Riders Women Beat the Rebels

The Leicester Riders flourished in their Saturday game against the Essex Rebels. Leading from the first few minutes, the Riders women ensured they created a struggle for the Rebels throughout, which led them to a final score of 71-42.

Taking control of the game from the offset, Leicester Riders adopted both strong defence and explosive offense strategies that led them to make easy shots causing a 12-point lead in just the first quarter. But it didn’t stop there, strong with defensive rebounds, Leicester’s lead grew to 19 points by half-time, giving Essex a hard gap to close in the final half. Although, in the last matching, we previously saw Essex defeat Leicester, they were unsuccessful in their pursuit this time around. We hope to continue to see this momentum from the Riders women in future matches.

Smith led the Riders with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists, whilst the Rebels were led by Costa with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 1 assist. 

Scorers:  

Riders: Smith 20, Lappenkuper  13, Winterburn 12, Stewart 10, Janusezewka 7, Clark 5, Robb 4

Rebels: Costa 10,  Waithe 7, Munns 6, Beig Salazar 5,Haines 5, Kohlhaas 4, Patridge 3, Belle-Mbaye 2

Riders now prepare to face Sevenoaks Suns on Wednesday 21st April at 2:30pm at Surrey Sports Park. 

Riders Comeback Against Lions

The Leicester Riders were looking to bounce back from their loss against the BA London Lions from their previous encounter in March and they were able to do exactly that by securing a 83-74 win at their home game on 14th April. 

This match was one the most anticipated games of the WBBL Championship and they didn’t disappoint. The game remained close throughout up until the final quarter. At the end of the first quarter, both teams were tied at 17 points. With just 2 minutes left on the clock towards the end of the second quarter, the Riders were leading by 10 points. However, they were unable to maintain that gap till the end of the quarter and started the second half with a close 3 point lead at 38-35. After a very fast paced third quarter, the Lions took the lead at 58-56. With several three’s and rebounds by the Riders in the final quarter, they were able to pull themselves back out in front giving them the 83-74 win. 

Riders were led by Azania Stewart’s 17 points and Holly Winterburn’s 8 assists. While, the London Lions were led by Stephanie Umeh’s 21 points and Kennedy Leonard’s 9 assists. 

Scorers:

Riders: A. Stewart 17, H. Winterburn 15, H. Robb 15, E. Clark 12, A. Smith 11, A. Lappenkuper 10, M. Brewer 3 

Lions: S. Umeh 21, K. Leonard 18, C. Charles 13, S. Beckford-Norton 12, C. Breen 6, I. Goryanova 2, V. Klocker 2

The Riders will now face the Essex Rebels on Saturday, 17th April at the Loughborough University Netball Centre at 12:30. 

Riders Bag Another Win

Leicester Riders were once again able to prevail against the Nottingham Wildcats on 11th April at their home game. 

The very fast paced first quarter put the Riders in the lead at 17-13. The second quarter was in favour of the Riders who came back even stronger in both their offense and defence. They allowed the Wildcats to put up only 6 points throughout the quarter giving them a comfortable lead at 43-19 at the end of the first half. The Wildcats got off to a very strong start in the third quarter however, the Riders were able to maintain the pressure on them and started the fourth quarter at 65-40. The Riders continued to dominate on the court in the last quarter and maintained their defensive pressure giving them the win at 88-50. 

Both Holly Winterburn and Hannah Robb put up an impressive performance by scoring 21 points each for the Leicester Riders and Winterburn also led with 7 assists. While Simone Costa led with 13 points and Chelsey Shumpert with 4 assists for the Nottingham Wildcats. 

Scorers

Riders: H. Winterburn 21, H. Robb 21, M. Brewer 15, E. Clark 9, A. Stewart 8, A. Lappenkuper 6, A. Smith 4, K. Januszewska 2, E. Morris 2 

Wildcats: S. Costa 13, P. Egharevba 10, M. Lundqvist 10, C. Shumpert 9, T. Freeman 6, R. Dwomoh 2The Riders will now face a very tough game against the BA London Lions on Wednesday, 14th April at the Loughborough University Netball Centre at 4 pm

RIDERS VICTORY AGAINST PALATINATES

Leicester Riders once again dominated on the court by securing a 94-51 win against the Durham Palatinates on 4th April at their home game. 

The Riders took control of the game in the first quarter itself by leading 20-13. They continued to play to their strengths and were able to increase their lead in the second quarter and started the second half with a comfortable 12-point lead at 38-26. There was a consistent defensive pressure from the Riders in the third quarter preventing the Palatinates from closing the gap. The final quarter started with the Riders leading 59-42. The Riders came back even stronger with their offence and put up an impressive 35 points on the board in the last quarter giving them the 94-51 win. 

Riders were led by Holly Winterburn’s strong performance of 27 points and Hannah Robb’s 5 assists. While, the Palatinates were led by Claire Paxton’s 15 points and Lies Van Straaten’s 4 assists. 

Scorers:

Riders: H. Winterburn 27, M. Brewer 18, A. Lappenkuper 12, A. Smith 12, A. Stewart 11, K. Januszewska 6, H. Robb 5, E. Morris 3

Palatinates: C. Paxton 15, K. Elderkin 12, L. Van Straaten 9, K. Bennett 8, A. Patchesa 3, G. Hurtado Barbeito 2, J. Gyulai 2 

The Riders will face the Durham Palatinates again on Wednesday, 7th April at the Durham Sports and Wellbeing Park at 6pm.

