Riders abroad: Mackenzie and Lall make CEBL Conference Finals

Leicester Riders duo TJ Lall and Kimbal Mackenzie are headed to the CEBL Championship weekend!

The Canadian pair have spent the summer with the Niagara River Lions, who booked their place in the Eastern Conference final with a game to spare. 

Four CEBL teams will compete for the coveted CEBL Championship Trophy at the Langley Events Centre, the River Lions’ Conference Final taking place on August 11. 

Mackenzie and Lall showed out in the River Lions’ final game of the regular season. 

Lall had an impactful outing with a game-high 18 points to go along with six rebounds, four assists and a block. Mackenzie scored 17 points and dished seven assists to direct the Niagara offence as the starting point guard.

“I feel like we’re all together all the time,” Lall said after the game. “Our defence picked up throughout the season, and we’re gaining trust with each other.”

Want to see Lall and Mackenzie in action?

Get tickets to our home preseason opener against USA Select!

Quote credit: Niagara River Lions

Riders through the Decades

Leicester Riders, Britain’s oldest professional basketball club, was founded in 1967. Our rich history spans five arenas, 19 pieces of silverware and three name changes.

As founding members of the National Basketball League in 1972 and the British Basketball League in 1987, we have forever been staples of the sport in the UK.

Take a look back in time at the club through the decades.

1960sLoughborough All-Stars

The club, originally known as the Loughborough All-Stars, was founded by students and lecturers at Loughborough University on 26 April 1967.

Vaughan Thomas, a Wales and GB international, created a team that included the best players the East Midlands had to offer.

Pictured is the squad from the 1968/69 season, following a win against the Edinburgh Hornets.

Peter Shaw (#6), was a founding member who played seven seasons with the team.

Shaw became the club’s coach in 1974, and was a fixture of the sidelines for much of the next 15 years.

1970s- National Basketball League founded

1972 marked the founding of the National League, of which the All-Stars were among six competing teams.

Pictured is the Loughborough squad from the 1972/72 season, the first year of the NBL.

The All-Stars finished with a 5-5 record that season, led by Riders legend Carl Olsson’s (#13) 19 points per game.

After a half-decade of the National League, the All-Stars departed in 1979 to become a non-league club.

1980s- Riders are born

Between 1979 and 1981 the club won the Founders Cup (the top honour for a non-league side) during both their seasons out of the top flight.

1981 marked the year that the club moved from Loughborough to its current home, Leicester, as they reentered the National League in Division Two.

The move was backed by Leicester City Council and Leicester City Bus, hence the change in name to “Riders”.

Coached by Shaw, the Riders played their games at the newly refurbished Granby Halls, until its closure in 2000.

The side made light work of Division Two, winning the league undefeated and collecting the National Trophy.

They also tasted their first major final in the mid-80s, but fell to the dominant Solent Stars.

1990s- National Cup Final

Image credit: Mansoor Ahmed

Near the start of the 90s, the Riders made the second National Cup Final of their then 24-year history.

The competition has run since 1936, and this iteration saw the Riders take on the Sunderland Saints at the London Arena.

The Riders lost 88-81, led by Gene Waldron’s 26-point effort, but returned a decade later to win the Cup against the Greater London Leopards in an 84-82 thriller.  

They would have to wait a decade to return to the big stage.

2000s- Riders’ first BBL silverware

The Riders kicked off the 2000s with a bang.

They celebrated their move back to Loughborough, this time to the Sir David Wallace Centre, by filling the trophy cabinet immediately.

With their 2001 NTL Cup and BBL Playoff win, they took home their first pieces of British Basketball League silverware, led by legendary Head Coach Billy Mims.

It all started in the Cup Final, where the Riders broke their 30-year duck in major competitions. Their 84-82 win against London was led by MVP Ralph Blalock, who scored 26 in the game.

To end the famous 2000/01 season, the Riders came through to win the BBL Playoffs as the 8-seed, beating the Sheffield Sharks at Wembley Arena (pictured).

Blalock, again, led all scorers with 25, capping off a Cinderella story.

“The Riders were written off as no-hopers at the start of the season, but under the stewardship of former London Leopards head coach Billy Mims, the unfashionable Midlands outfit became a revelation.”

Daniel Routledge

2010s- Dynastic decade

It was over a decade-long wait for the Riders to lift their next trophy, but good things come in threes!

Led by Head Coach Rob Paternostro, now the most decorated coach in BBL history, the Riders were crowned treble winners, winning the 2013 BBL Cup, BBL Championship and BBL Playoffs (pictured).

The Playoff Final was a 68-57 win against the Newcastle Eagles, led by Drew Sullivan’s 24-point dominant display.

The historic season kicked off a dominant Riders run, where they won 10 competitions in six years!

In 2016, they moved into their current home, the Morningside Arena, allowing the Riders to bring British basketball dominance into their own arena.

2020s- Completing a trio of trebles

Having followed up their 2013 treble with another in 2017, the Riders made it three in ten years in 2022.

After winning the league a year prior, the Riders returned with a bang to take home the BBL Cup, BBL Championship (pictured), and BBL Playoffs.

With a 25-2 record, they dominated the league, before beating the London Lions in the Playoff final 78-75, led by back-to-back BBL MVP Geno Crandall’s 23 points, to cap off another historic year.

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our home preseason opener against USA Select!

Top 5 Miryne Moments

Riders’ new man Miryne Thomas is entering his first professional season following a five-year college career.

The 6’8” Cleaveland native made a name for himself as an elite scorer during his time in the NCAA D1.

Get to know him with some of his top performances!

11/3/23: 24 points in MAC Championship semi-final

Kent State played in the MAC Tournament Championship in early 2023, attempting to book their place in the NCAA Tournament. 

In the semi-final, they came up against the Akron Zips, the third seed in the Mid-American Conference. Thomas came up huge in the game, a 16-point second half seeing Kent State to a 79-73 win.  

He attacked the game with killer efficiency, getting his 24 points on 54% field goal shooting, 66% three-point shooting and going 10-10 from the free-throw line.

They went on to win the championship, beating the number-one seed Toledo 93-78. The championship is the seventh in program history and gave the Golden Flashes an automatic bid into the 2023 NCAA Tournament. 

 1/11/23: 22-point double-double vs number one seed

The Golden Flashes went into the championship game with supreme confidence against Toldedo, having beaten them in the regular season back in November. 

Thomas led them to the win, stuffing the stat sheet with 22 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks, shooting 7-15 from the field, 4-10 from three and 4-4 from the foul line. 

His play saw them beat the Rockets 75-63, the 6’8” forward grabbing seven offensive boards. After halftime, he put the game beyond much doubt, draining three threes early in the second half against the eventual first-seed.

26/1/22: Dominance at Ball State

Thomas played for Ball State before transferring to Kent State for his final year of eligibility, putting up 11.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. 

His highest-scoring game of the season: a 26-point outing against the Miami Redhawks. Thomas led Ball State to a dominant 81-64 win, blowing the game open in the first half. 

Thomas had eight rebounds and two blocks in the win, as he went 9-12 from the field, 4-5 from three and 4-6 from the free-throw line in a red-hot deep shooting performance. 

Ball State finished up as the six seed with an 9-10 record in the MAC Conference. 

2/12/17: Dominant from the jump

As a freshman, it didn’t take long for Thomas to show his full potential as a dominant forward. Six games into his college career, he led the University of Maryland Eastern Shore to a 74-70 victory over the American University Eagles with a 17-point double-double. 

