WNBL D1 Restructure

Following the decision that WNBL D1 will be on pause until the 30th January when fixtures are due to restart, teams will now only play each other once, either home or away. Riders will travel to BA London Lion on the 30th January for their first game in 2021. 

Once all teams have played their allocated remaining round of fixtures, places 1-6 will form pool A, places 7-12 will form pool B. Pool A will then play for seeds 1-6 in the playoffs, pool B will play for seeds 7-8 in the playoffs. 

Head Coach Antonio Quintero commentated “We are just excited to get back playing and competing again. I am really pleased with how the team is performing at the moment and we will look to carry this on in the rest of our fixtures. I am certain that the players will take the league restructure in their stride and keep performing well.” 

Here are the Riders remaining fixtures before the pool fixture begin on the 10th April

Saturday 30th January Vs BA London Lions (Away 2:00pm Tip off) 

Sunday 14th February Vs CoLA Southwark Pride (Away, 3:00pm Tip off)

Sunday 21st February Vs Anglia Ruskin University (Away, 4:00pm Tip off)

Riders lose to Thames Valley Cavaliers

An unfortunate loss to Loughborough Riders as Thames Valley Cavaliers started strong, ending the game undefeated in the league: 92-79.

For the first three quarters the defensive play from the Cavs disrupted the riders’ offence giving them a lead. Although the Riders Men changed momentum after and saw a quick catch-up, it wasn’t enough to beat the Cavs in the end.

Jonas Dietrich led the scoring for the Riders with 19 points with Kyle Jimenez and Greg Wild both adding 13 to the Riders side. 

Head Coach Mark Jarram quote “A good fight from our guys and a much improved performance. We had a good week and we talked about having a performance we were proud of, the guys never gave up and made an excellent comeback and made a game of it in the fourth quarter despite being down.

He added “A couple made shots and it could have been a different ending. Credit to Thames Valley, that is an extremely talent roster that really score in multiple different ways and will be one of the top teams on everyone’s schedule. We hope to keep the momentum from last week and have another focused and intentional week here to keep developing in the right direction.”  

Scorers:

Loughborough Riders: Dieterich 19, Jimenez 13, Wild 13, Hayden 11, Gamble 9, Bielak 8, Orja 3, Morrell 2, Emejuru 1

Thames Valley Cavaliers :  Johnson 23, Hehetro 16, Hawley 16, Sylla 13, Freckleton 8, Williams 8, Champion 5, Acquah-Davis 3, 

Riders let lead slip

Loughborough Riders let a 13-point lead slip against Team Newcastle University going into the fourth quarter, losing the game 77 – 74. 

Riders looked to be in control for most part of the game with valuable points from Jonas Dieterich (19) and Harrison Gamble (18) with Kyle Jimenez leading the assists (16) but a strong fourth quarter performance from Newcastle University handed the Riders their 3rd loss of the season.     

 Mark Jarram commented “Disappointing loss, but a good one for the teachable moments. Credit to Newcastle for making the momentum plays when it counted but it was very self-inflicted mistakes that they rightfully capitalized on. There are a number of clear things we can’t afford to do, in the manner that we did, especially with a lead.  

He added “We are far from the finished product with this group and we need to use these games maturely with an urgency to adapt for the rest of the season.”   

Scorers:

Riders: J.Dieterich 19, H.Gamble 18, K.Jimenez 13, K.Gudza 8, C.Hayden 6, J.Bielak 5, G.Emejuru 3, D,Orija 2

Newcastle: D.Moya 26, R.Blain 25, B.Federici 9, C.Smith 9, N.Urli 6, E.Kabengele 2 

The Riders are now back in action on the 9th January against Bradford Dragons. 

Riders win with 2 seconds to go

Loughborough Riders defeated top of the league Ipswich 77 – 76 with a big bucket by Makana Stone with 2 seconds left on the clock. 

Ipswich started the better of the two teams opening an early 10-0 lead, their biggest scoring run of the game. Molly James got the Riders going with a 3-point shot which got the Riders into their flow, ending the first quarter 19 – 19. Once again Ipswich looked to get away from the Riders, creating an 8-point lead but a 3-point shot from Robyn Ainge and two lay-ups followed by a brilliant 2 point turn around jump shot from Makana Stone put the Riders in front by 1 point. Ipswich replied with a lay-up from Esther Little, followed by a free throw shot from Harriet Welham giving them a 30 – 32 lead going into the half-time break. 

The Riders came out for the third quarter with unmatched energy from Ipswich, creating a 14-point lead (their biggest of the game) with Molly James hitting three 3-point shots. Harriet Welham kept Ipswich in the game and left them trailing by 4 points heading into final quarter. The final quarter turned into a 3-point shootout with Ipswich’s Susannah Rafiu getting hot and connecting with three 3-point shots giving her team a 1-point lead with 60 seconds left on the clock. Both teams failed to make shots and a foul on Robyn Ainge, forced Riders Head Coach Antonio Quintero into a timeout with 5 seconds left to play. Makana Stone put Riders up by 1 point after a successful lay-up with 2 seconds to go which gave the Riders a win in this exciting game. 

Head Coach Antonio Quintero was delighted with the performance commentating “We believed from the start we could win the game; it was an incredible win. Ipswich are for sure the toughest team in the league, so to win against them in manner we did will give the team a great confidence boost. 

He added “Everyone is adapting to the league well and we are building a good base to be a strong side for the season.”  

Loughborough Riders now prepare to play away to Nottingham Trent University on Saturday 19th December. 

Scorers:

Riders: M.James 24, M.Stone 20, R.Ainge 16, H.Bird 7, K.Januszewska 7, S.Lecuyer 3 

Ipswich: H.Welham 18, E.Little 15, S.Rafiu 15, C.Ka Yin Leung 9, C.Redhead 6, E.Pearson 6, D.Cazey 3, C.Taylor-Willis 2, B.Hardwood-Bellis 2 

Levenston elected to BE board

Riders Managing Director, Russell Levenston, has been elected to the board of Basketball England.

Russell has been with the Riders since 2007, transforming the club both on and off the court. He has been integral in developing the Riders player pathway from Charnwood College through Loughborough University and the senior teams. Having also spent 13 years at Milton Keynes Lions/Hemel Royals as a volunteer then later as a general manager, Levenston has vast experience in the basketball community.

Elected Directors are from within our sport and are appointed through an election process in which BE voting members can vote for their preferred candidate.

Levenston has been appointed an Elected Director for an initial term of three years.

A huge congratulations Russell, from everyone at Leicester Riders, Loughborough Basketball, and Charnwood College.

Loughborough Women win at home against Cardiff Met Archers

Solid win for the Loughborough Riders Women as they beat Cardiff Met Archers 88-71 at home in the WNBL. 

