Loughborough Riders WNBL Division One and the WBBL Leicester Riders programme alongside her Academy commitments.

Alex shaw on her commitment to HCC:

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity. I am thankful for the people who have helped get me there, and can’t wait for what’s next and what experiences it brings”

Charnwood Riders Academy Head Coach, Nick Moodey:

“Alex is a great individual both on and off court. Her development over the three years of being within the Riders Programme is a clear indicator that she is dedicated to the sport and is always wanting to improve herself.”

“I’m excited to see Alex’s continued development whilst part of the Hillsborough programme and also for her to show what she can bring to any team” 

The club would like to wish Alex all the best for her move to the US and we look forward to seeing her progress with her basketball career over the coming years.

BBL Championship Preview: Riders vs Gladiators

Friday sees the Riders play the second of a two-game home stand as they tip off against the Caledonia Gladiators. Leicester will hope to make it two-for-two at home after a hard-fought 89-79 victory over the Newcastle Eagles last Sunday.

Riders’ season so far

After sharing the spoils in last weekend’s series with Newcastle, the Riders head into Friday night with a 17-8 record, six points behind the second-placed Bristol Flyers.

Leicester had to wait until the fourth quarter to create some breathing room between them and the Eagles. Marc Loving, who led the scoring with 20 points, dropped 11 in the final stretch to inspire the Riders to their ninth home win.

Read our full report here.

Loving was ably supported by captain Darien Nelson-Henry who contributed 16 points in an efficient shooting display.

Nelson-Henry is currently scoring 8.5 PPG and shooting at a 56.41% clip, good for third on the team. The 6’11” center is also the Riders’ most prolific rebounder, snagging 6.4 per contest.

If he has another dominant day on the boards this Friday, the 29-year-old could be the first Rider to pass 200 rebounds this season.

Gladiators’ season so far

Much like the Riders, Caledonia notched another mark in the win column after a well-fought victory against the Manchester Giants. The 92-83 triumph pushed the Gladiators to a 14-13 record and boosted their league position to fourth, leapfrogging their Manchester opponents.

The most significant difference between the two teams came on the boards – the Scottish outfit outrebounding Manchester 51 to 34. Centers Patrick Tapé and Fahro Alihodzic were excellent on the offensive glass, hauling in four OREBs each to help the Gladiators to 13 second-chance points.

Caledonia’s top scorer is guard David Sloan.

Sloan is averaging a cool 16.97 PPG while dishing nearly five assists per game. The 6’0” Tennessee State Buccaneer possesses wicked ball-handling skills and has a habit of scoring points in bunches, racking up 36 against the Riders earlier in the season.

A win over Leicester would give the Gladiators a firmer hold over the fourth spot in the league.

Key Matchup

Expect guards David Sloan, Patrick Whelan and Kimbal Mackenzie to light up the scoreboard, but of more importance may be the number of chances they get.

As he did against Manchester, Patrick Tapé will want to pose as a problem for the Riders on both end of the court. The athletic big man was Caledonia’s ‘Player of the Game’ on Sunday, after a fine showing where he earned a double-double, scoring 13 points and reeling in 12 rebounds.

The Ivory Coast international is averaging 10.5 PPG in four games against the Riders this season, but rebounds haven’t been as plentiful. Leicester have restricted Tapé to just four RPG, some way off his season average of 6.55.

Continuing the keep the 6’10” center off the glass will be key for the home team if they want to lead the season series against Caledonia, which currently stands at 2-2.

On the front line to achieve the task will be the previously mentioned Nelson-Henry and Sunday’s hero, Marc Loving.

The free-scoring forward has been dependable on defence all season, pulling down over five defensive rebounds per game. Couple that with the Ohio native’s talent for scoring, and you have a two-way forward who can match up with any front-court player in the BBL.

The fan favourite is putting up 16 PPG versus Caledonia this season, hitting over 55% of his shots in three of the four games.

Loving has not dropped below double-digit points in the league since January 29.