Thomas averaged 11.1 points and led the team in rebounds with 7.8 per game, and was named to the MEAC All-Rookie Team. He Recorded double-figures in rebounds in nine games with a season-high 16 later in the year. 

He put up a season-high 21 points in October before transferring to Ball State at the end of the year. 

13/12/20- Miryne can’t miss

Having already established himself as an efficient scorer in his three college seasons prior, Thomas’ ability to put the ball in the basket was on full display against the Northern Illinois Huskies in his final season with Ball State. 

He led the team with 20 points and seven rebounds, his shooting efficiency number through the roof. Thomas shot 6-7 from the field, 4-4 from three and 4-5 from the free-throw line, missing only one field goal on the way to his points tally. 

It was a 78-58 blowout, Ball State taking a 15-point lead into the half and never looking back. Thomas went on to averaged 49.5% from the field and 44.6% from three in a red-hot year. 

Want to see Miryne in action?

Get tickets to our home preseason opener against USA Select!

Photo credit: Kent State Golden Flashes

Riders sign Thomas

Leicester Riders are delighted to announce the signing of Myryne Thomas for the 2023/24 season. 

The 6’8” forward is set to play in his rookie year after averaging 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds for Kent State in the NCAA Division One last season.

Thomas, a Cleveland native, averaged double-digit points in his final two college seasons, transferring from Ball State to Kent State for his final year of eligibility. 

He averaged 9.3 points and 5.3 rebounds over his five-year college career. 

“I’m really happy to be part of the Riders,” said Thomas.

“I spoke to Coach Rob, and it sounded like the team was building something really special! I’ll be bringing lots of friends and family to the arena, and I hope to light it up with some dunks and threes!”

“I can’t wait to see you all!”

“We are excited to work with Miryne next season,” commented Head Coach Rob Paternostro. 

“He is a very talented all-around player who combined athleticism with skill and plays with great confidence and energy on the floor.

“He has great length and is a versatile defender who can defend in the paint or on the perimeter and play in multiple positions on the floor.

“We really enjoyed watching him play. He is a competitor who plays hard and has played in big games for a very good team last season.”

Want to see Miryne in action?

Click here for tickets to our home preseason opener against USA Select!

Image credit: Kent State Golden Flashes

LRF continue to grow Development Days

Throughout the 2022/23 basketball season, we have hosted 7 Development Days at the Morningside Arena prior to a Riders BBL home game. This is an opportunity for large groups within the community, including schools to join our team of coaches for a 90-minute coaching clinic on court to enhance their skills, focusing on three different areas: passing, shooting, and dribbling.

A selection of food is provided to the participants following the coaching session, all enjoyed whilst watching the Leicester Riders Professional Team warm up. Finally, as part of the Development Day, participants receive a ticket to watch the Riders in action against another BBL team.   

Our Development Days have been a great way for us to further develop our partnerships built through in-school coaching and intervention by enabling us to bring the students to our home and experience the energy of a Riders game day.  

“To have the opportunity to work with our coaches, play on court at our arena and watch the pro team in action in such a safe yet fun environment, is such a fantastic experience for the community groups to be involved in. It’s been such a success and a pleasure to be a part of!” – Damon Taylor, Community Camp Officer. 

“I really enjoyed the development day at Leicester Riders, the drills were really fun and the coaches were really positive and supportive. It was a great way to really develop my basketball skills before watching the game. I really enjoyed watching the Riders game and it was a great experience playing on court at the Morningside Arena” – Cameron, Development Day attendee.

This season we have worked with 287 children throughout our Development Days, and this has been a great initiative to get aspiring basketballers and members of the community on court to increase sport participation and facilitate the experience of a night at the Riders. 

We hope to host even more Development Days next season, if you would like to book your group onto one of our 2023/24 season Development Days email [email protected] for more information.

2023/24 WBBL Schedule Released

Leicester Riders’ fixtures for the 2023/24 season have been announced.

We host the Manchester Giants on opening night on 21 October.

The WBBL Betty Codona Trophy will take place throughout January, with the draw taking place at a later date.

The new WBBL All-Star game will take place on 17 March, at a venue to be confirmed.

The full fixture list is listed below. Please note that all fixtures are subject to change.


21st Oct18:00ChampionshipHManchester Giants
28th Oct17:45ChampionshipAOaklands Wolves
4th Nov18:00ChampionshipHNewcastle Eagles
18th Nov15:15ChampionshipACardiff Met Archers
25th Nov18:00ChampionshipHNottingham Wildcats
3rd Dec12:00ChampionshipALondon Lions
9th Dec16:00ChampionshipAEssex Rebels
13th/14th JanTBCTrophy Quarter-FinalTBCTBC
20th/21st JanTBCTrophy Semi-FinalTBCTBC
28th JanTBCTrophy FinalTBC
10th Feb16:00ChampionshipHCardiff Met Archers
17th Feb19:30ChampionshipANewcastle Eagles
25th Feb14:00ChampionshipAManchester Giants
2nd Mar18:00ChampionshipHOaklands Wolves
9th Mar18:00ChampionshipHLondon Lions
17th MarTBCAll-Star Game
31st Mar17:00ChampionshipANottingham Wildcats
6th Apr18:00ChampionshipHEssex Rebels
13th Apr13:00ChampionshipADurham Palatinates
21st Apr17:00ChampionshipACaledonia Gladiators
27 Apr18:00ChampionshipHSheffield Hatters
TBCChampionshipHCaledonia Gladiators
TBCChampionshipHDurham Palatinates
TBCChampionshipASheffield Hatters

Ticket information is to be announced in the near future!

Watch: TJ Lall leads the biggest upset in TBT history

TJ Lall led the biggest upset in “The Basketball Tournament” history, as India Rising knocked off number one seed Red Scare 77-67.

Lall hit the game-winning dagger to send the Brown Ballers into the second round.

It was his game-leading 26th points of the night, which he combined with five rebounds and five assists in a stat-sheet-stuffing display.

He caught fire from deep, going 4-9 from three.

India Rising will take on 2019 champions Carmens Crew in the second round, moving one step closer to the $1 million prize money.

Watch the highlights below

Want to see Lall in action?

Get tickets to our home preseason opener against USA Select!

International watch: Katie Januszewska to play in the European Youth Championships

Riders’ guard Katie Januszewska is set to suit up for Great Britain Under-20s in the FIBA European Youth Championships!

“KJ” was named to the 12-player roster by Head Coach Chantelle Handy, as the squad prepares to play in Division “B” on July 28.

GB will head to Craiova, Romania, to take on Germany, Ukraine and Switzerland in Group A.

The top two finishers in the group will progress to the quarter-final stage.

Schedule of play

July 28, 1:30 PM- GB vs Ukraine

July 30, 1:30 PM: GB vs Germany

August 2, 4 PM: GB vs Switzerland

Where to watch

You can watch every game on GB Basketball TV.

Shahd Abboud: Breaking down barriers

Shahd Abboud faced a challenging road to professional basketball. Since her rise to the top division of Israeli basketball, she became the first Arab-Israeli to play in the women’s Premier League and the first Arab-Israeli captain in both the men’s and women’s leagues.

Culturally, financially and logistically, Abboud navigated obstacles from the jump to pursue her dream.

“I grew up as a minority. Being an Arab in Israel is challenging in a lot of ways. I’ve always felt like I had to do more to get a fair opportunity.

“I grew up in Nazareth, and when I was in seventh grade, I was recruited by a team in a different city. It was a difficult decision because I was going to be the only Arab girl on the team. I’d be away from my parents and didn’t speak Hebrew very fluently.”

