Captain’s Log: Kimbal Mackenzie on the season so far

Leicester Riders captain Kimbal Mackenzie shares his thoughts on the team’s British Basketball League season so far…

As always, thank you all for your support this season.

I can’t express enough how important it has been to have you in our corner. You have been right behind us when we needed you most, and it’s been amazing to see the entire club come together the way it has. 

As you all know, there’s been some big changes to the roster.  We all understand that there’s a lot that goes into these decisions, and it’s the organisation’s job to do what’s right for the team. Our job is to trust the people making the decisions and show up and perform on the court with the team. 

It’s a difficult part of professional basketball, but I hope the guys can learn and grow from the experience and keep moving in the right direction. They’re good people, and I wish them all the best in their careers.

And on the other side of that, we have a fresh face in the building! It’s been great to have Sesan here. He has an infectious love for the game and loves to compete. You can tell he’s disappointed when practice ends because he just loves to play. 

On the court, he’s curious about the game and how we want to play. To lead NCAA Division II in assists is an incredible feat, so we know we have another ball handler out there. He knows how to play the game the right way and play both sides of the ball.

There’s a different energy about us now. Everyone is on the same page, and we’re all locked into getting better every day and winning as many games as possible. It’s been a good couple of weeks of practice, and we all know that this is a long season with a lot of games to play.

Our defence has been improving, and we’re buying in on that end of the floor. It is a challenge at times to do that- it’s hard work to commit to defence- but we’re seeing the guys apply themselves to that side of the ball. 

Connor and Mo have been especially important in building the mentality of this group. They’re the pinnacle of professionalism, and I can say that having played with them for three years now.  

Our current group of guys come into the practice with a good focus, and that’s all you can ask for. They show up and are professionals whether they’re playing well or not. This group has shown up and put their best foot forward.

It’s exciting to see guys getting more opportunities. Victor, for example, has been getting more minutes, and it’s a great chance for some guys to step into a bigger role. I’ve been in that position in my career where the team needs you to step into a bigger role, and as a pro, you have to stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.

Now, the aim is to keep improving every day. We’ve shown all year we can put points on the board and that we have plenty of talent. For us, it’s about tightening things up so that when these games get close and physical, we can fall back on our habits and win plenty of games. 

We’re ready for the challenge, and we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings. 

Your captain,

Kimbal Mackenzie