Another big night from the American may be crucial as the Riders look to further the gap between third and fourth in the BBL.

Where to watch

The game tips off at 7:45 pm at the Morningside Arena. Get your tickets here!

Alternatively, it will be shown live on Sky Sports Arena and the Sky Sports youtube channel, starting at 7:30 pm.

Good For The Sole – Applications now open

We are delighted to announce that the launch of our Good For The Sole programme has been a huge success. We have already had an amazing 68 pairs of shoes donated and as a result are now ready to give our shoes out to young people in the community in order to help support their basketball journey.

If you would like to apply for a pair of shoes or wish to refer another person CLICK HERE.

We are also still looking for donations and are actively seeking smaller sizes. If you wish to make a donation CLICK HERE to donate via our JustGiving page.

Riders beat Eagles!

The Riders earned a hard-fought 89-79 win against the Newcastle Eagles, improving their record to 17-8. 

Marc Loving led the team with 20 points, scoring 11 in the final quarter to steer them home. Leicester won the fourth 24-17, coming up clutch after the score was within a possession with 10 minutes to play. 

Backing up Loving was captain Darien Nelson-Henry who went 7-10 from the field for 16 points. The center led from the front, finding success with his back to the basket and leading the game with a +/- of 13. 

After falling to the Eagles just two days ago, the Riders earned payback against their long-standing rivals. They shot well from three, going 41% from behind the arc, and got to the free throw line effectively to go 24-26. 

David Cohn led the game with 23 points, despite fouling out in the fourth. The visitors also had a hot shooting night to go 41% from three, but did not have enough late to beat the reigning champions for the second straight game. 

The Riders built their early play through their captain, as Nelson-Henry bagged six points in the paint in the opening quarter. They began to stretch their lead six minutes in, as Loving made three free throws to make it 20-14. 

They held their six-point lead after one, Zach Jackson leading the game with seven points. 

They stretched it to double digits a minute into the second quarter, after Kimbal Mackenzie and Carrington Love scored back-to-back in the opening stages. 

The Eagles found a way to get back into contention, cutting the game to five by getting to the free-throw line effectively. The second-best free throw shooters in the BBL this season were off the mark, however, shooting 66% in the quarter.  

The score swung back and forth to end the period. The Riders rebuilt their advantage to 10, but the Eagles scored seven points in two plays to end the half, including an and-one off a three-point make, to make it 41-38 at halftime. 

The sides continued to trade buckets coming out of the locker rooms as the game balanced on a knife’s edge. Nelson-Henry led the Riders with eight points in the third, playing effectively with his back to the hoop. 

The Eagles’ got going from three, making four in the quarter to stay in the game. Cohn’s triple with a minute remaining tied it up at 60.  

In response, Evan Walshe scored five points to end the third, making it 65-62 in the Riders’ favour with one to play. 

A three from Loving and an and-one play from Blake Bowman started the fourth quarter with a bang for Leicester. They started the period on an 8-2 run to go up seven. 

The Riders controlled the game from there, led by 11 points from Loving. An unsportsmanlike foul on Cohn saw him foul out of the game after he stopped Loving in transition, and the resulting play saw Jackson make it a nine-point lead. 

With a minute remaining, Mackenzie isolated on the top of the key, finding space in the midrange for two points, sealing a hard-fought win for Leicester. 

The Riders return to action on Friday, hosting the Caledonia Gladiators.

Get your tickets here!

BBL Championship Preview: Riders vs Eagles

The Riders are back in action with the second game against the Newcastle Eagles in three days. It is a chance to bounce back for Leicester, who fell to the Eagles on Friday 92-85 on the road. 

Riders’ season so far

Leicester enters this game off back-to-back losses, losing to the London Lions before the Newcastle Eagles. They possess a 16-8 record, sitting third in the league standings, six points from second place. 

They held a 20-point lead against the Eagles, but a second-half comeback saw the North Easterners take the win. Zach Jackson led a late effort to take the result, but the Riders fell short in the final seconds. 