Abboud comes from a basketball family. Her parents coached and played while raising a young child, meaning she grew up on the court. Since birth, she has lived and breathed hoops. 

“When I was born, I used to be at practice all the time. I was in the gym at a young age. Seeing my parents in that environment made me want to be there. Them having basketball as their career also helped them to be able to support me and my dreams.

“I’m lucky to be surrounded by amazing people in my career who gave me a platform to succeed. My parents drove an hour and a half to my games growing up to come to watch me!”

Due to a lack of funding in many Arab communities in Israel, sporting opportunities were limited for Abboud. 

She has used her platform to amend this, setting up basketball camps with her father in underfunded areas to allow a pathway for more children to devote their careers to basketball. 

“Due to the gap in funding, Arab teams don’t have anywhere to play in the summer. My dad and I wanted to provide the kids with an opportunity to play. 

“We’re now thinking of how best to integrate the Arab and Jewish communities in our camp. It’s really important for them to get to know each other at an early age, so they can begin to relate and understand each other.

“That’s the best thing about sports. There’s no colour, religion or race. You’re all teammates with the same goal. I was always around incredible people, I never felt different or unwelcome. Sport can be used for a lot of good.”

Abboud finds herself in a unique position, and one she is grateful for. She can represent the Arab community on the international stage, competing for the Israel national team from an early age.

Young children can now look to her, as Abboud looked to her parents as sporting role models. 

“I’ve always been the only Arab girl on the team, but that’s really important so I can show young girls that it’s possible. We always feel like we need to be better to get a fair chance, and a lot of people focus on school.

“I showed them a different way: that you can follow your dreams and still get a degree. I got my master’s while at the top level of basketball. 

“Representation is really important. For kids to see someone who is like them, grew up like them and shares similar views and values. To see her accomplish things makes it easier for them to dream. I’m blessed and honoured to be in a position to set an example.

“I get a lot of kids that want to talk to me and a lot that come to my games. Arab cities now have buses to our games. After the game, I see these kids, and just to see how excited they are and how much they can aspire and dream about getting to the top feels great.”

The Nazareth native’s journey to the top level took her to the other side of the world. It was always her dream to play in the NCAA, which was almost unprecedented for girls growing up in Israel. 

But an unlikely stranger helped to make her childhood dream a reality.  

“I was playing at Israel under-20s, and a stranger approached me and asked if I was interested in playing in America. I said yes, gave him my highlights tape, and he said he’d contact some colleges.

“I thought he was joking! I was just a kid, and I didn’t know him. To this day, I don’t know who he was! But I started getting emails from different schools asking me to come and play! Thank you to that man, wherever you are!”

She earned a spot at Jacksonville Junior College. But as a young girl on the other side of the world, the experience was daunting. 

“It was completely different to what I was expecting. I came expecting a huge school, but of course, it was a junior college, so much smaller. My mum came with me to see it, and even asked if I wanted to go home!

“But I didn’t, and it turned out to be the best experience ever. In JUCO, you have to keep working hard to prove yourself and get to the next level, so I got my work ethic and understanding of what it takes to get better from Jacksonville. I met amazing people who are friends for life.”

And get to the next level she did. Abboud was a NJCAA Academic All-American named to the NJCAA Region 14 All-Academic Team. This caught the eye of Northwestern State, where she spent her final two college seasons. 

Reflecting on her early college experience, Abboud draws parallels to her move to Leicester. 

“It feels the same now! I feel the same excitement and nerves, and I’m 28! I have the same feelings: I’m giddy and excited. It’s a great feeling that reminds me of when I first went to the States.

“I’m at a point in my career where I’m ready to expand my horizons. I think Leicester and Loughborough University will be great places to try something new, see a new country and still play basketball.”

Years removed from college, now a seasoned professional, Abboud is ready to bring veteran leadership to the Riders. 

“Throughout the years, I’ve really developed my leadership. At the start of my career, I would turn up, do my job, and that would be it. My coaches always wanted more. 

“They always told me: ‘The way you hold yourself accountable is how you have to hold your teammates accountable’. I’ve learned how to set an example and help everyone else improve.

“I look to bring my basketball IQ to the team, and being able to play the game the right way, or Coach Ben’s way! Also, being one of the oldest on the team, I hope to be a figure for the younger players to come and speak to. 

“I love making new relationships and getting to know people. I think it’s the best way to be, to bring the best out of others.”

Previewing the upcoming season, Abboud has a message for the Riders faithful:

“Come watch us! I’ve heard a lot of great things about the fans, so I’m really excited to meet you all. I’ve been getting a lot of love since I signed, and we’re building a team that will be fun to watch. It’s going to be a great season, and I can’t wait to start!”

Riders retain Johnston

Leicester Riders can announce the retention of American guard McKenzie Johnston to their 2023/24 roster. 

Helping the Riders to all three domestic finals last season, she averaged 8.3 points, 6.4 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game in the WBBL Championship. 

Johnston signed a two-year deal last summer to play in the WBBL alongside studying for her master’s at Loughborough University.

The club would like to thank the University for their support. 

“I enjoyed my last season with the Riders, so I’m looking forward to getting back and building on what we built last with a new group,” said Johnston. 

“The team will be different, but Coach Ben is doing a great job of getting the right group of people together to be successful.” 

“We’re very excited to have McKenzie back with us,” said Head Coach Ben Stanley. 

“She’s a proven factor, and there are very few players that are as creative and selfless as her in this league. Her impact as a leader is also unquantifiable for us, and I’m really looking forward to working with her.” 

Sponsor Spotlight: Vertu Motors

Leicester Riders announce the continuation of their partnership with Vertu Motors and their Leicester dealership – Vertu Toyota Leicester.

The leading automotive retailer’s three-year deal with Leicester Riders, which began last season, involves supplying a fleet of Toyota Hybrid vehicles from their Leicester dealership, branding on the team’s shorts and across the Morningside Arena, plus the provision of match day advertising opportunities. 

As well as their local Vertu Toyota Leicester location, Vertu Motors has several additional dealerships in the surrounding area, including Vertu Toyota Loughborough as well as many more throughout the East Midlands area and UK.

Chris Taylor, Group Operations Director at Vertu Motors, said: “Not only are Leicester Riders the most historic professional basketball team in the UK, they are also one of the most successful. This comes from having a true commitment to providing a great environment for players and fans alike, and most importantly a commitment to community basketball and youth development in the surrounding area.

“The club is a credit to Leicester and Loughborough and has a dedicated fan base. This is something we hope to emulate locally with our recently acquired Toyota retailers in Leicester and Loughborough. 

“We are very proud to continue our partnership with the Club and look forward to another exciting season ahead.” 

Russell Levenston, Managing Director of Leicester Riders, added: “It gives us great pleasure to continue working with Vertu Motors as an Official Partner for the upcoming season. The Riders are committed to working with national brands that have a link to the local community.

“I look forward to growing our relationship on the foundations that we have built. Thank you to all the colleagues at Vertu Motors for all of their support.”

For more information on how to partner with the Riders, please contact [email protected], or read more about our sponsorship opportunities here!

“Hard work beats talent”- Caleb Asberry on his journey to the pros

In 2018, Caleb Asberry came fresh out of Pflugerville High School to play junior college hoops. Through grit, hard work and elite play five years later, he was starting in the BIG 12 for Oklahoma State. 

“Hard work beats talent,” Asberry told us. “I had to play super hard to get on the court in college. I have to work hard to prove to people that I belong.”