Victory Makes A Double-header Win

Riders have an excellent doubleheader weekend, winning yet another game today against the Newcastle Eagles.

The last time we saw the two teams meet, Leicester Riders were strong with their defence, leading them to victory. Today’s game was no different. With the constant, strong defensive strategy, the team made it hard for the Eagles from all angles; all shots and possessions contested by the Riders’ pressure. 

Minimising all offensive opportunities for the Eagles meant that the Riders women could have an easy offence throughout the game, with a 20 point lead in each quarter finalising at 72- 47. 

Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented “Lots of positive things in today’s game. We were on point defensively most of the game. On offence we were able to use our size advantage around the rim. Good team effort with contributions from all 10 players.” 

Amber Smith led the Riders with 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist, while Alison Gorrell led the Eagles with 18 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.

Scorers

Riders: Smith 17, Januszewska 13, Robb 12, Brewer 11, Winterburn 8, Stewart 6, Clark 5

Eagles: Gorrell 14, Mcvicar 6, Rodriguez Perez 5, Smith 5, Chukwu-Etu 4, Lowe 4, Bland 3, Oates 2

We hope to see the momentum of this doubleheader weekend carry on into the next game as Leicester Riders take on Cardiff Archers in an away game on 3rd April at 3:15 pm.

Riders take the win

The Leicester Riders women had a great start to their weekend set of games as they were victorious against the Manchester Mystics this evening.

The team took the lead from the first quarter and kept a healthy gap throughout the game to ensure their win. While the Mystics struggled to shake the ladies with their offence, Riders were able to keep a steady momentum and strong defence which saw the game finish with a final score of 65-57.

Head Coach Jesper Sundberg was pleased with the performance and commented “We are happy with todays performance. It was a step in the right direction, since two weeks ago when we last played Manchester. We are slowly building this new group and need time to get to a highly competitive level. Today was a good step forward and we look to improve again tomorrow Vs Newcastle.”

Leicester were led by Azania Stewart’s 13 points, 9 rebounds and 1 assist alongside Holly Winterburn 11 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Whereas Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee led the Mystics with 15 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. 

Scorers

Riders:

Stewart 13, Winterburn 11, Brewer 9,Clark 9, Lappenkuper 7, Robb 7, Smith        6, Januszewska 3.   

Mystics:

Fong Lyew Quee 15, Akra 11, Naylor 10, Song 10, Bailey 5, Allen 2, Jones 2, Shaw 2.

Leicester Riders will have to have a quick rest as they face Newcastle Eagles  this Sunday at 4 pm.

Riders Defeat the Archers

Leicester Riders Women were looking to keep their winning momentum in play and were able to do so by securing a 70-62 win against the Cardiff Met Archers at the Loughborough University. 

Riders fell short by 2 points at the end of the first quarter. However, by putting up a stronger offence, they were able to be in the lead for the rest of the game. The second half started with the Riders leading 40-34. The game remained close throughout with the Riders leading by only 2 points at the end of the third quarter. Despite a spirited effort from the Cardiff Archers, they fell short in the final quarter after a big push from the Riders to secure an 8-point win.

Amber Smith led with 21 points and Hannah Robb as well as Anna Lappenkuper led with 5 assists while for the Archers, Mara Marchizotti led with 18 points and Robyn Lewis led with 5 assists.

Scorers:

Riders

Smith 21, Robb 17, Stewart 8, Winterburn 7, Brewer 6,  Januszewska 4, Lappenkuper 4, Allen 3. 

Archers:

Marchizotti 18, Ball 17, Bigica 13, Jorgensen 7, Lewis 4, Kheing 3.

The Riders will next host Manchester Met Mystics on the 27th March at Loughborough University. 

BA London Lions Eliminate Riders from the Trophy

Leicester Riders have been knocked out of the WBBL Trophy by BA London Lions, 59-73. 

From the jump, London put pressure on the Riders by going on a quick 8-0 run. Hannah Robb made a layup to quiet the Lions but quickly picked up a foul to put London’s shooting guard, Cassie Breen, on the line. 

In the second quarter, a three-pointer from Brewer shifted the momentum to the Riders, closing the gap to a one-point game. However, the Riders were unable to gain an advantage. This led to London creating a comfortable 22 point lead entering the fourth quarter. 

Riders had a difficult time stopping Leonard (15r, 11a), Breen (18p, 5r) and Beckford-Norton’s near double-double (15p, 8r).

Holly Winterburn led the way for the Riders with a near triple-double of 13 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals. The next leading scorer for the the Riders was Amber Brewer with 11 points. 

Riders

Winterburn 13,  Brewer 11, Clark 8, Lappenkuper 7, Stewart 7, Robb 6, Smith 6.

Lions

Breen 18, Umeh 16, Beckford-Norton 15,  Charles 7, Robinson 6, Leonard 5, Kockler 4, Lavender 2. 

Unfortunately, the Riders’ Trophy final streak has come to an end, but we wish London the best of luck. 

Rebels end the Riders 11-game win streak

Leicester fall to Essex Rebels on the road (76-82) in their first regular-season matchup. 

It was a close game throughout as both teams battled it out on floor. Deangelique Waithe put the Rebels on her back with a monster 27 points and 15 rebounds. 

Out the gate both teams had a slow start and were tied four points a piece just under the six minute mark. Waithe took control by hitting a 3-pointer and two free throws to shift the lead in the Rebels favour. 