It was a close game in the first half with the score going back and forth between each team. The Riders had three players in double figures, with Molly James leading the way with 21 points, 4 3-pointers, 4 assists and 4 steals. Makana Stone was next up with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Cardiff’s Amber Dean refused to give up as she put up 30 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals. However, the Riders put their foot down at the 6-minute mark in the third quarter and never looked back.

“We were always trying to have a high pace but in the first half we couldn’t do it because we were struggling with rebounds. We were also having problems in defence which was the biggest difference in the first half and the second. In the second half the rebounds were better, and we were doing quicker outlets which was key to run the court” Riders’ Head Coach Antonio Quintero on improvements between the two halves.

He highlighted the performance of Makana Stone, who finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists,  ‘She is doing an amazing performance, she is helping a lot with the rebounds and mostly playing a strong defence and developed a very good offence. She is a player who is creating a very big impact in our games so I am very happy with her”.

Scorers: 

Riders: James 23, Stone 18, Bird 15, Janueszewka 8, Ainge 8, Lecuyer 8, Hikin 4, Morris 2, Cox 2.

Archers: Deane 30, Richards 10, Roy 10, Bunyan 4, Green 4, Basini-James 2, Kvietinskaite 2, Johnstone 2, Ferguson 1.

The Loughborough Women’s next matchup is against Ipswich Basketball at home on December 12th.

Riders prevail 99 – 97 on the road against Leicester Warriors

Riders made it 2-2 in the league after closely beating the Warriors, Hayden led the scoring with an important 24 points and an impressive 75% field goal percentage. Riders knew that they were in for a close game as they were left trailing by 3 points at half time. However, a dunk by Hayden at the start of the third quarter set the Riders off for a strong quarter, finishing with a 13-point lead.     

After a tense fourth quarter Loughborough Riders came away with the win as Kyle Jimenez continues his incredible form with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 16 assists. Jimenez commented on the team performance saying “We have been playing a better brand of basketball in the last few performances. Leicester are always a tough team to play against especially at their court, I thought we had multiple guys make a big impact today.” 

Head Coach Mark Jarram was glad to be on the winning side of a close game “Another close, grind it out win. It’s good to be on the winning side of these close games but it is being done whilst we continue to learn and grow. We just want to adapt during the phase of the season. Continued key contributions from some guys but also great to see players off the bench chipping in.”

Scorers: 

Warriors: Langton 24, Henry 17, Pearson 14, Gayle 10, King 9, Willan 9, Chingombe 8, Holland 4, Lewis 2

Riders: Hayden 24, Dieterich 23, Bielak 16, Jimenez 15, Gamble 11, Gudza 4, Morrel 2, Oloke 2, Emejuru 2

Riders are next back in action away to Team Newcastle University on the 12th December. 

Riders strong performance defeats Cavaliers

Loughborough Riders success as they defeat Thames Valley Cavaliers at their Saturday afternoon home WNBL Division 1 game.

Dominating on the court with a final score of 72-53, the team began with a promising lead which they kept from start to finish. The women created a 32 point advantage at half time, and were able to confidently start the second half at 47-15. 

The Cavaliers pushed through with resilience, showing no signs of giving up anytime soon. Adjusting their game play and returning to the floor with a strong defensive final quarter, we saw great work from the team. However, Riders played to their strengths, keeping the game fast paced and triumphed in the end.

“We played with a very high pace which we have been aiming for the whole week, and we did it. We were leading in the half time because we were able to collect the rebounds and move quick which was the key thing”. Explained Riders’ Head Coach Antonio Quintero.

He added “ We had a very good game as a group. We started practising very late due to the Covid restrictions, and I think that week by week we are going up, and that is the goal as a coach”.

Ainge’s led with 21 points for Loughborough Riders, followed by James at 14, whilst  Thames Valley’s Cavaliers’ Goldsby dropped 21 points on the court.

Scorers

Riders: Ainge 21, James 14, Stone 12, Dabbs 8, Lecuyer 5, Shaw 4, Januszewska 4, Bird 2, Cox 2

Cavaliers: Goldsby 21, Okwuosa 9, Dela 6, Lisk 6, Bush 4, Bishop 3, Sironi 2, Abramova 2,

Next, Riders face BA London Lions with an away game on Saturday 5th December.

Riders through to the L Lynch Trophy Quarter final

Loughborough Riders continue their good form with a strong showing to beat the Nottingham Hoods 85-56 in this Lynch Trophy matchup, confirming their 1st place seed in the tournament. 

Riders’ Jonas Dieterich led the scoring with 22 points on the night, but it was captain Kyle Jimenez who stole the show with a classy performance. A worthy MVP, he controlled the tempo of the game, clocking in 35 minutes with 16 rebounds, 13 assists and 9 points, leaving him just a point away from a 2nd triple double in his last 2 games. From setting up baskets and bringing each player into the play, to slowing the game down in the final quarter to manage the game, his unselfish play was a joy to watch from start to finish. 16 points off the bench, a notable dunk and a big block to deny Nottingham in the 4th quarter, demonstrated an impressive showing from Carl Ntifo likewise.

The Riders moved the ball extremely well all game, picking the right passes and taking the higher percentage shots, with 48 points in the paint to Hoods’ 26. Loughborough’s 47% field goal shooting to Nottingham’s 34% and 30 points off the bench to Hoods’ 17, it’s clear to see the wealth of quality Loughborough carry throughout the roster. Despite a lively showing from Victor Olarerin with 20 points, Nottingham couldn’t escape the Rider’s defensive press, and were forced to shoot the tough shots – a testament to the game plan set out by Rider’s coach Mark Jarram today. With a young team of nearly entirely new players this season, we can expect to see better games ahead for Nottingham; tonight being only their 2nd game back since Lockdown. 

Head Coach Mark Jarram commented of the win saying “Great win. It’s nice to again get contributions throughout the roster, but more importantly to play the same team 3 days apart and get such a different result, guys were much better at following game plan and scout. A much more mature and composed performance but still so much room for growth ahead. We will continue to focus on being better every game.” 

Next up for the Riders is a game against the Leicester Warriors away on Saturday 28th November with a 3pm tip off. 

Riders clinch a 77 – 74 victory over hoods in a hard-fought game.

Loughborough Riders came out on top in a very tough game against the Nottingham hoods.  

As the game tipped off Riders opened up an 8-point lead, their biggest of the game but a few poor turnovers and efficient offence from the Hoods left them trailing by just 1 point at the end of the first quarter. Riders edged the Hoods with an impressive 93% conversion rate from the free throw line by making 15/16 and also making 19/33 2-point shots resulting in a much needed 57% conversion rate. Once again Jonas Dieterich, 25 and Harrison Gamble 12, led the scoring for the Riders. 

