Coach Patel is Coming Home

Krumesh Patel will be rejoining his hometown Club as the head coach for the WBBL Riders team and the Loughborough University 1st Team on a three-year Contract. 

Patel has spent the last two years in Sweden as the head coach of the Wetterbygden Sparks. Prior to his stint in Sweden he played a major role in the Riders organisation. After graduating from the University of Leeds, Patel spent nine years at the club starting as a community coach, Head of Academy and then the Head Coach for the WBBL team. In 2018-19 Patel led the WBBL, WEABL and U18 youth programs to a 48-6 record, winning many National Championships including the WBBL Trophy and WEABL.

On his return to the Riders and journey over the last two years, Patel commented: 

“I’m Excited to come back home, it’s been a great couple of years in Sweden! I was able to experience a new style of play against some good teams and coaches so it was a great move and allowed growth. I also had the privilege to meet and work with some really good people which am grateful for and will continue to build on those connections and relationships.”

“A chance presented itself to come back, and the timing was right with other factors falling in line to allow this opportunity to occur.”

“After speaking with Russell, the opportunity to comeback to help move the program forwards and build towards Europe in the long term was extremely appealing!”

Patel finished saying “to be back in my hometown around familiar faces, friends and family is a great feeling.”

Managing Director of the Leicester Riders, Russell Levenston Commented: 

“It is great to have Krumesh return to the club. He was instrumental in building our Women’s programme and we look forward to him returning to take the programme to the next level. He is a very experienced coach who knows our club really well and I believe he is the right person to lead the Riders Women’s programme over the next three years.” 

“He has gained some really valuable experience over the last few years while coaching in Sweden and I believe we are getting an even better coach than when he left two years ago. We both have similar ambitions for the Women’s programme both on and off the court”

Patel’s immediate focus will be to look at recruitment for the 2022-23 season and utilise the off-season months to build the Women’s programme ready for pre-season training starting in August.

Riders Job opportunities

Leicester Riders have some new opportunities to join their programme. We are looking for a Physiotherapist/Sports Therapist, Physiotherapy Internship and four Strength & Conditioning Interns.

Physiotherapist/Sports Therapist
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Physiotherapy Internship
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Strength & Conditioning Work Experience/Intern (x4)
Download job description

Riders thank Marg Jones

Marg Jones, who started the season as Women’s Head Coach for the Riders Charnwood Academy, seamlessly stepped in to lead the Riders WBBL programme after the departure of Derrick Washington. Jones brought her vast coaching experience to the WBBL side and led the team through the regular league season to the 2022 play-off quarter-finals against Nottingham Wildcats.

On her reflection of the 2022 season, Jones said:

‘’I’m very proud of the successes of the Women’s program this season, both from a team and individual athlete perspective. The team finishing 4th in the league, in what proved to be one of the most competitive seasons in WBBL league history, was a huge accomplishment.’’

In what can only be described as a challenging start for Jones due to coming in part way through the season, her positivity and developmental focus towards women’s basketball saw Charnwood Academy and Loughborough University students integrated into the fold and cohesion formed in a top-down club approach.

‘’Like all teams, we faced adversity through Covid and untimely injuries and of course this was compounded by the early season coaching change. The athletes responded to each challenge with positivity and professionalism and should be extremely proud of their accomplishments.’’

‘’I am appreciative of the opportunity to have led the Riders Women’s program this past season and will be working closely with athletes and staff to build a succession plan for the 22-23 season.’’ – Marg Jones

In conjunction with taking the reins of the WBBL side, Jones also stepped in as Head Coach for the Loughborough University’s Women’s BUCS 1st team. The team finished their BUCS campaign in the play-offs semi-final against Essex.

Managing Director Russell Levenston commented “ I’d like to thank Marg for stepping up and taking on a really important role for us this season. Her passion for the game has really helped us move the women’s programme forward and she is leaving our WBBL and University women’s programme in a much better place than she found it. Marg will now work with the team and new coach to lay the foundations for the future. “

The Leicester Riders would like to thank Marg for taking on the WBBL Head Coach role with short notice and stepping up at a time when the programme needed strong coaching leadership. The club would like to recognise the hard work that has gone into the 2021-22 season WBBL campaign and the passion that Jones brings to the WBBL and `Riders Women’s programme. More announcements to follow, about who will take over the reins for the WBBL and Loughborough University team.