After Head Coach Sundberg made substitutions, the Riders new signees quickly entered the stat sheet to give Riders the lead. Maya Brewer hit a corner three and had a driving dime to Azania Stewart for a short-corner jumper. The Riders were able to win the first two quarters and finish the half with a 29-36 lead. 

In the second half, Stewart made another layup to start the third quarter but Essex responded with a 14-point run to get the score to 46-38. Riders’ Lappenkuper and Ella hit three jumpers combined to close the gap but Essex were able to secure a 61-55 point lead to start the fourth. 

Hannah Robb went on a tear in the final quarter with eight consecutive points, two 3-pointer and a layup. However, Waithe from the Rebels again answered with two jumpers to extend the lead and the Rebels claimed the win, ending the  Riders 11-game win streak. 

Winterburn filled the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. She was closely followed by Ella Clark’s 13 point and 11 rebound double-double and 13 points from Robb. 

Riders

Winterburn 16, Clark 13, Robb 13, Brewer 9, Gaskin 7, Lappenkuper 6, Stewart 6, Smith 6.

Rebels

Waithe 27, Costa 13, Bieg Salazar 12, Kohlhaas 9, Haines, 9, Munns 8, Partridge 2, Belle-Mbaye 2.

Riders have a quick turnaround as tomorrow at 4.30pm they take on the BA London Lions in the 2021 WBBL Trophy Semifinal. The live stream can found on the WBBL YouTube channel. 

Maya Brewer joins the Riders

Leicester Riders have signed the Missouri-native, Maya Brewer, for the remainder of the 2020-2021 WBBL season.

Maya brings skill, athleticism and versatility to the Riders programme. She is described as an explosive slasher, good shooter and lockdown defender. 

Brewer attended Wichita State for her Junior and Sophomore years. The 5’11 guard appeared in all 31 games and averaged 6.3 points and shot 41.1% from the field. In a win against Temple, she had a season-high 19 points. 

Maya landed her first professional contract with ETHA Engomis in Cyprus Division 1. Brewer was named the round 5 Player of the Week after posting a double-double of 33 points and 12 rebounds. She also helped the ETHA reach the Cypriot Cup semifinal with a strong performance of 28 points and 11 rebounds. 

“She is a versatile defender who will fit our intense defensive and high-possession style very well” commented WBBL Head Coach Jesper Sundberg. “Maya is a good open floor creator and will help improve our structured full-court offence.”

Brewer is the final addition to the roster and will join Azania Stewart and Amber Smith as the newest members of the Leicester Riders team.

Photo credits: Wichita State Athletics

Riders sign Amber Smith

Leicester Riders have signed Amber Smith for the remainder of the 2020-2021 WBBL season. 

The Louisiana-native attended the University of Missouri and appeared in all 31 games as a senior averaging 11.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. During the 2019-2020 campaign, the 5’11 forward had a season-high and beast of double-double with 27 points, 15 rebounds and four assists. 

The three-year starter began her collegiate career as the 2017 SEC co-Freshman of the Year. She was also honoured as the 2019-2020 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List and finished 20th on the Missouri scoring list with 1,299 points.  

Prior to joining the Riders, Smith entered the 2020 WNBA draft, but went on to start her professional career in Greece. Unfortunately, due to the country lockdown, Smith was only able to play four games in the season.

“Amber is an undersized big that will create a lot of matchup troubles for our opponents” commented the WBBL Head Coach Jesper Sundberg. “She is a good facilitator from the post and will fit right into our team.”

“Defensively her ability to defend players in the post and away from the basket gives us options to make in-game adjustments”.

Smith joins Azania Stewart as the newest members of the Leicester Riders WBBL team after the departure of Kate Oliver and Sara Hinriksdottir. 

Photo credits: Missouri Athletics

Thank you Oliver and Hinriksdottir

Leicester Riders can confirm that both Kate Oliver and Sara Hinriksdottir will return to their home countries and miss the remainder of the WBBL season. 

Both players provided great contributions and standout performances for the Riders programme. However, due to circumstances surrounding the pandemic, Riders have agreed to release them from their contracts and are fully supportive of both players returning to their home countries of Australia and Iceland. 

Managing Director Russell Levenston commented: “I wish these two players the very best in their careers and would like to thank them for the efforts and success they brought to the team.”

Hinriksdottir joined the Leicester Riders in the 2019-2020 season and stood out from the start. The Icelandic guard earned the 2020 WBBL Trophy Final MVP award after leading the Riders with a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds.

Her all-round display, whether that was from spins, step throughs, pull-ups or threes, have made her a difficult matchup in the league. This season alone, Sara averaged 15.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, as well as winning the WBBL Cup championship. 

“I’ve loved my time with the Leicester Riders and I am very sad to leave” commented Hinriksdottir. “This is not how I wanted to end my time here, but returning home and playing in Iceland is the best decision for me right now.”

“I wish the team more success this season and would like to thank everyone for an amazing experience in England.”

Oliver arrived at the Riders during the 2017-2018 campaign and has provided leadership and consistency over the years. The three-time MVP played a key role in three consecutive Trophy titles and recently the WBBL Cup championship, where she had 18 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and two steals. 

During this regular-season, the Australian forward averaged 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and three steals per game. Notably, the captain made the 2020-21 WBBL All-Star Five selection on five occasions. 