After a season at Ranger College, putting up 10.5 points per game on efficient 48-43-89 splits, the Texan earned a spot at Texas State in the NCAA Division One. 

There, he fought his way into the starting lineup. He started five games as a sophomore, the final 19 as a junior, then became the only Bobcat to start all 29 games in his senior year. 

Asberry was named to the NABC All-District 23 Second Team and All-Sun Belt First Team, winning the conference twice. It was then time to take his talents to Oklahoma State. 

But once again he had to earn his spot. His early play in the BIG 12 saw him achieve a starting role. 

“My proudest basketball moment so far was making my first Oklahoma State start. It was a huge progression from starting in JuCo to starting in the BIG 12. It was a massive deal for me.

“All I could think when I got the call was: ‘don’t mess it up!’”

As he had throughout his college career, Asberry made the most of his opportunity. He scored 9.7 points per game in his final year of eligibility, more than holding his own in the BIG 12 conference and impressing Riders’ Head Coach Rob Paternostro.

“He had a decorated career at Texas State,” said Paternostro. “It was enjoyable to watch him play, and it was impressive how in his final season he went to a new team in the BIG 12 and made a significant impact.”

Having signed for the Riders, he is set to make his first venture into Europe. 

“I’ve only been outside America once, so I’m so excited to get over there. I feel so lucky to be able to go over there and play basketball for a living. I’m looking forward to meeting new people and expanding my horizons.”

The 6’3” guard is set to bring his skillset to the BBL.

“I’m going to add energy. I’m a loud person, and I’m going to bring the noise! I can also shoot the ball pretty well. 

“But above everything, I’m about defence, defence, defence. That’s something that’s ingrained in me from my coaches in college.

“The pros are a whole new ball game. The speed of the game and the physicality are something that is going to be ramped up, but I’m ready for that.”

As the seventh man named to Paternostro’s 2023/24 roster, Asberry is ready to give everything in Riders red. 

“I want to thank the Riders for the opportunity and for taking a chance on me.

“At Texas State, we won conference twice, and we were the first team to miss the tournament as a senior. It has fueled my desire to win even more.

“The Riders are a hugely successful club, and I really want to add to that. To start my career off with some silverware would be incredible.

“Im ready to give everything, and I’m ready to win. I’m excited to meet you all, and I can’t wait for the whole experience. Thank you all for bringing me in, and I’m ready to bring you all in too!”

Want to see Caleb in action?

Get tickets to our home preseason opener against USA Select!

Riders sign Asberry

Leicester Riders are thrilled to announce the signing of Caleb Asberry to their 2023/24 roster. 

The 6’3” guard comes straight out of college, where he spent his final year of eligibility with Oklahoma State in the NCAA Division One.

He averaged 9.7 points per game in the Big 12 for the Cowboys, following three seasons with Texas State. 

At his home university, the Texas native had back-to-back seasons scoring over 13 points per game. He was the only Bobcat to start all 29 games and led the team in steals and three-pointers made. 

Asberry also became the first Bobcat in school history to earn back-to-back All-District honours from the NABC. He helped his school to the 2022 Sun Belt MMB regular-season trophy and was named to the All-Sun Belt First Team as a senior.

“I want to express sincere gratitude and excitement towards singing with the Riders,” said Asberry. 

“It is truly an honour and a privilege to have the opportunity to join such an incredible organisation. I understand the weight and responsibility that comes with this new chapter in my career.

“Rest assured, I am fully committed to giving my absolute best, both on and off the court. I’m thrilled to be joining an organisation that shares my values and ambitions!”

“We are thrilled to sign Caleb,” said Head Coach Rob Paternostro. 

“He is an exciting player who can really put pressure on the defence. He plays the game with a bounce and energy that teammates and fans can appreciate.

“He had a decorated career at Texas State. It was enjoyable to watch him play, and it was impressive how in his final season he went to a new team in the BIG 12 and made a significant impact.”

“He can shoot the ball from long range both off the catch and off the dribble, and he’s the kind of player that can get hot in a hurry and change the game.”

Want to see Caleb in action?

Get tickets to the Riders’ preseason home opener against USA Select!

Photo credit: Oklahoma State Cowboys

TJ Lall to compete for $1 million in ESPN’s “The Basketball Tournament”

Riders’ recent signing TJ Lall is set to suit up to compete for $1 million in The Basketball Tournament (TBT)!

TBT is a 64-team, single-elimination open tournament where the winning team takes home a prize of $1 million.

Teams will play through six rounds of knockout basketball until an eventual winner is crowned.

TJ will compete for India Rising, his first game tipping off on the 26th of July. All the games are available to watch on the ESPN player.

“It’s a great opportunity to be able to play for India Rising in TBT,” said Lall.

“I’m looking forward to the experience. Thank you to Gautam and the Brown Ballers for making this happen!”

Want to watch TJ live in action?

Get tickets to the Riders’ preseason home opener against USA Select!

Riders sign Abboud

Leicester Riders are thrilled to announce the signing of 5’11” guard Shahd Abboud for the 2022/23 season.

The Israeli international joins from Maccabi Ramat Gan in the Israeli Premier Division.

She represented her country in the 2021 European Championships, and has regularly played for Israeli senior team since 2018.

In 2018, the Nazereth-native was named the first-ever Arab-Israeli captain of an Israeli Premier League team by Hapoel Petah Tikva.

In college, Abboud suited up for Northwestern State University, averaging 8.4 points per game as a junior while starting 28 games.

“I’m really thankful for the opportunity and excited to be joining the Riders,” said Abboud.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to work with Coach Stanley, getting to know my teammates and building chemistry in order to achieve our goals this season.”

“Shahd is going to be a huge credit to the programme,” said Head Coach Ben Stanley. 

“She brings a wealth of experience and determination, and she really knows how to play the right way. She’ll be a fantastic role model for our community with all she’s accomplished so far, and we’re excited to have her here.”

Watch: Samuel Idowu New York City Interview

We sat down with Riders’ summer singing Samuel Idowu, who spoke about his basketball journey so far, what he will bring to the team and more!

Watch below!

The former GB u20s star spent his three college years in NCAA division one with Saint Peter’s University. Iwodu starred for the Peacocks in helping them win the program’s first-ever national postseason tournament championship in 2017.

Idowu averaged 16.1 pts in his first professional season in Holland with Aris Leeuwarden. His second year he spent in Denmark with Team FOG Naestved, averaging 15.5 pts. He spent his third year with Yoast United, but was cut short due to injury.

Want to see Idowu in action?

Get tickets to our home preseason opener against USA Select!

How it works: LRF Summer 3×3 Tournament

Leicester Riders Foundation are hosting a 3×3 Tournament at the Morningside Arena on August 12th & 13th.


Booking’s will be taken through our booking site, CLICK HERE for Junior bookings (U14 & U18) or CLICK HERE for Senior bookings (Adults). Please only book 1 place per team.

Both Male & Female teams will have their own division in the junior and senior groups.

Once you have booked on, you will receive an email linking you to a form, then please provide us with the information for your team.

At 9:00am on Wednesday 9th August signups will close and each team will receive a full timetable and itinerary.

The Tournament

Each age group will initally play a round robin group stage before moving onto knockout fixtures. Each game will be 10 minutes running clock or first team to 21 points.

The runner up of each age group will receive 4 tickets to a Leicester Riders game. The winners will receive 4 tickets to a Riders game and a cash prize.

Book your team now to be part of the first Leicester Riders Foundation Summer 3×3 Tournament! Let’s Go!!