RIDERS 69 – 81 WILDCATS

Sunday’s action saw the Riders take on the Nottingham Wildcats in the first round of the WBBL Playoffs in a win or go home thriller. Both teams fought valiantly and it was the Wildcats who prevailed 81-69. The Riders showed tremendous effort throughout. 

Both Oceana Hamilton and Hannah Robb had 19 points. They were a two headed monster for this Riders team as Hamilton owned the paint on both ends and Robb, who poured in jump shot after jump shot. 

From the start, Nottingham came out hot behind a flurry of long range shots and smothering defense. Nottingham continued throughout the first half on this pace, though the Rider’s defense held the Wildcats to 17 second quarter points in comparison to the first quarters’ 27. 

As the Riders headed to the locker room for half time they trailed 44-28. With their season on the line, the Riders came back out as a team on a mission. They won the third quarter 25-11 to bring the lead to 53-55. For a team that trailed by 19 at one point, their ability to rally and re-enter this game was the antithesis of the heart this team plays with. 

Nottingham was able to rally in the fourth and beat the Riders 81-69. Though their season is over it was far from a failure. When asked about the season head coach Marg Jones said this…

“The league has demonstrated a tremendous amount of parity this season and for our young team to finish top 4 in the standings is a testament to the determination, perseverance and hard work of the players” 

Even though the outcome was not what they had wished for there are no heads down in the Rider’s locker room. They are proud of the basketball they played and played down to the last buzzer. 

Personally, I’ve followed this team for a while and they played this season with passion. Their unselfish identity, defensive versatility and intensity accompanied by a never give up mindset. The Riders had a fantastic season and I can’t wait to see them come back with the same heart next season. 

Congratulations to the Nottingham Wildcats for advancing to the next round of the playoffs, and congratulations to the Riders who played a fantastic season. 

Match report written by Rob Field.

2022 Play-Off tees available Sunday!

Our 2022 Play-off tees are available for collection from 11.30am on Sunday, ahead of the WBBL game against Nottingham Wildcats (at 12pm) and BBL home Play-off Quarter Final versus Plymouth City Patriots (at 4pm).

A huge thank you to our tees sponsors – Jelson Homes, Torr Waterfield, Premier Logistics, Mather Jamie, 5or6, bespoke LED and RDL Technologies for supporting this years’ tees and covering the costs. This generosity means that all donations this year will go to the Riders Foundation.

The tees give a nod to Eric Robertson who sadly passed away this year, with Robertson 22 on the back of the tee.

The club can also confirm that your BBL ticket will also get you into the WBBL fixture. You can buy tickets here.

BBL confirm entertainment for Play- Off Final

With just over two weeks of epic action still to take place on the court to confirm the teams that will be contesting the British Basketball League (BBL) Play-off Finals at London’s 02 Arena, the BBL is delighted to announce the special guest performances that’ll take place during the event.

Concluding an epic season of action with this showpiece event in the capital on Sunday, May 15th , it has been announced that UK artist and producer Ayo Beatz will perform during the half-time show during the BBL Final, and UK dance group Flawless will perform during the interval of the WBBL
Final.

Ayo Beatz has produced records for some of the biggest artists in the world, such as Jason Derulo, Labrinth and Wiley, with his recent hits including ‘Habits’ in collaboration with Wes Nelson. Flawless were finalists of Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 and have since gone on to develop a leading reputation for their high-energy and exciting performances.