Kate Oliver commented: “I am gutted to be leaving Riders without one last chance at finishing the season with a championship title. But I do not doubt that the team will remain competitive and continue to showcase the hard work and determination they have put in this year.”

“It has been an absolute pleasure to play for Leicester Riders in the WBBL the last four years. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making it such an incredible experience.”

The whole Riders programme would like to echo Russell’s comments and wish both Kate and Sara safe travels and the very best in their future endeavours.  

Welcome to the Riders Azania Stewart!

Azania Stewart comes out of retirement to join the Leicester Riders for the remaining 2020-21 WBBL Season.

Stewart commented “The coaches over at Leicester wanted some veteran presence to help the team and they took their chances with me. I know a lot of a league is upset because if they knew I was coming out of retirement maybe they would have called.”

“As the Covid Coordinator for GB seniors, I’m a practice player for the team to give players like Temi Fagbenle rest. I really enjoyed it and thought ‘wow, could I do this again’?”

The 2012 Olympian and Commonwealth Silver medalist earned a scholarship to attend the University of Florida. In her 4-year NCAA career she ranked third in blocks (205) and had the highest FG percentage in a single season (61.9%). She even contributed to the Gators reaching the NCAA Tournament as a Freshman and Senior. 

The 6’4 centre had a six year professional career and took her talents to Spain, Australia, Hungary and Latvia. In her last season, she signed with TTT Riga in Latvia, where she played in the EuroCup league and averaged 9.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

Prior to retirement, Stewart finished up her decorative career with 101 caps for Great Britain basketball and a 83-42 win against Portugal in the women’s FIBA EuroBasket qualifier. She made her senior GB debut in 2009 but still has a significant impact on the team today. 

Azania proudly represented her home nation during the 2012 Olympics. GB faced Australia, Canada, Russia, France and Brazil in London where Stewart averaged 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds.

Stewart also brought her leadership and basketball expertise to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. She was part of history by winning a silver medal and helping England reach its first women’s Commonwealth basketball final.

“This opportunity called and it has to be for a reason” said Stewart.  “There’s going to be a point in time when they stop calling as I get older. I told the coaches what I can offer the team and they already have a great establishment built.”  

“The Riders are in a great position in the league, which takes the pressure off doing more than I need to do because of my age and not playing for three years. I know I can bring my veteran experience and basketball IQ to the team.”

“I’m excited to be back! I went to watch a Riders game and there were a lot of different emotions. Excitement, a bit of anxiousness, but overall I felt really good about my decision.“

Stewart is an inspiration to British basketball and we are happy that she has found a new home at Leicester. Welcome to the Riders Azania Stewart!

Photo credit: FIBA

Riders through to the WBBL Trophy Semifinal

A WBBL Trophy Semifinal awaits for the Leicester Riders, as they stormed to a 81-57 Quarter Final victory over the Oakland Wolves in an impressive display from start to finish.

The Wolves were aggressive from the offset and pushed the Riders to a well-earned victory. They did a great job defending Oliver in the first quarter, restricting her to just 2 points, but with Sara Hinriksdottir in relentless form early on the Riders pulled ahead in the first 5 minutes and lead the rest of the game. Hinriksdottir scored 8 points and made an assist in the first quarter.

From then on, the Riders dominated with Oliver completing a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Holly Winterburn came into the game in good form with a double-double in her last game, and repeated the feat again today. After 9 points 8 rebounds to retain control of the game first 2 quarters, she cruised to 21 points and 11 rebounds by the end of the 4th quarter. Gaskin lead the game with 3 blocks, and Ainge bossed the play from range with 3 from 3 in 3-pointers.

Uprus notched an impressive 22 points for the Wolves, and Milligan made it hard for the Riders with 11 rebounds, but their valiant effort was not enough to beat the Riders. The Rider’s 14 points from turnovers, and 43% field goal ratio to Wolves’ 27% told the story of the game. With both teams short on players coming into the game – neither filling the bench – it was a competitive bout from start to finish, but the Rider’s clinical quality shone through.

Riders

Oliver 23, Winterburn 21, Ainge 12, Hinriksdottir 10, Robb 4, Januszewska 4, Gaskin 3, Morris 3, Lappenkuper 1.

Wolves

Uprus 22, Rouse 13, Sarson 7, Carter 6, Boros 5, Milligan 4.

The Riders will be back in action with the WBBL Trophy Semifinal ahead of them, thanks to today’s hard-fought victory.

Riders are the 2021 WBBL Cup Champions

Leicester Riders Women win their first WBBL Cup final after defeating Sevenoaks Suns 78-67.

Riders put on a show in the first quarter, starting the game with 11 consecutive points before Sevenoaks touched the score sheet. 

The Cup final MVP, Kate Oliver,  set the tone in the first quarter scoring 10 of her 18 points. The Australian forward also finished the game with 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.

Janice Monakana came back with a vengeance scoring 8 points in a row including three treys to help the Suns make it a four-point deficit at the half.

Riders came out the third with three layups from Lappenkuper, Robb and Winterburn to push the lead. However, Monakana was a force to be reckoned with by getting to the foul line, scoring both free throws, and then followed with a layup to give the Suns momentum. 

Right off the back, Cat Carr hit a big three to make it a three point game, however a jump shot from Winterburn shifted the game into Riders’ favour that continued into the fourth. 