5 things you may not know about TJ Lall

Canadian/British forward TJ Lall has become the sixth member of our 2022/23 roster.

To help you get to know more, here are some things you may not know about our new man:

He ended a 30-year championship drought 

In his final college season, Lall led Brock University to their first OUA title since 1992. 

In front of a sold-out crowd, Lall put up a game-high 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists on the Badgers’ way to a 95-75 blowout against Queens University.

He dominated, going 11-16 from the field 4-7 from three, getting it done in all aspects of the game to bring long-awaited silverware back to his university. 

He was named MVP in college 

Lall dominated the OUA in his final college year. His 22 points and 7.9 rebounds per game earned him the honours of First Team All-Canadian, OUA West MVP and OUA West First Team All-Star. 

Not only did he lead the Badgers to their first title in three decades, Brock University also made an appearance at the U SPORTS Final 8 Tournament. 

They posted a regular-season record of 14-1 in the OUA West and won three straight playoff games to make their first appearance at the national championships since 2017-18.

He was the number one pick in the 2020 CEBL Draft

As a 23-year-old, following his college career at Carleton University, Lall was selected number one overall by the newly established Ottawa BlackJacks in the 2020 CEBL draft. 

The three-round draft saw 21 players selected from 10 universities across Canada, and Lall was deemed the best prospect of all for a bran new franchise. 

Ottawa Head Coach Taffe Charles told the Waterloo Region Record described him as “athletic”, “a really good two-way player” and ,” a very good rebounder” after their selection. 

He was a national champion boxer

Sport runs in the Lall family, as TJ’s dad was a kickboxer.

Lall took up the sport competitively until the age of 15, even winning a national championship!

Lall ultimately settled on hoops over the ring, but remains a huge boxing fan.

His favourite player was Allen Iverson

During the early 2000s, Allen Iverson made waves across the basketball landscape.

His flashy handles and elite scoring captured the imagination of Lall, who greatly admired “AI”.

Along with Tracey MacGrady and Kevin Garnett, he was one of the first to get him into the sport, kickstarting what would become his professional career.

Want to see Lall in action? Buy tickets to the Riders’ preseason home opener against USA Select!

Freeman appointed D1 women’s Head Coach

Loughborough Riders are thrilled to announce the appointment of Tor Freeman as women’s Division 1 Head Coach.

Freeman will also take the reins of the BUCS 2 programme at Loughborough University and the role of assistant to Ben Stanley for the Leicester Riders’ WBBL outfit.

He joins from the WBBL’s Oakland Wolves, where he served as Head Coach for the 2022/23 season.

The 24-year-old is one of the country’s best young coaching prospects, winning Young Coach of the Year at UK Coaching Awards in 2021. 

“The opportunity to be involved with a club as successful as the Riders is something I’m really excited about,” said Freeman. 

“I can’t wait to get started and contribute to the team at both Loughborough and Leicester. Speaking with the club, the vision they have for the women’s pathway is something that really impressed me.”

“The chance for players to progress from WEABL to D1 and finally the WBBL is something that nobody else offers.”

Managing Director Russell Levenston added: “Tor is a fantastic young coach that we’re really excited to work with. He will prove a key asset to the development of our already successful Loughborough and WBBL programmes.”

“We would like to thank Loughborough University for their ongoing support!” 

Sponsor spotlight: Torr Waterfield

Leicester Riders and Morningside Arena announce the continuation of their partnership with long-standing sponsor, Torr Waterfield.

Torr Waterfield has been a sponsor for eight seasons and have been providing the Riders and the associated companies with general financial advice, as well as their accounting and payroll services, over recent years. 

The Leicester accountants’ corporate hospitality and branding arrangements include access to a wide range of sporting and entertainment events at the Arena, and sponsorship of one our the large stands.

Mark Torr, Director and Senior Partner at Torr Waterfield, is delighted to continue working with the Riders and the Arena. 

“I first got involved with the Leicester Arena and Leicester Riders through my youngest son’s love of basketball in 2015. As a local business owner, I quickly realised the unique offering of the Leicester Riders’ hospitality being something completely different from competing sports.

“In the last few years, we have bought hundreds of guests and multiple businesses to the corporate hospitality offering at the arena. 

“The hospitality experience has significantly widened to incorporate a vast array of sporting events and entertainment, and we have been delighted to not only attend the hospitality offerings but have now entered into a long-term sponsorship agreement. 

“We as a business receive numerous positive comments about our involvement and will continue to support both Leicester Riders and the Arena in its activities. In fact, many of our guests are now sponsors and supporters. 

“More businesses and individuals need to experience what it has to offer. I’m still amazed when I ask clients to join me that they have never heard of this gem.”

For more information on how to sponsor the Riders, please contact [email protected]

Riders sign Lall

The Leicester Riders are excited to sign 6’7” forward TJ Lall to their 2023/24 roster. 

The Canadian, who holds a British passport, has played four seasons in the Canadian CEBL, most recently alongside Riders’ guard Kimbal Mackenzie for the Niagara River Lions. 

Lall played last season in the Japanese first division for Kyoto Hannaryz, putting up 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

He was selected by the Ottawa BlackJacks as the first overall pick during the 2020 CEBL Draft, where he had his first taste of professional basketball.

In college, the Ontario native won four national titles with the Carleton Ravens before transferring to Brock University for his fifth college season.

He averaged 22 points and 7.9 rebounds per game and was named First Team All-Canadian, OUA West First Team All-Star and Brock Men’s Basketball Team MVP. 

“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to play for the Riders,” said Lall.

“I can’t wait to experience basketball in the UK and get on court to battle with the team!”

“We are thrilled to have TJ for next season,” commented Head Coach Rob Paternostro. 

“TJ is a versatile player who can make an impact on both ends of the floor and a guy who plays with the type of energy that can really impact a game. 

“He can do a variety of things: defend multiple positions, score in different ways and as shown the ability to play make for others. 

“He has been teammates with guys we know very well, and they’ve all said great things about him as a player and a teammate.” 

Want to see TJ in action?

Buy tickets to our preseason home opener against USA Select!

Photo credit: Niagara River Lions

Interested in sponsoring one of our players? Please contact [email protected]

Riders retain Powell

Leicester Riders can confirm the return of Erin Powell for the 2023/24 season. 

The 5’10” forward will suit up for the Riders while completing her third year at Charnwood College. 

Powell averaged 28.5 points and 18.8 rebounds in the EABL last season and 6.8 points per game in the WBL Division One for the Loughborough Riders. 

She also has experience on the international stage, having played for Great Britain Under-18s.

“I’m super excited to get back to playing and learning with the Riders,” said Powell. 

“My last two years with the programme have allowed me to progress towards my goals greatly. Hopefully, I can make positive impacts on the floor with my team. 

“I love the atmosphere at Riders, and I am grateful to have another year of development with them.”

“I’m really interested to see Erin continue to develop this season with us,” said Head Coach Ben Stanley. 

“She’s shown a lot of improvement over the last year and has already impressed me in conversation this summer. This year should be a big jump for her.”

KitKing Trophy returns

The KitKing Trophy for teams in Basketball England’s NBL Men’s Division One is set to return in September.

The competition will again be organised by NBL Division One Men’s clubs in partnership with naming rights holder Kitking.co.uk and Basketball England

It will see all 14 NBL Division One clubs, plus a pair of invited Division Two sides, competing in four regional groups of four.  

The additional Division two teams for 2023/24 are last season’s NBL Division Three playoff champions Milton Keynes Breakers, who topped a number of NBL Division One sides as part of a lengthy National Cup run a year ago, and former NBL D1 winners Manchester Magic, who were relegated from the top flight at the end of last season.