Head Coach Mark Jarram commented on the win saying  “Really positive to have an improved performance and contributions from throughout the roster. It was a tough grind it out win. We still have plenty of areas of growth, but it’s since to get a win whilst we continue to look to improve as we go!” 

He added “We shift our focus to Tuesday where we again simply pursuit an improved performance on our areas of focus.”  

Scorers: 

Hoods: Olarerin 20, Powell 15, Parker 9, Juffer 9, Adjei 8, Ward-Hibbert 7, Babalola 6

Riders: Dieterich 25, Gamble 12, Jimenez 9, Hayden 8, Bielak 6, Emejuru 6, Ntifo 4, Orija 4, Johnson 3 

The Riders will once again face the Hoods on Tuesday evening in the L Lynch Trophy with a 7pm Tip off at Loughborough University. 

A competitive bout from start to finish ended with the Wolves claiming a 67 – 82 victory in overtime 1.

Loughborough Riders fell a hard-fought overtime defeat at home against Worcester Wolves in their 2nd competitive game of their WNBL Division One season. 

The game was end to end throughout, with both teams applying full court pressure all game. The Riders ended the 1stquarter in the lead, but the Wolves ended the 2nd quarter strong, with 3 consecutive threes to put the Wolves ahead going into the 3rd quarter. Makana Stone stood out with her physicality, especially late in the game, ending with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Riders to pull ahead late in the game. 

Riders Head Coach Antonio Quintero commented “We played a very even game, where both teams were able to win. We made too many mistakes in our offensive transitions and had problems against the good pressing of Wolves. For sure this is something we will fix for our next fixture. Without any doubt they arrived with more gas than us to the overtime and deserved the victory, so all credit to their work.” 

He commented on the team’s development by saying “For us, it was a new situation that will surely make us grow as a team and gain experience. We are gradually building a strong group and I am sure that we will see improvement every week, I think that’s extremely important for us that our young players acquire this type of experience in key moments of the game where the pressure is high to keep themselves as competitive players.”   

Christina Gaskin of the Leicester Riders on commentary singled out Marques as her MVP for the game, with a game high 27 points showing her offensive prowess and drove the Wolves to a late comeback. The Wolves tied the game with a three in the last 20 seconds forcing overtime and carried their momentum into overtime ending the game 82-67. Their defensive intensity was relentless and this and their field goal shooting percentage of 36% to the Rider’s 32% ended up being the difference between the two sides. 

The Riders will now prepare to play at home against the Thames Valley Cavaliers on Saturday 28th November with a 1pm tip off. Livestream details to follow.  

Riders Women take victory over Reading to improve to 1-1 in NBL play.

Riders Women clinch their first win of the 2020/21 season, at home against Reading Rockets in second league game.

Women grabbed a 64-61 victory in a game which they led from start to finish. Katie Januszewska opened the scoring for the Riders with a driving layup, marking the beginning of the Riders scoring 30 points in the paint. Rockets stayed in touching distance of taking the lead in the game but were outdone by the efficiency of the Riders who scored 17 second chance points.

Makana Stone had an outstanding debut performance with a huge 18 points and 25 rebounds, earning her the spot as WNBL Player of the week. The American forward took down an impressive 11 offensive boards, with a huge block in the first quarter and three steals across the ball game.

Head Coach Antonio Quintero was pleased with the win and commented on Makana’s performance saying “Makana had an amazing performance, showing leadership and full effort during the whole time she spent on court. She adapted very well and incredibly fast to our playing philosophy and I am very sure that as the season progresses Makana will improve adding more value to the team week by week.” 

He added “Getting our first win of the season is a great motivational boost which will help us to continue working hard and building our game philosophy as well as evolving as a team. By the end of the game, we were able to solve some trapping and pressing situations and it was encouraging to see us calm the pace of the game to our advantage.”

Scorers

Riders: Stone 18, Bird 11, Hikin 9, Ainge 7, James 6, Januszewska 4, Dabbs 4, Morris 3, Cox 2.

Rockets: Hermida Nunez 17, Gines Espinosa 14, Comesana 14, Thompson 6, Burgess 6, Ford 2, Luzon 2.

The Riders next test will be on the 21st November with a home game against the Worcester Wolves. Livestream details to follow.

Riders Men fall to Barking Abbey London Lions on the road in second NBL game

A game that the Riders were in control of, slipped away from them with 5 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Jonas Dietrich led the scoring for the Riders with 20 points, meanwhile in his second game for the team, youngster Kanu Gudza added a valuable 16 points with a 60% field goal percentage.

Head Coach Mark Jarram was disappointed by the loss “We were in control and let that one get away. Credit to Barking, they played their tails off and created some momentum and maintained that momentum.”

He added “We have to look after the basketball better for us to improve as a team and become more clinical. It will be a major focus moving forward. But it is all part of the process. We learn, adapt and we move on. This season is going to be full of teachable moments for us to grow.”

Scorers:

BA London Lions: Harrison 21, Eze 18, Hayes 16, Vijber 14, Okunola 11, Adedo 9, Carmichael 2

Loughborough Riders: Dieterich 20, Gudza 16, Gamble 15, Jimenez 15, Orija 9,  Emejuru 7, Johnson 4

Riders now prepare to get their first win of the 2020/21 season away to Nottingham Hoods on the 21st November.

Loughborough Riders Men & Women open NBL season with defeat to Solent.

It was a tough opening day at home for both the Men’s and Women’s team who fell short against two very good Solent Kestrel sides.

First game of the day saw the Men’s side which included three new faces step up to the roster, from the Charnwood Riders; Giovani Emejuru and Kanu Gudza and from Loughborough University second team last season, Conor O’Reilly took the floor for the first time. Loughborough faced off against a powerhouse Solent side who made the most of getting into the paint. Jonas Dietrich (19 points) and Harrison Gamble (11 points) led the scoring for Loughborough Riders but a 63% 2 point conversion rate saw the Kestrels seal the victory.

Men’s Head Coach Mark Jarram commented “Credit to Solent, the roster they have complied this year and the brand of basketball they are playing is impressive.”

He added “We are looking forward to the growth over the course of the season and are very intrigued to what type of team we will become as we settle into the season.”

Next up the Women’s team put up a good fight but were out done by an experienced Kestrel sides that controlled the tempo in the second half and took advantage of the Riders being unable to stop them in the paint by scoring 48 points in the game.

Erin Hikin led the scoring for the Riders with 26 points, followed by Hannah Bird who scored 12 points.

Women’s head coach Antonio Quintero said, “We have a very young roster and most of the players will be gaining valuable experience game by game; this will help us to build the chemistry we need to grow as a team and get the right results.”

Loughborough Men will now prepare to face off against Leicester Warriors on Tuesday night at 8pm at Loughborough University in their second game in the L Lynch Trophy. The game will be live to watch on Basketball England’s YouTube Page.