Holly Winterburn showed up on the big stage with another all-round performance with a near triple double – 16 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Hannah Robb also had a notable performance with 17 points including three daggers beyond the arc. 

Riders

Oliver 18, Robb 17, Winterburn 16, Hinriksdottir 10, Lappenkuper 7, Gaskin 6, Clark 2, Januszewska 2. 

Suns

Monakana 25, Garrido-Perez 15, Carr 13, Clark 9, Andrews 3, Busch 2.

Next up on Saturday, Leicester Riders travel down to Sevenoaks for their first regular-season matchup.

Riders Triumphant in Pride Matchup

Leicester Riders women secured a 93-39 home win against Caledonia Pride.  

Both teams had a slow start out the gate, but the Riders went on a 13-0 run until Pride scored their first basket at the 4-minute mark. In the second quarter,  Leicester created a comfortable 47-21 lead after a strong effort on both ends of the floor. 

Caledonia experienced the defensive wrath of the Riders and was held to 21% field goals and had 29 turnovers in the contest. 

Kate Oliver and Holly Winterburn filled up the stat sheet with their assertive performances. Oliver led by example with her 25 points, 5 rebounds and 8 steals and was accompanied by Winterburn’s 22 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists. 

Riders

Oliver 25, Winterburn 22, Clark 12, Lappekuper 10, Gaskin 10, Ainge 7, Allen 4, Januszewska 3.

Pride

Ranger 11, Doherty 11, Storie 8, Phillips 6,  Harvey 2, Kerr 1. 

Next game (Friday 12th) is big for the Riders as they head north to Manchester to take on Sevenoaks Suns in the WBBL Cup Final. 

Second COTM for Jesper Sundberg

Jesper Sundberg has won his second Molten WBBL Coach of the Month for January 2021.

Coach Sundberg has led the Riders women to an undefeated record, including the three dominant wins in January against Caledonia Pride, Newcastle Eagles and the Oakland Wolves. 

In the January contests, the Riders continued their defensive showcase holding the Wolves and Pride to less than 25% field goals and held to Eagles to 7% 3-point field goals. 

Coach Sundberg commented: “We had a good offensive team performance against Caledonia where all players scored and the following day were able to hold Newcastle to 39 points.”

“Against Oaklands we had some heavy legs, but the team pushed through in the second half with a strong effort”

Jesper Sundberg and the Riders head up to Manchester next Friday to take on Sevenoaks Suns in the WBBL Cup Final.  

Another Home win for Riders Women

Riders were able to prevail in a hard-fought game against the Oakland Wolves. 

The wolves started the game strong as they jumped to a 5-10 lead mid-way in the first quarter. However, as soon as Christina Gaskin subbed in she brought intensity and hit a big three to help the home team bounce back.

There were no easy buckets, especially in the second quarter, as both teams scrapped on defence and put pressure on the boards with 48-44 rebounds overall. 

Riders were able to get an 8-point lead to start the fourth quarter and this push led to a 23 point win. Statistically, Leicester showed their defensive presence holding the Wolves to 25% field goals including 2-16 from three.

Once again Holly Winterburn filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. This was closely followed by a solid game from Hinriksdottir with 15 points on 54% shooting, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

Riders

Winterburn 15, Hinriksdottir 15, Oliver 10, Robb 10 , Januszewska 9, Gaskin 5, Clark 5, Hikin 2.

Wolves

Uprus 11, Rouse 10, Carter 10, Boros 9, Milligan 5, Sarson.

Three All-Star Five Selections

Kate Oliver, Holly Winterburn and Sara Hinriksdottir have been selected to the week 7 WBBL All-Star Fives after two road wins against Caledonia Pride and Newcastle Eagles. 

Kate Oliver’s made her presence known at Newcastle, earning a third All-Star 5 appearance,  after recording a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds.

With her fifth All-Star 5 appearance, Winterburn once again had an all-round performance for Leicester as she contributed 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals against Caledonia.

Hinriksdottir’s consistency played a notable part in helping the Riders claim two dominant road wins. She led Riders with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists against Pride and was the second-leading scorer with 16 points against the Eagles. 

Week 7 All-Star 5

Chelsey Shumpert – Nottingham Wildcats

Kate Oliver – Leicester Riders

Jasmine Joyner – Nottingham Wildcats

Holly Winterburn – Leicester Riders

Sara Hinriksdottir – Leicester Riders

Back-to-back Wins on the Weekend

Leicester Riders remain undefeated after securing two wins up north against Caledonia Pride (91-61) and Newcastle Eagles (66-39). 

In both games, Riders gained a double-digit lead in the first quarter and never looked back. 

Against Pride, Riders made a statement with 54 points in the paint and early in the 4th had a 37 point lead, the largest in the game. 

Leicester came at all angles with five players in double-digit points with Hinriksdottir leading both teams with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Riders also finished the weekend with an assertive defensive display against the Eagles, holding the opponents to a 22 FG%.

Kate Oliver made her presence known with 22 points including four three’s and 6 rebounds. This was supported by another consistent performance from Hinriksdottir’s 16 points and 6 rebounds. 

Leicester Riders vs Caledonia Pride

Riders

Hinriksdottir 19, Winterburn 12, Lappenkuper 12, Januszewska 10, Robb 10, Clark 8, Oliver 8, Hikin 7, Morris 5.

Pride

Storie 17, Ranger 14, Velazquez 9, Tweedi 6, Beattie 5, Phillips 2, Harvey 2, Falen 2. 