Read our full report here. 

Marc Loving leads the Riders this season with 15.9 points and 6,1 per game, playing at an elite standard on both ends. Leicester is the league’s most efficient team in field goal, three-point and free-throw shooting, making the most of their offensive opportunities.  

The Morningside Arena has proved a fortress for the Riders this season, going 9-2 in their building. A win in this one would snatch back momentum for Leicester, as they start a two-game home stand. 

Eagles’ season so far

The win against the Riders was massive for Newcastle, as they fight for the final playoff spot in the BBL Championship. They improved to 7-17, three wins from the eighth-placed Sheffield Sharks. 

They shot the lights out from deep last time out, going 41% from deep led by three off the bench from Jermel Kennedy, Their second-half comeback was led by an explosion from Kyle Johnson, who led the game with 21 points. 

But it’s Javion Hamlet who leads them on the season with 20.2 points per game, the former G-Leaguer ranks second in the BBL’s scoring charts in his second pro season. 

Hamlet attacked the rim relentlessly in his previous game, shooting 10 free throws in the contest. Newcastle ranks second in free-throw percentage this season behind the Riders, making the most of their charity shots.  

Back-to-back wins against the Riders would be a monumental momentum shift in the Eagles’ season. 

Key matchup 

The battle between Zach Jackson and Kyle Johnson proved pivotal in the previous fixture between the sides and is likely to play a key role in this one. 

Johnson’s 21 points were his sixth 20-point performance of the season, and enter this one on a run of hot form, putting up 19.3 points per game in his last four. 

The 6’6” wing is a 14-year veteran and has played across Europe and Canada in his professional career. Johnson spent three seasons in Iceland before landing in Newcastle and scored 12 points per game last year. 

In 2017, Johnson’s scoring prowess was on full display as he dropped a 51-point performance in the Canadian NBL, the most points scored in a game in league history. 

This season, Johnson is scoring 14.9 points per game on 47.4% shooting and grabbing 5.2 rebounds per game. 

Facing Johnson on the wing is Kansas-born Jackson, who led the attempted charge back into Friday night’s fixture with seven points in the final period. 

He’s the Riders’ second-highest scorer on the season, putting up 15.8 points per game on 55.8% shooting. Jackson is red-hot from deep, hitting 43.1% of his three-point attempts while playing elite defense on the other end. 

Jackson is a third-year Rider and has made improvements each season. This has shown up in the box score, as the fourth-year pro is scoring six more points per game than in his first BBL season. 

The 6’6” small forward is one of the BBL’s best scorers, able to get it done on all three levels. He shows up in the biggest moments for Leicester, so expect a good showing in this get-back game for Leicester. 

Where to watch

Tickets for this fixture are available here

The game tips off at 4 pm and will be streamed on the BBL Official Youtube channel, starting at 3:45 pm.

Riders fall to Eagles

The Riders fell to the Newcastle Eagles on the road 92-85 in the first of a weekend doubleheader against the North Easterners. 

They held a 20-point lead in the first, but the Eagles caught hot form in the second half to come back and win it. 

Zach Jackson led the Riders with 18 points and scored four quick points in the fourth to cut the game to one in an attempt at a comeback. However, the Eagles found enough for a late run to grow their lead. 

Jackson and Patrick Whelan hit threes in the final minute to give themselves a chance at the death, and the Riders forced an eight-second violation for a chance to cut it to one. But the Eagles got over the line in the dying seconds after free throws from Kyle Johnson. 

For Newcastle, Johnson led the game with 21 points and seven rebounds, spearheading the charge in the third quarter. The win is vital for them as they fight for the final playoff spot in the BBL Championship. 

The Eagles’ Hassan French made the early headlines, scoring 10 of his team’s first 13 points to keep the scores even. The Riders’ edged the lead, however, led by GB center Aaron Menzies.

Menzies scored seven in seven minutes, causing a delay after almost bringing the rim down on a ferocious slam. 