The Women will look to get back to winning ways against the Reading Rockets in their second league game on Saturday 14th November with a 4pm tip off.

Loughborough improve to 2-0 in L Lynch Trophy

Loughborough Riders claimed a narrow victory over Leicester Warriors winning by 83-80.

Riders took advantage of the Warrior’s lack of size, going to work inside early and often resulting in 60 points in the paint on the game. The Riders fell behind in the second quarter before a scoring burst before the half gave them a narrow lead at the break.

Warriors rallied in the fourth to cut the game close but Loughborough kept their resolve late to improve to 2-0 in the competition, and 2-1 on the season in the NBL.

Kyle Jimenez played the full game, proving to be influential at both ends of the court and got a triple double (13 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists) to show for it. Harrison Gamble led the scoring for the Riders with a solid 24 points and 11 rebounds to seal the win.

“Warriors are always a tough game. They are disruptive and relentless and do good job making things scrappy and never go away forcing us to really earn that win and grind it out,” said Loughborough Head Coach Mark Jarram.

“It’s still very early for us and so much to work on. It’s good to have games with so many teachable moments.

We have to be mature and learn and progress from here. We move on with our sole focus on being better than our last game.”

Loughborough Riders will look to continue to build on this performance when they travel to face Barking Abbey on Saturday 14th November in NBL Division One League action.

Loughborough Open L Lynch Trophy with Victory over Charnwood.

Loughborough Riders took victory over the Charnwood College Riders in the L Lunch Trophy to being the season after delays caused by COVID protocols in the opening two weeks.

Both sides were slow to open the game, with Loughborough being the first to strike and open a small lead behind the inside play of newcomer CJ Hayden, to lead 17-13 at the first break.

Charnwood’s Greg Wild exploded in the game, leading the way for Charnwood on route to 28 points on 7-11 shooting to help Charnwood out to a lead until mid-way through the final quarter.

Jonas Dieterich (21 points, 9 rebounds) and Harrison Gamble (27 points, 11 rebounds) led the way scoring wise for the Loughborough Riders and it was a fourth quarter explosion on the offensive end that saw the home team extend the lead and grab victory.

“No doubt great to be back playing and we want to make the most of it whilst we can,” commented Coach Jarram.

“But definitely showing the anticipated challenges of a new group and our first game in long time. We have many things to work on and look forward to building and figuring it all out.”

Kyle Jimenez produced a staple all round game with 13 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds to open the year whilst Justin Hedley finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists in his Loughborough debut following his transfer from Germany.

BOXSCORE

Loughborough now look to Tuesday where they will face off against the Nottingham Hoods in their second game of the L Lynch Trophy, back home at Loughborough University and live on Basketball England’s Youtube page.

Justin Hedley Joins Loughborough Riders

German born, British guard Justin Hedley joins the Loughborough Riders ahead of the upcoming NBL and BUCS seasons.

Justin Hedley joins the Loughborough Riders following time in Pro B Division in Germany with Oberhaching Tropics, Kirchheim Knights in Pro A and most recently German side HANAU White Wings.

“Loughborough is an elite University for both academics and sport and the Riders are well known as one of the best organisations in the country.” commented Hedley on making the move to the UK. “The programme has had success with players excelling athletically and academically.”

Hedley joins Loughborough University to study Biological Sciences, alongside his playing commitments and Coach Jarram will be looking for continued development from the young guard.

“Justin joins us following some stand out performances across the German leagues in recent seasons,” said Coach Jarram.

“He is a competitive guard with composure and experience who embraces the challenge of making it tough for opposing guards and will really compliment our defensive identity.”

Hedley has been with the team throughout pre-season and will be available for action on November 1st as the Loughborough Riders take on the Charnwood College Riders in the opening game of the L Lynch Trophy at Loughborough University. The game will be available to watch online on Basketball England’s Youtube channel with updates throughout the game at @lborobasketball.

Dwayne Orija Joins Loughborough Riders

Talented 1995 born guard Dwayne Orija joins the Loughborough Basketball programme following time overseas at Missouri State West Plains, Gillett College and Florida Tech.

The Barking Abbey alumnus featured on multiple Junior National Teams before heading stateside, returning to the UK to play on home soil for the first time since 2015.

“The programme here offers an opportunity for me to continue my studies whilst continuing playing,” commented Orija. “There a great facilities and I like the setup of the whole programme. I cant wait to to know the team as we go through the year together and look forward to improving on my game whilst being a part of the programme.”

London native Orija is one of many new faces on the Loughborough Riders programme this season and Coach Jarram is looking forward to seeing what he can do.

“Dwayne joins after stops over in the US. He will bring a level of experience and an ability to score the ball in multiple ways and is a fairly versatile player who can both play and guard different positions.”

Check out some throwback highlights from @Hoopsfix from back in 2012.

Young guns named to Hoopsfix rosters

Hoopsfix has revealed the rosters for the 2020 Hoopsfix All-Star Classic, despite its cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual event – supported by Nike and 5or6 – would have brought together the top male and female junior players of their generation to play in three All-Star games across two days.

Congratulations to our pathway players Hannah Dawson, Molly James, Alex Baker, Victor Ndoukou, Giovanni Emejuru, Blaize Sagna, Greg Durand and Chester Morrell who were all named in the rosters.

The five previous events have all sold out in advance and another capacity crowd was anticipated in Brixton for the 2020 edition, which was originally scheduled for June before its cancellation.

“Though we are absolutely gutted to have had to cancel the event this year, we felt announcing the selected players is a small gesture to show recognition of those who would have been suiting up,” said Sam Neter, owner of Hoopsfix.

“Despite the event not happening, we will class those selected this year as alumni as with every other year, and they will be listed on the new website – launching soon – with player profiles.

“Congratulations to all those selected, and massive respect to all the clubs, coaches and people who contributed to their development. We look forward to following their progress and development in the coming years.”

With countless national titles and a wealth of junior international experience between them, the rosters represent a glimpse into the future of British basketball and include both domestic and foreign-based players.

The full selections for each game are as follows with name, height, position, and their 2019-20 programme as selections were based on performances up until the end of last season.