Between both finals will be the BBL Slam Dunk Contest, featuring some of most talented high-flyers in the world, including:

  • 2021 FIBA 3×3 World Tour Final Dunk Contest winner, Piotr ‘Grabo’ Grabowski from Poland
  • The best dunker in Britain, Joel ’The Royal Guard’ Henry
  • Europe’s most promising dunking prospect – 21-year-old Bartek Szwed from Poland
  • Leicester Riders’ Chris Yapo, who starred in the BBL Cup Final Dunk Contest

Tickets are continuing to sell fast for this fantastic event in London, and you can get yours at https://bit.ly/3vjdqwO

RIDERS DOUBLE-HEADER WEEKEND

The weekend saw the Riders take on the Sevenoak Suns and Cardiff Met Archers on back to back days. On Friday the Sevenoaks Suns outlasted the Riders with a 62-42 win, but the Riders bounced back on Saturday to defeat the Cardiff Met Archers 88-58.

Against Sevenoaks the Riders struggled from the field, only shooting 22%. Though it should be mentioned that the Rider’s signature defense held the Suns to only 37% from the field. 

The Riders found themselves just behind the Suns throughout the whole game, despite three Riders scoring in double figures they just couldn’t manage to find the bottom of the basket. Three Suns also scored in double figures but they found themselves edging the Riders out and winning the game.

Against the Archers the Riders learnt from their loss. Scoring over double the points they scored against Sevenoaks. They were led by Makana Stone who had 21 points and 7 rebounds. Combine that with beautiful all-around games from the rest of the team and you have the blueprint for a convincing Riders victory. 

They maintained their defensive intensity and used that momentum to propel their offensive games to new heights. When the Riders play like they did on Saturday, they’re near unstoppable. 

Key difference-maker Hannah Robb had a monstrous starling of 7 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists and 7 steals! The Riders were clicking on all cylinders. The Riders beat the Archers in every hustle stat. Including 25 bench points to the Archers 9. It was clear from the first quarter that the Riders would have control of the game. 

If this weekend’s action proves anything for this team is that they can learn from their mistakes and always bounce back. Though as the playoffs loom ahead the Riders are going to have to lock in and be the team we know they can be. 

The Riders continue to keep their heads held high. Sitting with a 14-8 record they hold the 4 seed and are definitely a team to look out for come playoff time. Keep the energy up ladies.

Match Report written by Rob Field

RIDERS 75 – 65 EAGLES

Monday Night’s action saw the Newcastle Eagles take on the Leicester Riders at home. This game was defined by defense and hustle from both sides as both teams gave it their all. The Riders were led by Oceana Hamilton (21 Points, 12 Rebounds) and Anna Lappenküper (15 points, 8 Assists).

Immediately after the game started the Riders came out strong, opening with a 19-4 run in the first 6 minutes of play. The Riders were able to use their size advantage to attack the paint behind the dynamic duo of Makana Stone and Oceana Hamilton. The Riders closed out the first quarter leading 20-9. 

In the second quarter, the Rider’s defense was phenomenal, so good in fact the Eagles didn’t score a single field goal into the final seconds of the 2nd quarter. However, the Eagles did find themselves at the foul line quite consistently and managed to score 12 points in the second. 

However, behind a stellar first half from Anna Lappenküper, the Riders scored 26 second quarter points to extend their lead to 25 as they entered halftime 46-21. 

Coming out of halftime the Eagles came out very strong, matching the Riders blow for blow in a contested third quarter. However, behind their early lead, the Riders managed to hold on to their 25 point lead as the fourth quarter approached. 

In the fourth, the Eagles came back quickly attempting to close the lead. Team captain for the Eagles Marina Fernandez Pardo had a quick 10 points in the fourth and cut the Rider’s lead down to a 10 point deficit with 2 minutes left to play.

The Riders were able to bounce back and hold off their opposition as they held them scoreless in the final minutes to hold them off and win the game. The Riders closed the game out with a 75-65 point win. 

Once again the Riders excelled behind their team play with 4 players in double-digit scoring numbers. Their defense was once again locked in and despite the Eagle’s best efforts came out with the win to bring their record to 13-7 on the season. 

Match report written by Rob Field.