Leicester Riders vs Newcastle Eagles

Riders

Oliver 22, Hinriksdottir 16, Lappenkuper 8, Winterburn 7, Robb 7, Clark 4, Januszewska 4.

Eagles

Gorrell 14, Koop 12, Kvederaviciute 6, Thomley 5, Lowe 2.

Photo by Kieron Carr, Newcastle Eagles.

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.

Two more All-Star Five Selections

Riders have another two players selected in the WBBL All-Star Five. 

The team cruised to the WBBL CUP final last weekend against Cardiff Archers, which was led by a double-double from Ella Clark who put up 15 points and 13 rebounds. Clark made her presence known in the first quarter with a quick 5 points and 5 rebounds. 

Although Holly Winterburn had a quiet scoring night, she continued to show the league her all-rounded game with 9 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. This is also Winterburn’s second All-Star Five selection in a row. 

The Riders will now shift their focus to the regular-season and are travelling down to Oakland Wolves on December 12th. 

Riders through to the WBBL Cup Final

Leicester Riders Women are now through to the WBBL Cup Final, for the first time, after a dominant 67-27 win over Cardiff Met Archers.

The Riders put their defensive tenacity on display as they held the Archers to a 14 FG% and 17 turnovers. Kate Oliver’s presence was felt in the paint as she had 5 out of the team’s 8 blocks.

Ella Clark showed her versatility on the court and led the way with 15 points and 13 rebounds. This was followed by Sara Hinriksdottir’s near double-double of 10 points and 8 rebounds. 

Scorers:

Riders: Clark 15, Hinriksdottir 10, Robb 10, Lappenkuper 10, Oliver 9, Januszewska 5, Allen 4, Winterburn 2, Ainge 2.

Archers: Hatch 10, Marchizotti 9, Jorgensen 4, Lewis 2, Wagstaff 2.

The Riders will take on the defending champions, Sevenoaks Suns, in the WBBL Cup Final.

All-Star Five Selections and Molten’s WBBL Coach of the Month

WBBL have selected Kate Oliver and Holly Winterburn into the third week’s All-Star Five. Head coach Jesper Sundberg was also awarded the Molten WBBL Coach of the Month.

Riders came out big in a cup knockout against Newcastle Eagles. Kate Oliver was unstoppable as she led the way with 29 points, 4 3-pointers and 73 FG%. So far she is averaging 21.5 points, 2 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game.

Holly Winterburn was all over the stat sheet with a near triple-double of 18 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. In the last three games, Winterburn is averaging 14.7 points per game and leading the team in assists and rebounds.

Sundberg’s calm and collective leadership has helped the Leicester Riders secure a perfect 3-0 record in the WBBL cup as well as ensuring the team is dominant on both sides of the floor. 

Riders are currently preparing for the WBBL Cup semifinals against the Cardiff Met Archers this upcoming weekend.

Riders win big on the road and qualify for the WBBL Cup semifinals

Leicester Riders Women are now 3-0 in the WBBL Cup after a huge fourth quarter push against the Newcastle Eagles. 

Both teams went back and fourth with Newcastle taking a two point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Newcastle’s, Alison Gorrell, made sure the game was competitive with her 19 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. However, a layup by Anna Lappenkuper started the Riders 36-9 run to secure the win and reach the WBBL Cup semifinals.

Kate Oliver was unstoppable in the matchup and led the scoring with 29 points on a notable 73% field goal percentage, alongside four 3-pointers. Holly Winterburn also had a dominant near triple-double with 18 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists. 

Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “we are very happy about the win and finishing at the top of the group. Newcastle created lots of problems for us on defence. Offensively we made it a high possession game and we had more energy left going into the final quarter.”

Scorers

Eagles: Gorrell 19, Mcvicar 16, Smith 14, Koop 12, Taylor 4, Bland 2, Oates 2, Chuckwu-Etu 2

Riders: Oliver 29, Holly 18, Hinriksdottir 16, Robb 15, Lappenkuper 10, Gaskin 6, Clark 2.

Riders take on the Cardiff Met Archers next in the WBBL Cup semifinals on the 5th December.

Photo credit: Newcastle Eagles

Opening Day win for the Riders against the Mystics in the WBBL CUP

The Riders controlled the game with a solid performance on both ends of the court, resulting in a 65-44 victory against the Manchester Met Mystics. 

Following a slow start to the game, the Riders gained momentum with Hannah Robb’s much needed 3 point shot and closed the first period with a 21-6 lead. Riders continued to extend the lead with the help of Winterburn’s outstanding performance leading the team with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. 

Riders once again dominated in the paint scoring 32 points and out-rebounded the Mystics, 47 rebounds to their 35. At one stage the home team led by 35 points and had a huge scoring run of 20 points.

Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “We played very well defensively throughout the game, controlling their shots and putting pressure on the ball. Overall it was a great team effort and we enjoyed being back on the court.”  

Scorers: 

Riders: Winterburn 15, Clarke 13, Hinriksdottir 8, Gaskin 8, Lappenkuper 6, Robb 3, Allen 3. 

Mystics: Shaw 8, Jones 6, Allen 6, Fong Lyew Quee 6, Song 6, Bailey 4, Horton 2

The Riders next play Nottingham Wildcats at home on the 21st November with a 4pm tip off in the WBBL CUP. Livestream details to follow. 