Class of 2020 Rosters

Team Black

David Chive, 6’0”, Guard, John Madejski Academy
Chris Feeney, 6’2″, Guard, Barking Abbey
Bradley Kaboza, 6’2″, Guard, Myerscough
Charlie Brown, 6’3″, Guard, Derby
Lewis McGlasson, 6’4″, Guard, Myerscough
Asher Ndah, 6’4″, Guard, John Madejski Academy
Eljay Morris, 6’4″, Guard/Forward, Governor’s Academy (USA)
Richard Amaefule, 6’9″, Forward, Bishop Lynch  (USA)
Sanmi Fajana, 6’8″, Forward, Myerscough
Amari Williams, 6’10”, Forward/Centre, Myerscough
Josh Ogundele, 6’11”, Forward/Centre, Worcester Academy  (USA)
Matt Marsh, 7’0”, Forward/Centre, FC Barcelona (Spain)

Team White

Blaize Sagna, 6’2″, Guard, Charnwood
Louis Norton, 5’10”, Guard, Barking Abbey
Ben Winter, 6’3″, Guard, Ipswich
Chester Morrell, 6’2″, Guard, Canterbury
Taiga Forster, 6’1″, Guard, Itchen
Greg Durand, 6’5″, Guard, Charnwood
Vasja Pandza, 6’8”, Guard, The Hotchkiss School (USA)
Tomiwa Sulaiman, 6’6” Forward, West Nottingham Academy  (USA)
Tom Sowoolu, 6’8″, Forward, Barking Abbey
Eduardo Andre, 6’10”, Forward, AZ Compass Prep School (USA)
Sam Chigbo, 6’11”, Forward/Centre, Myerscough
Theo Hughes, 7’0″, Centre, Barking Abbey

Underclassmen Rosters

Team Black

Cameron Hildreth, 6’5″, Guard, Holy Trinity
Latrell Maitland, 6’1″, Guard, John Madejski Academy
Elijah Walsh, 6’4”, Guard, Queen Ethelburga’s
Jacob Morgan, 6’0″, Guard, Ipswich
Michael Belle, 6’6″, Guard, Strasbourg (France)
Sam Alajiki, 6’7″, Guard, Beckley Prep (USA)
Flynn Boardman-Raffet, 6’4″, Guard/Forward, Barking Abbey
Blake Bowman, 6’5″, Guard/Forward, Derby Trailblazers
Franklin Agu, 6’6″, Forward, Myerscough
Sam Grant, 6’8″, Forward, John Madejski Academy
Josh Ijeh, 6’8″, Forward, BMET James Watt College
Ethan Price, 6’10”, Forward, Ipswich

Team White

Quinn Ellis, 6’3″, Guard, Orlandina (Italy)
Alex Distras, 6’0″, Guard, Haringey
Josh Uduje, 6’6″, Guard, Knox School (USA)
Owen Young, 6’4″, Guard, Haringey
Wakeem Richardson, 6’3″, Guard, BMET James Watt College
Veron Eze, 6’4″, Guard, Barking Abbey
Jeremy Sochan, 6’8″, Forward, La Lumiere (USA)
Moses Gordon, 6’6″, Forward, New City
Abiodun Adedo, 6’5″, Forward, St Charles
Giovanni Emejuru, 6’10”, Forward, Charnwood
Victor Ndoukou, 6’8″, Forward, Charnwood
Ndwedo Newbury, 6’8”, Forward, Haringey

Under-19 Women Rosters

Team Black

Ella Doherty, 5’11”, Guard, Caledonia Pride
Jade Mbam, 5’7″, Guard, Manchester Mystics
Mariam Olawoyin, 5’5″, Guard, Nottingham
Molly James, 5’9″, Guard, Charnwood
Tamara Fournillier Onadeko, 5’10”, Guard, Barking Abbey
Hannah Dawson, 5’10”, Guard/Forward, Charnwood
Rebecca Dwomoh, 5’10”, Guard/Forward, Femeni Maresm (Spain)
Esther Little, 6’2″, Guard/Forward, Copleston
Jannike Marshall, 6’0″, Forward, Caledonia Pride
MJ Sarkodee-Adoo, 6’2″, Forward, City of London Academy
Molly Lavin, 6’2″, Forward, Richmond Knights
Louise Rouse, 6’2″, Forward, Oaklands
Isimenme Ozzy-Momodu, 6’1″, Centre, City of London Academy

Team White

Amelia Sandie, 5’7″, Guard, City of London Academy
Abbey Whitehouse, 5’9″, Guard, Sheffield
Asha Andrews, 5’7″, Guard, Sevenoaks Suns
Charlotte Redhead, 5’7″, Guard, Copleston
Ella Pearson, 5’10”, Guard/Forward, Copleston
Simona Henshaw, 5’10”, Forward, City of London Academy
Shaniya Rose, 6’0″, Forward, Nottingham Wildcats
Susannah Rafiu, 6’1″, Forward, Copleston
Pollyanna Storie, 6’2″, Forward, Caledonia Pride
Adaobi Nebuwa, 5’10”, Forward, City of London Academy
Cameron Taylor-Willis, 6’0″, Forward, Copleston
Emma Imevbore, 6’4″, Centre, London Thunder
Alex Baker, 6’2″, Centre, Charnwood

Club statement: COVID-19

This morning we received formal confirmation which shows that several members of the Riders programme have tested positive for COVID-19.

Leicester Riders’ priority is the health and well-being of its players and staff throughout its pathway programme.

The members who have tested positive, and people living in the same proximity, will now strictly follow government self-isolation guidelines.

We also have a wider care and responsibility to the players and staff from opposing teams. Therefore, with an abundance of caution, we have informed the BBL and Basketball England, and have cancelled the behind closed doors pre-season away Riders game against Bristol Flyers, scheduled for Friday night, and this weekend’s games for Loughborough Riders and Charnwood Riders.

Milo Sigmund Returns from the US to attend Loughborough

Nottingham native Milo Sigmund joins the Loughborough Riders following a season overseas at Vincennes Trailblazers.

Sigmund produced an impressive EABL season with the Canterbury Crusaders earning Most Improved Player honors before being ranked 20th by the Deng Top 50 and then heading oversas.

Loughborough is a great programme with high quality coaching, great facilities and championships,” opened Sigmund.

“I think it’ll be the right environment for me to develop in. With players who will push me everyday on my team it will definitely help me grow individually.”

Head Coach Mark Jarram is looking to Sigmund to add value in a number of ways whilst developing through his time in Loughborough.

“Milo is a swiss army knife of a player who can contribute in multiple different ways. We are eager to see how he embraces this next step in his journey and look forward being a part of it.”

Chris Linsley Returns to the UK & joins Loughborough Riders

Loughborough Riders welcome back to the UK Newcastle native Chris Linsley following a year overseas in Portugal at Sunlive and Sangalhos.

Linsley returns to the UK following one season with Sangalhos in Portugal as part of Sunlive Basketball academy after developing through the Newcastle Eagles junior programme, earning a Deng Top 50 invitation.

“I chose the Loughborough Riders programme because I believe it will be the best play for me to develop,” commented Linsley.

“This season will be the first time I have committed to a team long term outside of Newcastle. I’m excited to learn and adjust to a new culture and methods.”

Head Coach Mark Jarram is looking for impact on the defensive end to compliment the sharp shooting of Linsley in the upcoming seasons.

“Chris joins us after a year in Portugal. We hope to see Chris make an impact at both ends of the floor as a 3 and D guy and we’re really looking forward to supporting him through his journey over the coming years.”