Following the stoppage, the Riders broke out to a nine-point lead with a 7-0 run. Justin Gordon responded with a pair of free throws for Newcastle, which concluded the quarter with the score 23-16. 

The Riders rode their momentum into the second period, starting with a 12-1 run led by three threes from young star Blake Bowman. Bowman went off for his career-high scoring tally with 12 in the second quarter, as the Riders blew the game wide open. 

A no-look bounce pass from Kimbal Mackenzie to Darien Nelson-Henry concluded the Riders’ explosive offensive effort for the first half, as they entered the locker rooms up 52-35. 

The Eagles started the more positive of the sides in the second half, bringing the score back to 13 after five minutes. They continued their run, and Jermel Kennedy hit back-to-back threes to make it a six-point game with two minutes remaining in the third. 

Javion Hamlet concluded the quarter with a layup inside, making it 72-69 in the Riders’ favour going into the fourth. 

Newcastle took their first lead of the game since the first quarter to start the fourth, as David Cohn went coast to coast to lay in a two. They stretched it to six points following a Kennedy three shortly after.

The Riders attempted a comeback through the hands of Jackson, but late Riders turnovers saw the Eagles’ lead grow.

Jackson and Whelan scored two quick threes to get back into contention in the final minute. But the Eagles saw out the win in the closing seconds after Johnson’s free throws. 

The Riders return to action on Sunday for the home leg of their weekend doubleheader, once again facing the Eagles.

The game’s tip-off is at 4pm and marks the beginning of a four-game home stretch. Get your tickets here.

BBL Championship Preview: Riders at Eagles

The Riders are back on the road on Friday, heading to the North East to take on the Newcastle Eagles.  

A win would improve the Riders to 17-7 on the season, bringing them four points off second place.

Riders’ season so far

The Riders enter this one in need of a bounce-back game after a difficult result against the London Lions in their previous fixture. It ended up 102-77 to the Lions, whose perimeter defence held the Riders to shooting 4-27 from three. 

This snapped a four-game league winning streak for the Riders as they build form on the back end of the season. Positive results in this weekend’s doubleheader will go a long way to continuing the Riders’ string of good results.

Kimbal Mackenzie’s form has contributed greatly to the run. The point guard’s play earned him Molten BBL Player of the Month for Febuary.

He led the team with 18 points against the Lions, and dished seven assists as he ran the offence. This came off the back of a 31-point effort in a win against the Cheshire Phoenix. 

Despite the Lions’ result, the Riders remain the BBL’s most efficient team, leading the league in field goal, three-point and free-throw percentage this season. They rank second in points per game, relying on their offensive firepower to win games. 

Eagles’ season so far

Newcastle enters this one off the back of a heartbreaker, after they fell late to the Bristol Flyers. Newcastle was up 15 midway through the third quarter, but a late Flyers surge saw them take the lead with 30 seconds remaining, winning 68-66. 

This left the Eagles with a 6-17 record, six points off the playoff places. The loss makes it four defeats on the bounce, as they hope to turn their form around to make a late playoff push. 

Javion Hamlet is leading the charge for Newcastle, ranking second in the league’s scoring charts, putting up 20.5 per game. He led the game with 24 points against Bristol and has failed to score double-digit points just once this year. 

The team have struggled to turn Hamlet’s scoring into consistent offence, however, putting up 79.9 points per game. They’ve shot the ball well from the free-throw line, ranking second in the BBL with 77.8%, so keeping Newcastle off the charity stripe should be a priority for Leicester. 

Key matchup

Entering the game as one of the BBL’s most explosive scorers, Javion Hamlet is a danger man the Riders need to focus on in this one.

The second-year pro played in the NBA G-League for the Texas Legends last season, after shocking the basketball world in his final year of college. He led North Texas to a March Madness upset, putting up 24 points, 12 rebounds and five assists to send fourth-seeded Purdue home. 