Riders Defeat the Wolves in the Second Matchup

Leicester Riders Women never looked back as they won their second preseason game against Oakland Wolves. 

After the first five minutes, the Riders went on a 12-point scoring run and increased the lead to an 89-54 victory. The team dominated in the paint with 28 points and thrived in transition. 

Sara Hinriksdottir led the team with 19 points, accompanied by Kate Olivers near double-double of 16 points and 9 rebounds. Collectively the team had a strong shooting night beyond the arc, with Sara and the sharpshooter,  Hannah Robb, both hitting three apiece.

Scorers: 

Riders: Hinriksdottir 19, Oliver 16, Robb 15, Winterburn 9, Clarke 9, Gaskin 7, Lappenkuper 5, Stone 4, Hikin 3, Januszewska 2.

Wolves: Carter 15, Harrison 12, Uprus 10, Rouse 6, Fulop 6, Boros 4, Milligan 1.

The Riders next play in the WBBL CUP opener as they face the Manchester Met Mystics on November 7th.

Riders Women Claim First Preseason Victory

Leicester Riders Women came out on top against Oakland Wolves in the first preseason matchup. 

Both teams battled as it was a low-scoring, close game with several lead changes. The Riders managed to maintain an edge in the last five minutes of play to finish off with a 55-51 win on the road. 

Holly Winterburn led the team with 17 points, followed by Hannah Robb’s three treys and 10 points from Loughborough D1 player,  Makana Stone. 

Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “it was great for us to go out and play. We have plenty of practice weeks behind us, so it was nice to finally play against another team.”

“It was a low scoring game with many errors to correct moving forward. Overall it was a good starting point for our team and we are excited to keep improving.”

The Riders return home to play the Oakland Wolves in a second preseason matchup on November 1st. 

Image by Oakland Wolves.

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.

Katie Januszewska joins the Leicester Riders

Katie Januszewska has joined Charnwood College and will play in the WBBL and WEABL this upcoming season. 

The 5’11 guard previously played for the Derby Trailblazers division 2 and helped the U16s make an appearance at the junior final fours. Last season, the scoring machine averaged 30 points per game with a monster triple-double against Sheffield Hatters – 50 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists.

 “I am excited to join the Riders this season,” commented Katie. “This is a great opportunity for me to learn and work alongside such talented players.”

“The team has been hugely welcoming and supportive and are always happy to share their knowledge with me which I appreciate.”

Januszewska has also represented both England at the u15’s Copenhagen invitational tournament and Great Britain at the 2019 FIBA European Championship.

WBBL Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “it’s been a pleasure working with KJ these first weeks of preseason. She has already shown a desire to compete with our more experienced players.”

“I’m extremely excited to see how she can develop and improve in a senior environment.”

Katie is now the 12th and the youngest player announced by the Riders for the WBBL 2020-21 season. 

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 

Hannah Robb signs with the Riders

GB Guard Hannah Robb joins the Leicester Riders for the WBBL 2020-21 season.

Prior to joining the Riders, the former Caledonia Pride guard competed in the WBBL alongside finishing an undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh.

Last season, the sharpshooter showed strong performances for the Pride as she averaged 13.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game in the professional league. 

WBBL Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “being one of the best 3-point shooters the last few seasons, Hannah fits well in our up-tempo style.”

“She is a hard worker and that we believe can keep improving throughout the season.”

Hannah’s international experience is well suited for the Riders as she has represented both Great Britain and Scotland in the FIBA European Championships. 

Robb commented: “Riders feels like a good fit for me, both on and off the court, and I’m excited for this opportunity to grow and develop my game.”

“I loved my four years at Pride and helping grow the female game in Scotland. I had great coaches and teammates and I’m proud to have come through the Pride program.”

“I’m eager to get back on court and compete after a long break from basketball”.

Hannah is now the eighth player announced by the Riders for the 2020-21 WBBL season. 

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.

Whitney Allen and Ella Clark rejoin the Riders

Great Britain internationals, Whitney Allen and Ella Clark return to the Riders for the 2020-21 season.

Allen will compete in the WBBL alongside working as a children’s social worker. Last season the former Charnwood player and coach provided the WBBL side with leadership, hustle, energy and defensive versatility. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing last year’s players and excited for the fresh new faces,” commented Whitney, “I enjoyed last season and it was a no brainer to come back”.

Clark provided the Riders with length and versatility last season. During the 2019-20 season, the GB forward averaged 11.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in the WBBL Championship.

Ella commented: “I’m looking forward to getting back on the court with the team after such a long break”.

“Last season ended abruptly, just as we were starting to find some consistency. We obviously finished on a high note with the trophy win, so hopefully we can build on that this year”.

WBBL Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “We are lucky to have Whitney and Ella back this season as they bring size and versatility to the team. Whitney with her ability to play and defend multiple positions and Ella’s skillset around the rim and outside shooting.”

“We get two experienced players that can help the team build on last year’s success.”

Allen and Clark join Holly Winterburn as the Riders finalise the team for the 2020-21 WBBL season.

Oliver, Gaskin and Hinriksdóttir return to the Riders.

Kate Oliver, Christina Gaskin and Sara Hinriksdóttir return to Riders for the 2020-21 season as they finish their masters with the Loughborough School of Business and Economics.

Kate Oliver enters her fourth season in the WBBL. The Australian Center asserted her presence in the league by averaging 15.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game. The 2x Trophy MVP had eight appearances in the weekly All-Star Five.