RIDERS 91 – 78 WILDCATS

Saturday’s action saw the Leicester Riders take on the Nottingham Wildcats. It was a stellar contest headlined by Leicester’s two-headed monster of Oceana Hamilton (22 points, 8 rebounds) and Hannah Robb (21 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds) who led the way to the win despite Wildcats’ Brooklyn Pannell pouring in 33 points. 

In the first quarter, both teams struggled to gain a lead over the other, going back and forth throughout the first. Oceana Hamilton and Makana Stone both came out quickly for the Riders as they managed to come out of the first quarter with a 19-17 lead.

The second quarter commenced and the Riders began to gain some momentum. Led by Louise Rouse (16 points off the bench) and Hannah Robb came alive to spark some offense. The Riders used their stellar team play on both ends of the floor to climb to a 45-35 point lead going into halftime. 

Coming out of halftime the Wildcats were looking to close the gap and slowly crawled back into the game. Even taking the lead 61-60 with a minute left to play in the third. However, the Riders rallied and came back to take a 64-61 lead with only the fourth quarter remaining. 

As the fourth quarter commenced the Riders looked locked in quickly going on a 6-0 run over the first 3 minutes of play. After establishing a comfortable lead the Riders were able to keep the Wildcats at bay as they held them to only 17 points in the quarter compared to 27 points of their own. 

The Riders edged out the Wildcats to win 91-78. Once again the Riders won as a team with 5 players scoring in double figures and extending their record to 12-7. It was a great game and a great win.

Match report written by Rob Field

RIDERS 80 – 84 REBELS

Sunday’s 5pm action saw the Leicester Riders taking on the Essex Rebel’s at home. It was an intense back and forth battle but ultimately the Rebels came out on top despite the Riders best efforts. 

Star Performers for the Riders include Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus with 16 points and Oceana Hamilton who stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Riders excelled on defense and used their size advantage to dominate the paint, but it was the perimeter shooting of Essex that allowed them to pull ahead and take the win. 

In the first the Riders looked dominant. Springing ahead to a quick 16-6 lead halfway through the first. Essex, however, were able to gather themselves and over the next 5 minutes bring the game back to only a 5 point deficit, 30-25 lead for the Riders as the first quarter closed. 

The second quarter wasn’t very pretty for the Riders as they went scoreless for the first 5 minutes. However, they were able to rally behind their full-court pressure leading points off of turnovers and scored 16 points in the last 5 minutes of the first half. 

However, their drought in the first half of the quarter allowed Essex to gain momentum and take the lead in the half. At Halftime Essex leads by 3, 49-46.

Coming out of halftime both teams seemed rejuvenated on the defensive end, both teams fought for good looks and whenever a team would manage to score it seemed the other would come down and answer with a bucket of their own. 

Despite the best efforts of Makana Stone and Oceana Hamilton in the third Essex managed to hold onto their lead as they entered the fourth quarter ahead by 2, 63-61. 

In the fourth both teams continued their heated battle. But behind Essex’s Ashleigh Munns’ stellar performance from behind the three-point arc, Essex had brought their lead up to 6 with 2:20 left to play, 78-72. 

The Riders called a timeout and came out swinging, behind clutch mid-range shots from Hannah Robb and Anna Lappenküper brought the game within 2 points, but another Ashleigh Munns three-pointer put the Riders down 6 with a minute left to play. 

The Riders were forced to intentionally foul and free throws from the Rebels kept their lead at 6 points with 22 seconds to play. The Riders brought the ball down and Makana Stone hit a clutch contested three with 6 seconds left to play bringing the lead down to 3, but it proved too little too late as they were forced to foul and the Rebels put them away at the free throw line. Essex wins 84-80.

An unfortunate loss for the Riders who were right at the brink of taking this game, but unfortunately there’s only so much time on the clock and Essex were able to outlast the Riders. Phenomenal effort from the Riders women as they look to bounce back against the Wildcats on April 9th. 

Match report written by Rob Field.

PALATINATES 85 – 70 RIDERS

The Leicester Riders took on the Durham Palatinates in a tight, back and forth contest which saw the Riders losing 85-70 after they were unable to answer the second half run of the Palatinates. 