Linsley and Loughborough take the floor against the Nottingham Hoods as the L Lunch Trophy gets underway in Loughborough this weekend and games will be available to watch online.

Fixtures Confirmed as Lynch Trophy Begins Saturday

Loughborough University will play host to the group stage of the inaugural Lynch Trophy starting this weekend. The opening group stage will feature 24 high-quality games for British basketball fans to watch online over three weekends.

The competition sees all 14 NBL Division One clubs, together with invited academy sides Myerscough and Charnwood, competing in four regional groups of four. Playing each other once, the top two sides in each group will progress to the quarter-finals.

All games in the group stage will be played in central bubbles and will be livestreamed.

“We’re delighted to introduce the Lynch Trophy at part of our campaign to improve the profile of Division One,” said Leicester Riders’ MD Russell Levenston, who represents the top-flight clubs on the Basketball England working group along with Thames Valley Cavaliers’ Robert Banks and Dave Ryan of Oaklands Wolves.

“Our partnership with L Lynch is exciting for us and we hope that the competition will help get basketball back in front of supporters after the problems Covid-19 has caused.”

Group one will be hosted by Solent Kestrels at their impressive new venue and will see the all-conquering Division One and National Cup champions joined by old rivals Worthing Thunder along with BA London Lions and division new-boys Essex Rebels.

Oaklands Wolves have a top-flight team for the first time following their merger with one of the most famous names in the British games, Leopards, and the St Albans-based side will host Group Two. They will be joined by neighbours Hemel Storm along with old rivals Reading Rockets and Thames Valley Cavaliers.

Midlands pride is on the line in Group Three as Loughborough Riders host Nottingham Hoods and Leicester Warriors along with Charnwood who will look to cause an upset.

Myerscough will stage Group Four, and they will be joined by Division Two champions Newcastle, Bradford Dragons and Derby Trailblazers.

The group stages will be played over three weekends, the 10/11, 17/18 and 24/25 October.

Check out the Loughborough Riders fixtures in the competition.

  • Oct 10th – 6.45pm – Loughborough Riders vs Nottingham Hoods
  • Oct 17th – 6.45pm – Loughborough Riders vs Leicester Warriors
  • Oct 24th – 6.45pm – Loughborough Riders vs Charnwood College Riders

Jeremy Lievin Joins the Loughborough Riders

Newcastle native, 6’10 forward Jeremy Lievin joins the Loughborough Riders from Oaklands College ahead of the upcoming NBL and BUCS Seasons.

The EABL Northern Conference Most Improved Player two seasons ago moves north from Oaklands College to continue his basketball whilst studying sport, noting Loughborough developmental reputation as a primary reason for the move.

“I chose Loughborough because of their reputation and development of talent, it’s a good programme to develop my skills on court and to test myself on a higher level over the coming years.”

“I look forward to working with my new teammates and just competing every game and training session.”

Looking forward to this new chapter for Jermey,” said Coach Jarram on the latest addition to the roster.

“His size and length is something special, whilst coming off a positive EABL season we’ll be looking for more of the same from him as he transitions to a new level of basketball. Excited to support his journey with us.”

Loughborough Riders are in action this weekend against the Nottingham Hoods in the opening game of the L Lynch Trophy at Loughborough University at 6.45pm. The game will be available to watch online, watch out for announcements and stream links at @lborobasketball.

CJ Hayden Joins the Loughborough Riders

Birmingham native CJ Hayden joins the Loughborough Riders ahead of the upcoming NBL and BUCS Premier seasons returning to the UK from Gillette College in the US.

Great Britain U20 forward CJ Hayden will be attending Loughborough this semester after returning form playing in the US.

“I chose Loughborough because I believe it is the best programme for university players to achieve an education and play at the top level in the UK with such amazing facilities and coaches,” commented Hayden.

“I’m looking forward to showing the UK what I have to bring to the team and chase silverware during my time here.”

CJ Hayden at the Deng Top 50

Coach Jarram is pleased to have CJ join the team and is impressed by his competitive nature during pre-season action.

“We are thrilled to add CJ to our group for the coming season, he competes at both ends of the floor, is a physical presence and plays with an infectious energy.

“He is the ultimate teammate and we are excited to see him expand his game during his time as part of our programme.”

Loughborough will take the floor this weekend as the L Lynch Trophy begins to mark the start of the season for the Riders.

Basketball returns with the National Lynch Trophy

The 2020/21 basketball season will tip-off on October 10 with a new piece of silverware on offer for teams in NBL Division One following the creation of the Lynch Trophy.

The competition sees all 14 of the Basketball England NBL Division One clubs, with invited academy sides Myerscough and Charnwood, competing in four regional groups of four.

The group stages will be played over three weekends, the 10/11, 17/18 and 24/25 October, and will be used as trial events for the coming season. The games will provide controlled windows for clubs, officials, coaches and players to understand the ‘new normal’ and how games will need to be conducted before NBL Division One commences on October 31/November 1.

Playing each other once, the top two sides in each group will progress to the quarter-finals. All games in the group stage will be played in four central bubbles and will be livestreamed.

Gail Richards, Basketball England’s Senior Delivery Manager said: “We are really pleased to support and work together with NBL1 clubs to form this pre-season event.

“We are coming through a difficult time for the sport and we are confident the event will help us understand some of the challenges faced by players, clubs and officials heading into the new season, while giving the teams the opportunity for some competitive action.”

Rob Lynch, Director L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage, said: “We’re really looking forward to working with the NBL clubs as the National Lynch Trophy 2020/21 commences and we help restart professional basketball in England.

 “It’s great to be involved in a national competition with clubs stretching from Newcastle, to the south coast where we expect Worthing and Solent to challenge, and with Hemel Storm and Oaklands Wolves on our doorstep. We know there will be some entertaining games. The Lynch Trophy 2020/21 is an exciting new tournament and we’re excited to play a part.”

Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning, who is also the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for basketball, and represents the constituency where Lynch are based: “I am delighted to see the return of another national competition for the NBL1 teams and also the support of a commercial partner in Lynch. This new competition speaks to the APPG vision of a stronger and more commercially viable framework for semi-professional basketball in this country.”

Follow the Lynch Trophy on Twitter @LynchTrophy and Instagram @LLynchTrophy

About L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage

With an expansive fleet of modern plant and equipment, Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage provides operated, self-drive and contract hire plant to a variety of sectors within the construction arena. Contracts within the civil engineering, rail engineering, public utilities, ground works, highways maintenance, demolition and winter maintenance sectors all offer Lynch the opportunity to build a wide portfolio of skills within a variety of areas.