“I want to enjoy the season, making the most of the opportunity to be back on the court and building team camaraderie with a new squad,” said Oliver. “As we have experienced, it can all be taken away in an instant, so capitalising on the time we have on court and with each other is going to be paramount this season.

“It’s a shame last year’s squad didn’t get to reach its full potential but I am excited to see what we can do this season.”

Christina Gaskin brought energy, versatility and athleticism to the Riders. Last season the GB forward averaged 5.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists during the WBBL Championship and appeared twice on the weekly All-Star Five.

“Last season we were very competitive and although I’m grateful that we got to finish on a high, I  feel like we have unfinished business”, commented Gaskin.

“I’m excited to defend our title and build upon last year with new faces and dominant returners”.

Sara Hinriksdóttirr had a strong 2019-2020 season for the Riders after averaging 16.9 points and 6.1 rebounds during the WBBL Championship. The Icelandic guard earned the 2020 WBBL Trophy Final MVP award after leading the Riders with a game-high 23 points as well as 7 rebounds.

“I’ve been itching to be back playing and compete again,” commented Sara. “I’m excited to pick up where we left off and help build a quality team in the league.”

Riders have now announced six players for the upcoming WBBL season, which also include Holly Winterburn, Whitney Allen and Ella Clark.

Holly Winterburn is back!

Leicester Riders secure a 3-year deal with the former Charnwood player. 

Winterburn will be studying a Loughborough University degree at Loughborough College through the Elite Player Pathway programme. This deal will provide her with a full scholarship and a professional player contract.

Last season as a Freshman at Oregon University, she appeared in 28 games while averaging 11.4 minutes for the Pac-12 regular season and tournament champions. Winterburn earned herself Freshman of the week honours through her dominant performance against South Dakota State, scoring a season-high 17 points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting.

Managing Director Russell Levenston commented: 

“We’re really excited about having Holly Winterburn rejoin the team. She is somebody who has come through the academy, was the former WBBL Young Player of the Year and had a great experience in America.”

“This is a huge story for both the club and British Basketball to keep our best players in the UK to study and play professionally. Hopefully we’ll see more in the future.”

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Loughborough University and Loughborough College for supporting Winterburn and making this happen”.

Last summer Holly was a key player for the GB U20s averaging 18.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists and named to the FIBA U20 European Championship All-Star Five.

“I’m super excited to be back! I’m in a great place mentally and physically so I can’t wait to get the preseason underway”, commented Winterburn.

“Playing in America was an amazing experience and I’m grateful for the memories and relationships I made. However, I missed home a lot so coming back to the UK was the best decision for me.”

“I have the perfect situation with the Riders, being able to study and play in the place that made me who I am today.”

The Great Britain guard is the first signing announced by the Riders as they continue to finalise the roster for the 2020-21 season.

Riders players return home

Given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, the club have given its blessing for Kate Oliver and Brea Elmore to return home to be with their families.

Kate will return to Australia and Brea to America having both played vital roles in their sides’ Betty Codona WBBL Trophy final victory yesterday.

Report: Riders Women fall on the road to Durham

Leicester Riders women dropped out of the top spot in the WBBL Championship, as they were beaten on the road by Durham Palatinates, 77-68.

The game was a taster for the WBBL Trophy Final in a couple of weeks’ time, and a replay of last year’s final, but this time Durham prevailed.

Former Riders’ star Dee Hayward haunted her former teammates, finishing up with 14 points and 10 assists.

The game was very tight early on with Riders just edging the first quarter 19-16.

And neither team could get on top in the second period, as Riders went into half-time with a 39-36 edge.

But led by Hayward, Durham took control in the third period, dominating it 24-15.

Riders fought back and were only down 2 points midway through the final period, but Durham then pulled away for the win.

Captain Kate Oliver was superb for Riders with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while American guard Brea Elmore top scored with 21 points, while pulling down 8 rebounds and dishing out 7 assists.

Christina Gaskin also contributed 11 rebounds and 9 assists, but Riders were let down by their long range shooting, making just 4 threes from 26 attempts.

The Riders return to action at the Loughborough Netball Centre on March 22nd when they take on the Oaklands Wolves, CLICK HERE to purchase tickets!

Report: Riders Women bounce back with impressive win over Cardiff

Leicester Riders women bounced back from their defeat last week at Durham by winning easily on the road at Cardiff Met Archers 84-61.

Riders started the game with a vengeance completely dominating the opening period 29-12.

Jen Ashton opened the scoring with a three and Sarah Hinriksdottir hit two more as Riders raced into an 11-3 lead.

Ella Clark hit a further two threes in a row to extend Riders big lead.

Cardiff bounced back in the second period to contain Riders somewhat but at halftime Riders were cruising 47-26.

Any suggestions of a comeback by Cardiff were quickly dampened in the third quarter, as Hinriksdottir continued to score freely and Riders lead ballooned to 73-41.

Cardiff clawed back some respectability in the final quarter but the result was never in doubt.

Hinriksdottir led the way for Riders with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.

Riders guard Jen Ashton passed 500 WBBL career Championship points during the victory.

Christina Gaskin contributed 13 points and 8 rebounds while Kate Oliver added 10 points and 9 rebounds, as well as 6 assists.

Riders now prepare to defend their WBBL Trophy when they play Durham in the Final at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow this Sunday. Tickets are still available, call 0116 255 8635 or email [email protected] to book yours!