His play has translated seamlessly to the BBL, scoring 20.5 points per game on 47.9% shooting this season. He scored a season-high 34 points against the Caledonia Gladiators earlier in the year, and followed up his effort with 33 against the Manchester Giants in his next game. 

Facing up against the 6’4” guard is Riders’ GB two-guard, Patrick Whelan. Whelan returned to action against the Lions after missing two games with a foot injury and enters this game scoring 14.8 points per game. 

Whelan’s play was recognised last season with a place on the BBL Team of the Year, after leading the team in scoring with 15.3 points per game. His treble-winning efforts also earned a spot on the GB roster for Eurobasket 2022. 

He’s one of the BBL’s hottest three-point shooters, hitting his deep shots at a 45.2% rate. He’s a lockdown defender on the other end, making him one of the league’s top two-way talents. 

The battle between Hamlet and Whelan will go a long way to deciding the outcome of this one. 

Where to watch

The game tips off at 7:30 pm and will be streamed live on the British Basketball Youtube channel, starting at 7:15 pm. 

Riders fall to Lions

The Riders fell to the London Lions 102-77, in their first game back since the international break. 

Fresh off being named Molten BBL Player of the Month for Febuary, Kimbal Mackenzie continued his hot form to lead the team with 18 points and seven assists. He was backed up by Zach Jackson’s 17, who found joy attacking the rim all evening.

Despite a solid Riders start, the Lions found momentum to build their lead to 13 by the half, never looking back. The Riders could not find a bucket from deep in the game, going 4-27 from behind the arc. 

The Lions had five double-digit scorers, led by 18 points from former NBA forward Sam Dekker. However, their defence set the tone, holding the BBL’s most efficient offence to 41% from the field.

The result moves the Riders record to 16-7 in the BBL Championship. 

Mackenzie took over the early stages with six points and an assist. Mackenzie’s play allowed the Riders to edge an early 8-6 lead.

The Lions fought back, attacking the paint on three straight makes. Vojtech Hruban capped off a Lions’ run with a three, making it 13-8 to the visitors.

Leicester responded with back-to-back threes from Marc Loving and Mackenzie, cutting it close towards the end of the first. It was a six-point end after one, the score 25-19. 

London started the second hot, scoring eight straight, including a putback jam from Josh Sharma. They went up 15 four minutes into the period. 

The sides traded baskets through to halftime, as the Riders found their offensive rhythm to stay in touch. Jackson’s tough and-one finish made it a ten-point game with a minute left in the half. 

A three from Hruban concluded the half, putting London up 48-35. They built on this momentum boost to start the third quarter, commencing a 14-5 run in the first four minutes. 

The Riders showed heart to peg the score back, making it a 15-point deficit following free throws from Darien Nelson-Henry. 

But the Lions, through the rest of the game, had too much firepower for a Leicester comeback, as they saw the tie out professionally. 

The Riders are back on the road next week for the first of a doubleheader against the Newcastle Eagles. The game takes place on Friday, 10 March, tipping off at 7:30 pm.

Arlen wins Player of the Month

Ashley Arlen has been named the WBBL Molten Player of the Month for Febuary!

The Iowa-born forward has averaged 21 points per game in a 3-0 month for the Riders, including a 24-point game against the Cardiff Met Archers.

Arlen leads the table-topping Riders with 16.3 points per game on their way to an 11-1 record.

“Winning player of the month is always a great recognition, mainly for the club and the team,” said Arlen.

“I’ve always said there’s no such thing as an individual award in basketball, so all credit goes to the team and coaches for putting me in a position to succeed and be at my best.

“Febuary was a great month for the team, and we hope to keep building on it for the rest of the season!”

The news comes after head coach Krumesh Patel was named the Molten WBBL Coach of the Month, making it a Riders double!

Congratulations Ashley!

Kimbal named Player of the Month!

Kimbal Mackenzie has been named Molten BBL Player of the Month!

The point guard averaged 19.5 points per game in Febuary, including a 31-point outing against the Cheshire Phoenix in the highest-scoring game of his Riders tenure.