The Riders were off to a quick start in the first, behind good efficiency and a balanced scoring effort they managed to gain a quick lead whilst holding the Palatinates at bay with their stellar team defense. 

The Riders shared the ball well as they attacked the rim. Their team coordination gave them an edge and their first quarter efforts put them up 21-14 as they entered the second quarter. 

The Palatinates opened the second with a run of their own. They came back to tie the game up 29-29 with 4 minutes left to play in the second. In those last 4 minutes, Alison Lewis put up 6 points and a three point dagger by Brooklynn Mcalear-Fanus to close the half put the riders up 34-39. 

The third quarter commenced and both teams were looking to make their move to take and maintain a lead. The Palatinates came out quick and tied the game up, both teams took turns going back and forth with the lead. 

If the Palatinates hit a three, the Riders would come down and match it with one of their own. However, the Palatinates pulled ahead in the last 2 minutes of the third to put them up 61-56 behind a flurry of three point shots. 

Going into the fourth a quick Makana Stone layup and Alison Lewis 3 pointer tied the game up with 8 minutes to play in the fourth. Both teams again took turns fighting for the lead and tied the game 3 more times in the fourth. 

Both teams went scoreless from the 5 minutes mark till the 3:30 mark when the Palatinates began a scoring onslaught to take a commanding lead and finish the game strong. They were led by Goretti Hurtado Barbeito who had 25 points and Katie Bennet who had 18 points and 12 assists. 

The final buzzer sounded with a score of 85-70, but don’t let the final score fool you. This game was tied until the final 3 minutes when one team’s shots fell and the others didn’t. The Riders put up a great fight. Alison Lewis had 15 points off the bench and another double double from Oceana Hamilton headlined the Rider’s efforts. 

It was a tough loss, but a good fight. Go get ’em next time Riders!

Match Report written by Rob Field

RIDERS v WOLVES DOUBLEHEADER

The Leicester Riders and Oaklands Wolves faced a double header this weekend, one game played in each teams respectives arena’s. Both times though the Riders came out on top in convincing fashion behind the Riders unselfish offense and phenomenal defense. 

In their first face off the Riders took off, coming out with a 12-0 run in the first 5 minutes of play. From the moment the game started the Riders simply just executed better on both ends of the floor. Using their smart defensive rotations and fluid ball movement to solidify a lead against the Wolves. As they exited the first quarter with a 20-9 lead. 

The second quarter was more of the same. As the Riders again kept their foot on the gas, once again holding the Wolves scoreless for the first four and a half minutes of second quarter action. The wolves managed to put together a run of their own and try to close the gap against the Riders, but back to back three’s from Emihear Morris and Brooklynn Mcalear helped to stop their run and let the Riders sit comfortably going into the half with a 37-26 point lead. 

The third quarter commenced some back and forth action between both teams. The Riders attacked the paint and picked up extra points at the free throw line to hold the Wolves back despite their success from behind the three point arc. The Riders shot 9/9 from the free throw line in the third and success at the rim helped to elevate their lead even further to 58-39 as they entered the fourth quarter. 

The fourth quarter was all Riders as their offense clicked and they poured in 25 fourth quarter points compared to the Wolves 8. Everyone was hitting their shots and their defense was once again phenomenal. If this team has demonstrated anything it’s that they are a solid unit. Their ability to put ego aside and all work together with the goal to win is stellar to watch. 

5 Riders scored in double figures and Oceana Hamilton notched another double double with a 12 point 12 rebound effort. Brooklyn Mcalear once again proved herself as a floor general as she put up 15 points 8 assists and 3 steals. Overall a fantastic effort for the Riders, as they headed back home to face the Wolves once again.

With only a night’s rest both teams geared up and prepared to face each other once again. And once again it was the Riders who propelled ahead and took charge of this game. The Rider’s dominated behind both Oceana Hamilton and Hannah Robb’s double doubles. 

The first quarter was a more contested contest, both teams went shot for shot as they traded baskets up into the halfway point of the first. The Riders composed themselves and found their groove, as they began to take the momentum and close out the first quarter on top 17-12 for the Riders.