Holders Hemel Storm will defend their title. KitKing have supplied winning team wear to NGBs, professional and grassroots clubs throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond since 1992.

They are the UK’s leading teamwear specialist with 30 years’ experience across more than 25 sports, including basketball. 

KitKing.co.uk CEO Dips Patel said: “We are excited to continue our partnership with Basketball England’s NBL Division One clubs. 

“Last season’s competition was a big success and our sponsorship will further extend our help and support of the Trophy in 2022/23. 

“It’s an exciting time for the sport in the UK as basketball continues to grow. We’re pleased to be a part of that, and to be able to support Basketball England’s D1 clubs through this partnership.”

Tim Brown, former Basketball England Board member and chair of the Men’s Division One group, said: “I would like to thank KitKing.co.uk for their ongoing support as we push the competition from strength-to-strength.

“The D1 men’s clubs are continuing to grow and move the league forward as a group with Basketball England’s support, making this an exciting time for both the sport and the Trophy itself.” 

The group stages of the competition will be played from 16 September through to 24 September, with the 16 contenders split into four groups of four teams.

The games will provide a curtain raiser to the Men’s NBL Division One season, which gets under way in October.  

Playing each other once, the top two sides in each group will progress to the quarter-finals then semi-finals, with the final set to take place later in the year.

HAF Places available on LRF Summer Camps

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.

Melton Camp – August 1st-3rd

John Fernley School, Scalford Road, LE13 1LH

Hinckley Camp – August 7th-9th

Hinckley Leisure Centre, Argents Mead, LE10 1BZ

Coalville Camp – August 15th-17th

King Edward VII Science & Sports College, Warren Hills Road, LE67 4UW

Email [email protected] to book your place.

Ticket information: USA Select

Leicester Riders tip off their preseason campaign at the Morningside Arena against USA Select. 

The game, played on Friday, September 8 2023, tips off at 7:45 pm, with doors open to fans at 5:45 pm. 

The Riders host USA Select every preseason during their annual tour of Europe, as they aim to give aspiring professional players exposure to European basketball clubs.

Get your tickets here!

Ticket prices are as follows:

Ticket typePrice
Adult (16+)£10
Concession (65+ and students)£7.50
Child (Under 16)£5
Hospitality £25

All above tickets are unreserved seating and can be purchased with Loyalty Points.

Hospitality information

Our hospitality package includes the following benefits:

  • Paid bar
  • Access to the Granby mezzanine
  • Main meal served prior to the game
  • Exclusive courtside seating
  • Private toilet facilities

For more information, please contact [email protected].

T&C’s and bookie fees apply

Rider watch: Young Riders help GB past group stage

Young Riders have been in international action in the FIBA European Youth Championships! 

Victor Ndoukou and Charnwood’s Lane Campbell have represented GB Under-20s in Skopje, North Macedonia. 

Ndoukou averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in the group stage, going off for 14 and 11 in the tournament-opening win against Austria.

Campbell also went off in the game, becoming just the fourth GB player to record at least 10 assists in a single game at the Under-20s European Championships. 

He had eight points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the game and put up six points, five rebounds and 5.5 assists throughout the group stage. 

GB went 2-2 in Group B, with wins against Austria and Hungary, seeing them through to the Division B quarter-finals. 

They take on North Macedonia in the opening round of the knockout stage, the game tipping off at 7:45 on Friday, July 14.

Photo credit: FIBA

Riders Newsletter

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Subscribe for:

  • Breaking news straight to your inbox
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  • Catch up on anything you missed with our monthly roundups

From player signings, arena events and all the latest community work, keep up to date with everything from around the club.

Sign up here!

Click below to download the PDF format!

We’d value your feedback! Please contact [email protected] with any queries or concerns.

A message from Mo

Hello everybody! It’s great to be back! 

I’m so happy that the management, coaching staff and fans still believe in me after all that we’ve been through. 

I’m grateful to be able to reach and motivate others, sharing the blessings that basketball has allowed me. 

As you all know, I’ve missed some time with injury over the last couple of seasons. It’s been a long road, but God and my girlfriend have helped me mentally. They have been with me every day to help me heal and grow as a person on and off the court. 

During my recovery, I enjoyed working with the Foundation. I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and in the community around basketball.

Connecting with the kids was great: helping to motivate and inspire them to get through any difficult times they face. 

Now I’m healthy, I can’t wait to get back out there. Expect us to give our best effort every time we step onto the floor. Personally, I expect myself to bring veteran leadership to help the younger players learn and grow. 

I know the fans will have our back every game and bring the energy and noise we need in tight spots to get us over the edge. 

I’m excited to still be a part of the Riders. I’m grateful to be able to make up for lost time, and I’m looking forward to being back out there with all the fans!

Praise God.

Mo Walker

Jessica Eadsforth-Yates back for 2023/24!

Leicester Riders are delighted to confirm that Jessica Eadsforth-Yates has been retained for the 2023/24 roster. 

The Manchester-born guard signed a two-year deal last summer, joining from the Newcastle Eagles.

Eadsforth-Yates, a Charnwood graduate, averaged 7.7 points per game in the WBBL Championship for the Riders last year, putting up a season-high 25 points against the Oaklands Wolves. 

The deal includes Jessica’s studies at Loughborough University, where she won the BUCS championship last season.

The club would like to thank Loughborough University for their support.

“I’m very happy to be back with Riders following an overall successful season for the team last year!” commented Eadsforth-Yates. 

“I’m looking forward to getting to know Coach Stanley more and improving personal development, along with new team goals! I can’t wait to get back to work and start building towards what should be an exciting year for the team!”

“We’re really happy to have Jess back,” said Head Coach Ben Stanley.

“I’ve watched her for many years, and I know she’s passionate, team-oriented and ready to work. I’m looking forward to having her with us for another year.”

Mo Continues Building Mo-mentum

Last season we launched the Mo-Mentum mentoring programme with Riders professional player Mo Walker. After suffering a season ending Achilles injury in October, Mo expressed his passion to get involved in the community and use his experiences playing basketball across the world to make an impact on the younger generation.  

Throughout the 6 week Mo-mentum programme Mo discusses each chapter in his professional career and uses a variety of activities to teach the students the lessons he learnt along the way. Mo works with disengaged young people and the aim of the programme is to use Mo’s experiences to get them back on track and more involved in the classroom. 

An example of a young person who has thrived on the programme is Aleks Novak. Aleks was awarded our Mo-memtum Hero award in May at our Awards night. Aleks has participated and completed the momentum programme and has shown significant growth and improvement and made great effort and dedication to be a part of the journey. 

So far we have taken our Mo-Mentum programme into 7 schools however by October 2023 we will have delivered the programme in 13 secondary schools across the Midlands.

Mr Carton from Wigston Academy believes the programme offered his students a valuable insight into the life of a professional athlete and the life skills you need to develop in order to be successful. “Mo’s 6 week programme offered a real personal insight into his life and the life of a professional athlete, where he discussed many important life skills such as confidence, resilience and much more. Thank you Mo!” 

Mo is pleased with how his first programme has gone and hopes the students were able to take plenty away from it. “I think the first run of the program went very well. The kids at each school were all very engaged in every session by participating and asking good questions. Hopefully all the kids walked away with some valuable life lessons by listening to the trials and tribulations that basketball has put me through. They also had fun playing basketball games and having some competitions mixed in throughout the weeks. I’m looking forward to working with the next group of schools.”