Jonathan Fakile & Chester Morrell join Loughborough Riders

Freshman duo Chester Morrell and Jonathan Fakile have joined the Loughborough Riders ahead of the upcoming NBL and BUCS seasons after time spent at Kent Crusaders last season

The Deng Top 50 duo will start the season with the Loughborough Riders later this month following an uncertain period for British Basketball due to the COVID-19 pandemic however with the NBL Division One season green lit for now duo will provide assistance to the new look Loughborough roster.

A fiery competitor and an offensive threat,” said Coach Jarram on Morrell as he starts his time at Loughborough.

“We have been watching Chester closely for the last couple of years. We are excited to have him join our programme and supporting him on the next steps of his basketball and academic journey.”

Brighton native Chester Morrell joins from Kent Crusaders, being names All-EABL Second team for the 2019 season and impressive performances at the Haris Tournament this past season.

The university and basketball team is one the elite and leading programmes in the UK,” commented Morrell, “I could see myself representing Loughborough and am looking forward to the new teammates, atmosphere at practice and on campus and coaching styles, as all will push me to develop and be my best.”

Coach Jarram is excited for the future of Fakile following preseason action with the Loughborough team.

“Jono is a player with a tonne of potential as a floor general and leader and has shown glimpses in pre-season that have us excited for his time with us in the programme. He fits our playing style well and has made a great first impression so far.”

Fakile will have a familiar face in Morrell following time together at Canterbury and Kent Crusaders, where Fakile was named the team’s MVP for the U18 season alongside achieving academic awards at the college for his outstanding commitment to his studies.

“I feel this programme is a step in the right direction in helping me to get a degree and pursue competitive basketball,” reflected Fakile.

“I am looking forwards to getting to learn from the returning players and getting to wear the Loughborough purple.”

For more news from Loughborough basketball be sure to follow @lborobasketball on all social media platforms.

Men’s and Women’s Fresher Trials Confirmed

Loughborough Basketball’s Men’s and Women’s trails have been confirmed ahead of the first week of term as students have returned to campus.

Places on rosters of the four Men’s teams and three Women’s teams as well as the Men’s Development Squad will be up for grabs.

Women’s Trials

Women’s trials are confirmed for Sunday 25th Oct starting at 1pm.

Due to COVID protocols capacity of 12 students per court will be in place and as such players should book on to one of three slots, 1-1.50pm, 2-2.50pm and 3-3.50pm.

  • Download the Loughborough Sport App
  • Register on the app
  • Click Trials and Taster Section
  • Select the trial session you wish to attend and press book
  • Your details will automatically be recorded, ready for your arrival at the session

Be sure to arrive on time and ensure you are ready to play at the start of the session to avoid delays.

Men’s Trials

If you missed trials, drop an email to [email protected]

Student Committee Named as season approaches

Loughborough Basketball has named it’s student committee ahead of the upcoming season with students returning to Loughborough University this week.

The student committee play a key role in the Loughborough basketball programme, working with the professional staff in a multitude of areas to ensure the programme continues to grow, as well as the student voice represented in decisions on all things basketball.

Please feel reach out to @lborobasketball on social media for answers on any questions related to the basketball programme.

Get to know this year’s student committee here.

  • Tegan Hargreaves – Women’s Club Chair
  • Studies: Geography and sport science
  • Fun fact: Grew up in Germany
  • Elliott Walker – Men’s Club Chair
  • Studying: Geography
  • Fun Fact: Only started playing basketball after fracturing his spine and ended up loving it.
  • Niall Waring – Men’s Vice Chair & IMS Chair
  • Studies: Graphic Communication and Illustration 
  • Fun fact: Nearly failed Art in High school but still went on to study it in University
  • Meg Palmer – Women’s Vice Chair
  • Studies: Sport and Exercise Science
  • Fun fact: Can do a backflip
  • Astrid Reece – Women’s Welfare and diversity
  • Studies: International relations
  • Fun fact: Tegan Lucy and I all played against each other in international tournaments in high school. 
  • Carl Ntifo – Treasurer
  • Studies: Computer Science
  • Fun fact: I can sing and play the violin and guitar
  • Jack Osmond – Social Sec
  • Studies: Sports Coaching
  • Fun fact: I have played sport all around the world, including USA, Finland and Germany
  • Ruby Coutts – Social Sec
  • Studies: Sports Management
  • Fun fact: Can quickly recite the alphabet backwards
  • Lucy Carton – Social Sec
  • Studies: Business Psychology
  • Fun fact: Can name every single country in the world
  • Miharu Ramanayake – Kit Sec and Treasurer
  • Studies: Computer science and management
  • Fun fact: Trilingual and born in Japan
  • Charlotte Rainton – Media Rep
  • Studies: Sport and Exercise Science
  • Fun fact: I can touch my nose with my tongue

Jozef Bielak Returns to the Riders in Loughborough

Jozef Bielak is set to return to the UK next season following a stint at Sheridan College, after graduating Charnwood College in 2019 as an EABL Champion with the Riders programme.

Bielak featured in the 2019 edition of the Deng Top 50 and the Hoopsfix All-Star Classic before earning a scholarship to Sheridan College to play and study in the US last season.

Back in on home soil, the Liverpool native is looking forward to the upcoming season studying within the Elite Player Pathway at Loughborough University, despite the uncertainty around the sport due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m really looking forward to being around great people and other athletes who have competed at the highest level.” commented Bielak.

“I chose Loughborough because of the winning environment and high standards of education. It’s one of the few places in the U.K. that can provide a similar experience to a number of places in the states.”

Loughborough Head Coach Mark Jarram is pleased with the roster addition of Bielak ahead of the upcoming NBL and BUCS seasons with a 3-4 year journey ahead for the talented shooting guard.

A graduate of Charnwood College and someone very familiar with our programme, Joe will come in to our group and add shooting and great determination to win. We are really intrigued to see how his game can translate and grow over his time here.

Be sure to follow @lborobasketball for further roster updates coming soon ahead of the NBL season in October.

Joe Bielak drives the lane
Loughborough Riders core set to Return

Loughborough Riders will boast a large returning core ahead of the NBL and BUCS Premier seasons, with key faces making a return to the line up ahead of a unusual season set to begin.

Jonas Dieterich, Kyle Jimenez, Liam Johnson, Carl Ntifo, Harrison Gamble, David Oputa return to the Loughborough side as a positive returning core for Coach Jarram’s roster with Loughborough second team players Conor O’Reilly and Mayowa Oloke stepping up to group in training camp.

Head Coach Mark Jarram will continue to build a combination roster built around student athlete players eligibly for BUCS Premier competition and a weekend roster including a number of alumni and Charnwood College students.

“We’re extremely fortunate to return a lot of our core group from last season,” commented Coach Jarram.

“With a large number of incoming freshmen it’s important to have some continuity and corporate knowledge. Harrison, Jonas and Kyle are all respected voices in the locker room whilst also leading by example.