The second quarter was highlighted by the defense of the Riders as they continued to get stops and make their shots at the other end. The rim was wide open for the Riders as three’s, two’s and free throws continued to find the bottom of the rim behind 22 second quarter points. Their efforts extended their lead to 14 as they entered the half leading 39-25.

Third quarter action was more of the same as the Riders came out with a flurry of jump shots and defensive stops. Once again the Rider’s ball movement and unselfish culture fueled their efforts and helped them to build and maintain their lead. They poured in 24 points this quarter and held the Wolves to 7. Putting them up 31 as they entered the fourth, 63-32.

In the fourth the Riders held onto their lead and continued to operate as a fine tuned machine. Scoring 19 points and holding the Wolves to 9. It was again the whole team that worked together to win the game, 82-41. 

Both games this weekend the hustle, discipline and execution of the Riders propelled them ahead in back to back contests. It was a phenomenal display of teamwork and coaching. Excellent wins, Riders!

Match report written by Rob Field

RIDERS 57-SUNS 74

Sunday’s Trophy Semi Final saw the Leicester Riders take on the Sevenoak Suns in a gritty, defensive minded game that was decided by both teams ability to defend the other. It was well fought but the Rider’s couldn’t overcome the Suns and lost the game 74-57.

The Game began on equal footing. It was evident that the Suns were focusing their defensive efforts on slowly down Oceana Hamilton as she was quickly doubled whenever she received the ball in the post. The Suns came out fast using off ball screens along with their size advantage to attack the rim and gain a quick advantage. 

The Riders managed to stay close and with a three to beat the first quarter buzzer by team captain Anna Lappenkuper the Riders found themselves only facing a 5 point deficit going into the second with a score of 18-13. 

The second quarter again opened as a defensive battle, both teams being scoreless in the first 2 minutes of play, but once the Suns got one to fall the others followed as they went on a quick 9 point run to pull further ahead of the Riders. The Riders had no answer on offense and found themselves struggling to score

Their defense was great and their offensive movement was beautiful but unfortunately the shots just weren’t falling for the riders as they fell behind 18, as the Suns led 39-21 going into halftime.

Coming out of halftime the Riders were looking to build momentum and begin to chip away at the lead but they were matched by the scoring of the Suns. The Suns perimeter shooting helped them to build their lead as they marched through the 3rd quarter. 

The Riders were attacking inside and the Suns were attacking on the perimeter which allowed them to build their lead even more to 25 points going into the fourth.

The Riders girls never go out without a fight and began to storm back into this game in the fourth, quick back to back three’s for Hannah Robb. The Riders took this spark of momentum and pushed the game all the way back to a 12 point deficit. They left it all out on the floor and after a Suns timeout they came back and began to execute once again on offense and retake the game.

Through a barrage of perimeter shooting from the Suns the Riders were put away. Losing the game 74-57. However the girls should keep their head high, it was a tough match and well fought. The Riders forced more turnovers, had more points off turnovers and more second chance points but the shots just weren’t falling, but these girls always come back.

Watch the Riders in action on Sunday 4pm as they take on Oaklands Wolves. Buy Tickets Here

Match report written by Rob Field

Basketball Stands Together

BBL and WBBL clubs unite to show solidarity in support of Ukraine.

The British Basketball League (BBL) and its 23 Men’s and Women’s clubs will stand together over the next five days in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, showing support at all matches from March 4th-9th.

The thoughts of the British Basketball community are with all of those who have been impacted by the Russian’s invasion of the Ukraine and we unequivocally reject Russia’s actions and wish to show our support for the people of Ukraine

As such the BBL’s Men’s and Women’s teams will all take part in 24 seconds of reflection and a show of solidarity before tip-off at each game between March 4th-9th. 

Clubs will also show the blue and yellow colours of the Ukrainian flag with the wording ‘Basketball Stands Together’ on screens at their arenas.

