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!