Mo has re-signed for the Riders for the 2023/24 British Basketball League season and will continue to work with the Leicester Riders Foundation alongside his basketball commitments. We are looking forward to having Mo join us in continuing to grow the Mo-mentum programme, whilst integrating other players on our Men’s and Women’s teams into the programmes delivery.

“To hear that Mo is coming back to the club for this upcoming season is super exciting. Mo’s presence in the community last year set the bar really high for how professional athletes can be present in their community, were really excited to see how Mo can continue this legacy. We’re looking forward to continuing to develop our Mo-mentum programme next academic year.” – Laura Shephard, Leicester Riders Foundation General Manager.

Mo also played a major part in the delivery of our Ambassador Assembly project funded by Sport England & the BBL. Mo alongside a number of our other BBL & WBBL players delivered 87 Ambassador Assemblies to 10,216 school children. 

If you would like Mo to book either a Mo-mentum programme or Ambassador Assembly with either your school or youth group email [email protected] for more information.


Riders re-sign Walker

The Riders are thrilled to announce the return of Mo Walker for the 2023/24 season. 

It will be the Canadian/British big man’s fourth season with the Riders, after signing for the 2020/21 season. 

Walker was an integral part of the club’s treble-winning success in 2022, averaging 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game that year. 

Before last season was cut short due to injury, the  University of Minnesota graduate was putting up 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds, shooting 58.6% from the field. 

“I’m excited to still be a part of the Riders!” said Walker. 

“Anyone who has followed the club and has watched my journey knows I have lost time in the past due to injury. But I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to make up for lost time, and I’m looking forward to being back out there in front of the Riders fans!” 

“We are all looking forward to having Mo back on the court for us next season,” commented Head Coach Rob Paternostro. 

“I thought he started off very well last season and was playing good basketball before the injury. He can be very difficult to match up with, can score in different ways and has the ability to put real pressure on the opposing defence.

“Mo has always shown great leadership during his time here and we have valued that on and off the court.”

LRF continue to develop University Partnerships

The Leicester Riders Foundation have partnered with both De Montfort University and the University of Leicester over the past year to provide the best opportunities for their student athletes. This partnership enables students to access high quality training from our coaches and develops student athletes to reach their full potential, whilst providing our Foundation staff with further opportunities to coach.   

Our coaches worked with the University of Leicester’s Men’s Second Team and the Women’s First Team and De Montfort University’s Women’s First Team, to facilitate student team progression and aid individual player development.    

Students from both Universities have full access to train using our state-of-the-art Morningside Arena facilities as part of working with the Leicester Riders Foundation. Players also receive media coverage from our in-house marketing officer, developing high quality action shot photographs for players and teams. Students also receive additional benefits such as exclusive offers to Riders games.  

“Partnering with the LRF not only improved our program on court, with some of the best facilities and coaches in the country, they also offered many opportunities to improve players’ employability and comradery, with access to games and bespoke events. We look forward to growing with the Foundation.” – Alejandro Medina, Chairman of University of Leicester Basketball Society. 

“One of the key motivators for the Foundation is to provide as many opportunities as possible to people within Leicester and Leicestershire!” – Greg Ellis, Community and Education Officer. 

Tyra Atlee Kamusasa was Assistant Coach of the De Montfort University Women’s First Team last season and in June this year joined us as a full time Community Coach at the Leicester Riders Foundation.  

“Joining Coach Ricky in coaching the DMU Womens team was a great opportunity for me, I really wanted to get involved in basketball whilst at University after moving over from Sweden. The partnership between the University and LRF allowed me to gain the coaching experience I needed to transition into becoming a full time community Coach for the Foundation.” – Tyra Atlee Kamusasa, Leicester Riders Foundation Community Coach and De Montfort University’s Women’s Assistant Coach. 

Moving forward, Leicester Riders Foundation aims to further progress both relationships to provide student athletes with the facilities and coaching in order for them to continue to progress in basketball. This partnership has been essential in enabling the Leicester Riders Foundation to reach an otherwise complex age group to engage with. 

Riders sign Januszewska

Leicester Riders are delighted to announce the signing of Katie Januszewska for their 2023/24 roster. 

Januszewska is a Charnwood product, joining the Academy in 2020. She signs a four-year deal, and will study for a degree at Loughborough University.

In 2021/2022, the versatile wing averaged 19.3 points and 11.7 rebounds in the WEABL and made the All-First Team in the Northern Conference.

She was also named to the Women’s NBL Division One British Team of the Year with the Loughborough Riders, putting up 13.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. 

Last season, Januszewska joined St Francis Brooklyn in NCAA Division One, before returning to the East Midlands for the upcoming year. 

“We’re really excited to have KJ back,” said head coach Ben Stanley.

“She knows how our programme works and her experience from a young age at WNBL1, WBBL and National Teams is going to be invaluable.  

“She’s got a diverse game that can really help us and she plays hard, and I think that’s going to really help us as we establish our culture.”

“I am excited for the opportunity,” said  Januszewska.

“I’m grateful to be able to return home and continue my studies while playing basketball for the Riders, who have had a big part in my journey so far.”

Watch: Victor Ndoukou on his GB Under-20s call up

Young Riders’ forward Victor Ndoukou recieved a call-up to captain Great Britain Under-20s for the FIBA European Youth Championships ‘B’ Divison.

Ndoukou will play alongside Charnwood’s Lane Campbell in the competition.

We sat down with Ndoukou, who told us what representing his country means to him.

Starting on the 7th July, Great Britain will compete in Skopje, North Macedonia, in a group alongside Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg and Portugal.

The group games take place on the following:

Friday, July 7 2023, 8 PM BST – Great Britain vs Austria
Saturday, July 8 2023, 3 PM BST – Portugal vs Great Britain
Sunday, July 9 2023, 12:30 PM BST – Great Britain vs Luxembourg
Tuesday, July 11 2023, 12:30 PM BST – Hungary vs Great Britain

You can watch every game on GB Basketball TV.

We’ll keep you up to date on Ndoukou and GB as the action unfolds!

Photo credit: Ville Vuorinen

Riders retain Ndoukou

Leicester Riders can confirm the retention of Victor Ndoukou for the 2023/24 season.

The 6’8″ forward signed his first professional contract with the Riders in January to accompany his studies at Loughborough University, committing him to Leicester for four years.

Ndoukou won the 2021/22 EABL MVP award and averaged 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in NBL D1, shooting 46% from three that season.

“It’s an honour to play for the Riders,” said Ndoukou.

“Only the good players play for them, so I’m really grateful to be a part of that, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to sign here.

“Having the trust from all my coaching staff is a big thing for me, and hopefully, coming into this year, I can make strides with my career.”

Head coach Rob Paternostro commented: “Victor is a guy who has been with our programme for years, and we have really enjoyed working with him and watching his game develop.

“He is a skilled player with a high basketball IQ, who makes good decisions out on the floor and possesses good size and strength.”

Ndoukou is in action for GB Under-20s this week for the FIBA European Youth Championships.

Ben Stanley: A message to the fans

Hello to all the Riders fans! 

First, let me say that it’s a privilege to be a head coach in this historic club, and I can’t wait to get started.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind process. I was expecting to stay with Solent for another season, but this was too good of an opportunity to pass up and something I’m thrilled to be doing.

Watching from a distance, this club looked like a great environment where everyone got on. I spoke to Ashley Arlen, who I’ve known since her Nottingham days, and she said this was a great group. 

I’ve heard similar things from everyone I speak to. That’s really exciting, and of course, this was a very competitive team last year. 