This message of solidarity will also be visible to the BBL’s global fanbase across our digital channels, as logos and profiles on those platforms will change to represent the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

Riders add Lewis to the Roster.

Leicester Riders are pleased to announce the signing of US guard Alison Lewis.

Lewis will be added to the roster and make her debut this Saturday in the Riders WBBL Championship clash in Scotland against the Caledonia Pride.

Alison played 50 games for the University of Delaware and after leaving the Fightin Blue Hens she has gone on to have successful pro spells in both Norway and Luxembourg.

She arrives in the East Midlands having averaged 25.3ppg, 8.7rpg, 3.9apg during a 15 game spell with Les Sangliers Wooltz in the Luxembourg-LBBL.

Lewis commented:

“I’m very excited about joining the Riders and I look forward to contributing to a winning season. I plan to bring energy and scoring to help the team continue in their successes on the court”

Coach Marg Jones added:

“We are delighted to welcome Alison to the Riders program. She has been training very hard with us for a week now following her season in Luxembourg and is settling in great.”

“Alison brings additional perimeter scoring to our team along with being a tenacious defender, so obviously fits in very well with the Riders style of play. We’re really looking forward to having her on court with us this weekend against Caledonia”

REBELS 90-96 RIDERS

Leicester Riders produced a scintillating comeback to beat the Essex Rebels 96-90 in a thrilling shoot out at the Essex University on Sunday.

Trailing by as many as 14 in the third quarter the Riders were led by the back court duo of Anna Lappenkuper & Brooklyn McAlear Fanus who combined for 37 second half points to secure a crucial win and move them to 5-2 in the WBBL Championship.

The free scoring Rebels were heading into the game on the back of a four game winning streak while the Riders were unbeaten in three.

The first quarter served as taster of what was to come as both offenses were dominant as the teams combined for 49 points, with Essex up by one.

The Rebels began to wrestle control in the second quarter and took that quarter 23-18 to enter the locker rooms up by six at the half.

It was the Rebels who again started the stronger in the third period and were looking dominant as they led 67-53 with just 3 minutes remaining in the quarter but Riders closed the quarter with a 12-0 run.

An early three pointer in the fourth quarter extended the hosts lead to 75-69 with 8 minutes left but Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus responded by scoring five in a row. This was the point where German guard Lappenkuper took over the game. She scored 11 consecutive points for the Riders and 17 fourth quarter points in total as she guided her team to an impressive win.

Lappenkuper finished with a WBBL best of 35 points shooting 75% from the field to go along with 4 assists. Her back court partner McAlear-Fanus also weighed in with 19 points & 6 rebounds while centre Oceana Hamilton had 12 points and a huge 18 rebounds as well as 4 blocks.

The Riders attention now turns to a WBBL Cup Semi Final clash up in Newcastle on Saturday evening (7pm Tip off) as they continue their defence of the trophy they won last year.

Watch the Riders Women in action on Sunday 4pm as they take on Durham Palatinates. Buy Tickets Here

RIDERS 83-54 PRIDE

Leicester Riders moved to 3-2 in the WBBL Championship with an 83-54 win over the Caledonia Pride at Loughborough University on Saturday night.

Riders were made to weather a Pride onslaught at the start of the game as the visitors came out firing to lead 17-3 after less than 5 minutes. The hosts responded with a 12-2 run of their own as Hannah Robb and Oceana Hamilton shared eight unanswered points as they closed the quarter trailing 17-23.

Riders were able to assert control from that point on as they won the second and third quarters by a combined score of 48-12 as Hamilton and Louise Rouse proved problematic inside for the Pride team.

Hamilton finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists & 3 steals. Hannah Robb again excelled with another great all around performance with 16 points, 8 assists & 6 steals while Louise Rouse and Anna Lappenkuper both had good scoring nights with 17 & 15 respectively.

Head Coach Marg Jones was delighted to get her first win since taking over the reins:

“I was really pleased with how we were able to tighten up our defence after the first quarter and push through a few offensive issues that we had at the start of the game. Our defence was definitely what turned it around for us and as the girls settled into the new system, they began to show a lot of confidence and composure.”