We’re also intrigued to see how the other returners can grow and develop as second year players.”

The Loughborough Riders will continue pre-season as league details and schedules are finalized for October. Be sure to follow @lborobasketball on social media for news and updated throughout the season as basketball returns.

Riders sign Hikin, Ainge and Morris

Leicester Riders sign Erin Hikin, Robyn Ainge and Eimhear Morris for the WBBL 2020-21 season.

All three guards will be part of the Loughborough Basketball programme, while both Erin and Robin are returners. 

Last season, Erin Hikin brought an admirable work ethic and defensive tenacity throughout the Riders’ program as she played in BUCS, division one and the WBBL.

Hikin previously played for Myerscough College in the WEABL as well as Lancashire Spinners before attending Loughborough University.

Erin commented: “I’m looking forward to playing competitively this season with the new recruits and returning players. So far the team is looking very strong.”

“I know I’ll bring energy both on and off the court, a strong work ethic, and since it’s my second year playing in the league, I’m confident to showcase my leadership skills.”

Robin Ainge returns to basketball after completing a work placement with Adidas. In her first two years at Loughborough University she established her position in the BUCS Premier team. 

The former Hertfordshire Warriors’ guard represented East of England and was invited to England camps during her junior career. 

“I’m super excited for my first season within the WBBL”, commented Ainge. “I’ve loved playing within BUCS for the past two years and feel like I’m ready for the step up.”

“I’ve got so much energy to bring to the team. I love pushing the ball in transition, but at the same time setting up the offence, collapsing the defence and creating plays for my teammates.”

Irish native, Eimhear Morris, previously played for Belfast Phoenix where she averaged 10.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. She also was selected for the U15 and U16 Ireland National Team.

Morris commented: “I decided to sign with Riders because of the high standard of basketball, the compatibility with my style of play and the team’s chemistry.”

“I’m looking forward to playing in a new city with new teammates and competing in the WBBL. New competition is always a challenge which I’m always up for.”

The Leicester Riders have now announced 11 players for the upcoming WBBL season.

Photos provided by Riders Media & Rolf Stenberg/Sportspress.ie 

Riders sign German Guard Anna Lappenküper

Leicester Riders sign German guard, Anna Lappenküper, on a two-year deal after graduating from Purdue University Fort Wayne. 

Alongside playing with the Riders, Lappenküper will be studying a masters at Loughborough’s School of Business and Economics.

As a senior, Anna started in all 29 games averaging 10.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. She scored a career-high 23 points against Oral Roberts and left Purdue Fort Wayne with the third-most minutes played in program history.

WBBL Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “Anna is a strong and physical guard with a good outside shot. Her on-ball defence caught my attention as she is disruptive and will provide full-court pressure.”

“She is a very skilled player that will contribute to the team right away and has the potential to grow into an elite athlete.”

Lappenküper has played a crucial role in the German national team’s success. She helped both the U16s and U20s win gold at the FIBA European Division B Championships. In the 2018 U20 European Division A Championship, she averaged 7.1 points and 3.7 assists per game.

“I’ve only heard good things about the Riders and their success as a team. This is a great opportunity for me to continue my education while playing basketball on a high level”, said Lappenküper.

“I’d describe my playing style as balanced. I like to be physical on defence and push in transition, but also pull back at times to help organise the game and create for my team”.

“I’m super excited to meet everyone and can’t wait to get back on the court. I’m looking forward to practising and playing after such a long summer without much basketball.”

Anna is the seventh player announced by the Riders as they head into the 2020-21 WBBL season.

Darien returns to Riders

Leicester Riders have secured the services of American big Darien Nelson-Henry on a two-year deal.

Nelson-Henry had a successful spell with Leicester last time out averaging 13.3 PPG and placing amongst the league’s leaders for field goal percentage.

“We are happy to have Darien back. He was a great guy to work with and was a very effective player for us last season,” commented Head Coach Rob Paternostro.

“He is a big guy who can really impact the game with his size and strength. He plays with skill and intelligence on the court.”

“Darien is a tough guy to guard, you can see that by looking at his FG% (63%). He was top 2 in that category last season. He does a great job at getting position and can score either way, he also passes the ball very well and was a very effective screener for us.”

The Penn graduate will also be studying for his Masters at the Business School at Loughborough University while representing the Riders.

“I couldn’t be happier that I’m getting to do two things that I’ve always wanted to do… play professional basketball and study to get a masters and further my learning. I’ve always been somebody who’s wanted to better myself,” reflected Nelson-Henry.

“Returning to play for Leicester is amazing. We get treated like family immediately. The guys are so welcoming.”

“I was excited to come here before signing last year as I have heard great things, it lived up to the expectations and the hype. I’ve had an amazing experience so far.  

Darien becomes the third signing announcement for the Riders following British duo Conner Washington and Jamell Anderson. Be sure to follow the Riders on social media at @RidersBball for updates throughout the season.

Coach Oli Parr Graduates following 4 years coaching.

Oli Parr is set to graduate this summer from Loughborough College following coaching within the Leicester Riders programme for the last four seasons across multiple levels.

Coach Parr joined the programme in 2016 following time spent with the Manchester Mystics Junior programme – studying Sports Management and coaching within the Loughborough University

“My time in Loughborough was life changing,” commented Coach Parr. “The people I met and worked alongside, has shaped me to be the person I am today. Learning day to day how important the little details are in order to be successful.

Coach Oli Parr advanced from assisting at Charnwood College to leading multiple teams in his final season in the programme at both the academy and the National League level, whilst also joining the WBBL Leicester Riders team as an assistant coach.

Coach Oli Parr leading the WBBL Riders team.
Coach Parr with the Leicester Riders Women’s team.

Charnwood College claimed the WEABL title last season, whilst Loughborough Riders claimed the National Cup for the first time two seasons, just two 15 accolades Coach Parr achieved, being recently nominated as Student Coach of the Year at Loughborough Sport in his final season.

The amount of time you put into something, the better the potential outcome can be, whether that’s university work or basketball coaching.” Coach Parr mentioned talking on things he will take away from his time at Loughborough.

“Things aren’t just going to given to you because you’ve arrived on campus, you’ve gotta put your own mark in the history books. Growing professionally definitely helped, learning how to treat and manage players and other professionals has put me in a better position to excel in the future.”

As Coach Parr moves on from the Riders programmes in Loughborough he had a clear message for incoming student coaches to the programme.

“As soon as you walk through the door, grind. Set short term and long term goals, academically and for basketball. Challenge yourself to be the best you can be.

“Advice which I was given and prospered. And most importantly, enjoy what you do. It’s the little things people take for granted, celebrate success and enjoy the journey.”

Coach Oli Parr in a timeout with the Loughborough Riders team.
Coach Parr leading the Loughborough Riders in Division One National League.