His play earned Mackenzie his first GB call up, and helped the Riders to a 3-1 record over the month as the Riders climbed the BBL Championship standings.

Congratulations Kimbal!

Coach Patel named Molten Coach of the Month!

Head coach Krumesh Patel has been named Molten WBBL Coach of the Month for Febuary! 

The Riders went 3-0 during the month, including convincing 30-point victories in the WBBL Championship against the Oakland Wolves and the Cardiff Met Archers. They currently top the WBBL Championship table with an 11-1 record. 

“The award is nothing without the staff and players. They deserve all the credit,” commented Patel.

“I am happy that their success over the month has been rewarded, and I’m lucky to have this group of people around me!”

Congratulations coach!

BBL Championship Preview: Riders vs Lions

The Riders take on the London Lions in the BBL Championship following a two-week break from action. 

This is the first time the Riders face the Lions since the BBL Cup final, where the Lions emerged 79-71 victors. The Riders brought the score back to four in the final quarter, but could not get over the hump after a late surge from Final MVP Sam Dekker. 

In their previous game, the Riders secured a dominant 105-91 win on the road against the Cheshire Phoenix. Kimbal Mackenzie went off for a Riders’ high 31 points in the victory, which is Leicester’s fourth on the bounce in the league. 

Marc Loving has led the scoring effort through the season, however, scoring 16.7 points per game in all competitions. He has averaged 22.7 points in his last three league games, establishing himself as one of the BBL’s elite scorers. 

Leicester has the second-highest-scoring team in the league, scoring 88.7 points per game on highly efficient numbers. The Riders top the field goal, three-point and free-throw percentage charts, scoring at the highest rate in the BBL. 

A win against London would be their first against the Lions on the season and would see them move six points behind the table-toppers. 

League-leading Lions

Sitting at the top of the BBL Championship table with a 20-2 record, and already having a piece of silverware in the cabinet this season, the London Lions have established themselves as the team to beat midway through the season. 

They have led through their defence, holding their opponents to under 70 points per game, and enter this one having won their last 13 league games. 

The Riders have run them the closest of any team in recent months, keeping the game to within four points in the final period in their last two meetings. However, the Lions have emerged victors on both occasions, led by one of the leading MVP candidates in Sam Dekker. 

The former NBA forward has put up 18.1 points per game this season, dominating in close to shoot 79% from around the hoop. He scored 22 points in the BBL Cup final, coming up big in the high-pressure moments. 

To get over the edge in this one, the Riders must keep Dekker from the hoop late on. 

Key matchup 

Lions’ British guard Luke Nelson has been on a tear in recent games for London, scoring 18.6 points per game. The 6’3” point guard showed off his scoring and playmaking skills, dishing nine assists in back-to-back games also. 

Nelson arrived in the capital this season with an established European pedigree, having played in the Spanish, German and French first divisions. He scored 8.3 points a game for Le Portel in France last season before signing his first BBL contract. 

Nelson has averaged 10.7 points a game for London this season, going on a recent hot streak. He’s red hot from three, shooting 38.5%, and has picked teams apart all season with his basketball IQ and passing ability. 

Facing him in the backcourt is Kimbal Mackenzie, in the form of his Riders career. He enters this one off the back of a 31 point game vs Cheshire, thriving in his starting role this year.

Mackenzie’s play this season earned him a spot on the GB roster, alongside fellow Riders Patrick Whelan and Aaron Menzies. He’s putting up 11 points per game, and plays a pivotal role in running the Riders’ offence. 

The 6’1” guard is a Bucknall graduate who averaged 17 points per game as a senior. He’s scored in the double digits on 16 occasions this season, stepping up as a consistent starter.

The battle in the backcourt between these two intelligent guards will be a key factor in this clash. 

Where to watch

Tickets are selling quickly for this home fixture, so get them here to be in the arena!

If you cannot get tickets for this matchup, the game will be shown live on Sky Sports, and streamed live on the Sky Sports Youtube channel starting at 7:30 pm.