This year, we’re going to be trying to figure out who we are and what our goals are. In the short term we’re going to be focussing on our character and culture. 

We still want to win, that’s massively important to me and the club, but we also want to establish who we are as a team.

In the long term we want to be highly competitive in the WBBL. We want to continue to make finals and win things.

It’s essential to me to build a strong culture within this team. Culture is led by the coach, but ultimately it comes from the players. I can guarantee we’ll play hard and play together. 

In my role as women’s coach it’s very important to me that the players get the respect that the men get. 

They work as hard and they are just as knowledgeable, so it’s very important to me that we grow the women’s game.

I would love to be in a position where we are close to selling out the arena every game. That would be huge for us. That comes from having the right character of players throughout the programme, from juniors to pros. 

That includes everything on the court and everything we do in the community as well. I’ll be out there doing everything I can, and the players will support that too. 

I’m also delighted to begin my role as Loughborough BUCS head coach! 

I played for Brunel just as our rivalry with Loughborough was coming to a close, so it’ll be a little weird having the purple on me for the first couple of games! 

But I’m extremely excited about it, and to be a part of that programme with a storied history is something I’m looking forward to.

I can’t wait to get to know the fans! Please come out and support the girls, we’ll have a great on-court product for you next year and I know we’re going to have great people that will be great examples for the youth of Leicester and Loughborough. 

I’m looking forward to meeting you all!

Ben Stanley

Ben Stanley takes the reins!

Leicester Riders are thrilled to announce the appointment of Ben Stanley as head coach.

Stanley was named NBL women’s Coach of the Year last season after a league-winning campaign with Team Solent Kestrels. 

Prior to Solent, Stanley had a near decade-long association with Nottingham Hoods, as a player from 2013 and as head coach until 2022. 

Along with coaching the WBBL Riders, Stanley will coach the Loughborough University team in BUCS competition.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining Riders,” commented Stanley. 

“The programme has such a history, and to be a part of that is a real privilege. I can’t wait to get started with the Ladies and see what we can build both this season and into the future.”

Managing director Russell Levenston commented: “Ben is an experienced coach that everyone at the club is excited to work with as we continue the growth of our women’s programme.

“We have a lot of work to do and I’m really looking forward to him starting. Ben really bought into the long-term aims and objectives of the club as we continue to improve every day.

“We would like to thank our partners at Loughborough University for their ongoing support. Ben will prove a fantastic coach across both WBBL and Loughborough programmes.”

Ian Knott, Head of Sports Development at Loughborough Sport added: “We are thrilled to welcome Ben into the Loughborough Sport family. 

“We are very proud of the achievements of the basketball programme and its longstanding partnership with Leicester Riders.  We are very excited for the season ahead with much to do.”

Stanley has been signed to a three-year deal, committing to the team for multiple seasons. 

Photo credit: Kai Johnson

Braelen Bridges: Top performances

Riders’ new man Braelen Bridges is entering his first professional season following a five-year college career.

The 6’10” Georgia native made a name for himself as an elite rebounder and scorer during his time in the NCAA D1.

Get to know him with some of his top performances!

Career high in points vs Ole Miss

In Febuary, Bridges dropped his career high in points against Ole Miss. The Bulldogs fell short in the game, but his 26 points in 29 minutes kept the game close, with their opponents winning by just four. 

Bridges shot 76.9% in the game and dominated the glass to grab 11 rebounds, recording one of his four double-doubles on the season. 

It was his second double-double against Ole Miss that season. His opponents had no answer for Bridges’ size and physicality. 

Early dominance in Georgia vs Cincinnati 

During his first season at Georgia, Bridges led the team with 25 double-digit scoring performances. None topped his showing in his second game as a Bulldog against the Cincinnati Bearcats. 

He put up 24 points and eight rebounds, four of which came on the offensive glass. He went 11-15 from the field, finding success with his back to the basket to score in close. 

With this performance, Bridges showed off his scoring ability to the Bulldogs. He went on to be their second-leading scorer and leading rebounder for the 2021-22 season. 

Catching fire for the Flames vs Youngstown State

After sitting out for the 2019-20 season, Bridges came back with a bang for his sophomore year at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

His best statistical performance of the season: 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks to lead UIC to a win against Youngstown State. 

He went 9-13 from the floor in the 90-83 win, and his team needed every one of his points as he dominated the paint. 

That season, Bridges started all 34 games and helped lead UIC to the championship game of the 2020 Horizon League Tournament, a first for the Flames since 2004.

Dominant display vs Hampton 

In his fifth-colle year, Bridge’s Georgia Bulldogs went 16-15 on the season, helped by dominant performances in the paint from Bridges. 

Perhaps the most eye-catching was his 21 points and 13 rebounds against the Hampton Pirates, where he led the game in both categories on the way to a 73-54 blowout win. 

He added a block and a steal to the box score on the defensive end, contributing in all areas. Hampton had no response to Bridges, who shot 69.2% from the field. 

He achieved this in only 25 minutes of play, making the most of his minutes with a clinic on the boards. 

Four of his 13 rebounds came on the offensive end, as Bridges generated multiple second-chance points to lead Georgia to a significant win. 

Career high in rebounds vs DePaul

In a local rivalry for UIC, Bridges showed up on the glass to grab his career-high rebounding total. 

He went off for 14 points and 14 boards, shooting 55.6% from the field and recording a steal and a block on the defensive end. 

While his efforts were not enough to secure a win, his heart and physicality in just his 10th game for UIC endeared him immediately to the Flames’ faithful. 

Photo credit: Georgia Bulldogs

Riders sign Bridges

The Leicester Riders are delighted to announce the signing of Braelen Bridges to their 2022/23 roster. 

The 6’10″ forward will play in his rookie season, following his time competing in the NCAA division one. 

He first suited up for Northwest Florida State College, then played his next two college seasons at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a senior, he transferred to his hometown University of Georgia. 

Bridges averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in his senior year. He was the only Bulldog to start all 32 games and was Georgia’s most efficient scorer during his time there, shooting 56.1% from the field. 

He stayed for a fifth year of college to complete his master’s, averaging 8.7 points and 4.9 rebounds, before graduating and signing in Leicester. 

Bridges is Coach Rob Paternostro’s third summer recruit after the re-signing of point guard Kimbal Mackenzie and the addition of 6’8” forward Sam Idowu. 

READ MORE: Return of the Mack

READ MORE: Riders sign Idowu

“I’m excited about Braelen,” commented Riders head coach Rob Paternostro. 

“He played in one of America’s best college basketball conferences and was an impact player with Georgia.”

“He’s got great size and touch around the basket, and what excited me was that he’s just scratching the surface. He has more to his game, and his versatility will shine in the professional game.”

“It is an honour to sign with the Leicester Riders,” added Bridges after signing his first professional contract. 

“I’m grateful to get the opportunity to continue to play the game I love at a high level.” 

Photo Credit: Georgia Bulldogs

Krumesh Patel departs as head coach

Leicester Riders can confirm the departure of Krumesh Patel as head coach. 

Last season, Patel led the team to three finals for the first time in their history and third place in the WBBL Championship with a 17-5 record. 

He also led Loughborough University women to the BUCS championship. 

“It’s been a great year at Riders, and really nice to return to where I started,” said Patel. “I’d like to thank all the staff and players for everything this year!”

“To have a historic season is a credit to them and something I will never forget. Unfortunately, it’s time to move on, but I wish the programme all the best moving forward.”

The club wishes Krumesh well in his future endeavours.