“With the changes that have happened over the last week, the girls have been amazing. They have been patient and incredibly supportive as we try to tweak some of our systems. Tonight we had a great energy from everyone on the bench.”

“We have a break now before our next game and we have lots to work on. We will use it as a mini camp to try to get a better understanding of what some our offensive strengths are and to tighten up on our defensive strategies.”

Riders are not in WBBL action again until November 21st when they host the Gloucester City Queens. You can buy your tickets HERE

EAGLES 51-59 RIDERS

Leicester Riders produced an astonishing second half comeback on the road to beat the Newcastle Eagles 59-51 in their WBBL Championship encounter.

Playing short handed the Riders showed tremendous character and togetherness as they turned around a 12 point half time deficit to win the second half by 20 points.

A victory looked highly unlikely as the Eagles took advantage of a stuttering Riders offense in the first half. The Eagles jumped out to an early lead with at 10-2 run including 8 points from former Rider Ebony Horton as the Riders were held to just 5 first quarter points.

The second quarter followed a similar pattern as the Riders couldn’t find any fluidity on the offensive end and the hosts extended their lead to 28-16 at the half.

Riders sparked into life in the third quarter led by an inspired display by Hannah Robb. It was her two quick three’s either side of buckets by Oceana Hamilton and Katie Januszewska that saw the Riders begin to claw things back with an 8-0 run.

Another 10-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter saw the Riders hit the lead for the first time. This time it was Louise Rouse who was the catalyst as she connected twice from distance as the Riders made a game changing charge. Eagles seemed unable to respond as Riders poured in 25 fourth quarter points to gain a morale boosting win and move to 2-2 in Championship play.

Robb led the Riders with a courageous 23 points, 8 rebounds & 5 assists. Makana Stone & Januszewska both had 10 points, while Oceana Hamilton scored 8 points to go with her 13 rebounds.

Riders are back at home this Saturday as they host the Caledonia Pride under the stewardship of new head coach Marg Jones.

Tip off is 7pm at Loughborough University and tickets are available to buy by clicking HERE

Jones takes charge in WBBL, Parr Returns & Moodey gets promoted

Leicester Riders can confirm that Marg Jones has taken charge of the WBBL side.

The experienced Jones takes the reins after it was announced that Derrick Washington and the club agreed to part company.

“We decided to make a change and it was a no-brainer for us to hand over the reins for the WBBL team and Loughborough University to Marg,” commented Riders Managing Director Russell Levenston.

“Marg has been with the club previously and the program is in great hands moving forward. We are excited to be able to offer the role to Marg and for her to continue to build on the foundations we already have in place. I feel we have a great coaching team to support the academy programmes and teams moving forward”

“The girls have had a solid start to the season and we believe we can be very successful year in all competitions.”

Jones has previously assisted the Great Britain U20s national team, coached at various levels within Canadian basketball as well as assisting the WBBL with the Riders. Most recently Jones has coached the WNBL Division One women’s side and in the academy program.

Marg Jones commented “I am excited and honoured for the opportunity to be head coach of the Riders Women’s WBBL Program. The team this year is incredibly talented with a mixture of youth and experience. Success is always a collaborative effort and our coaching staff will work with the leadership and experience of our players to continue the legacy of Riders success in the WBBL.”

Riders are also announcing that Oli Parr will be rejoining the club and will support as an assistant for Marg and support in coaching the academy programme.

Oli Parr commented “I’m glad to be back involved with the Riders organisation, really excited to work with all levels of the programme and bring that energy everyday”

Nick Moodey will take over as the women’s Division 1 head coach from Marg as well as continue to assist Marg at WBBL and within the academy.

Nick Moodey commented “I am really excited for the opportunity to head coach the Division 1 team for the remainder of the season. I have been around the team since the start of the season and I am really grateful to have the opportunity to coach such a talented group of players and hope to build on the successful start to the season the team has had.”

Leicester Riders would like to thank Derrick for his work over the last three months and wish him all the best in his future career.

RIDERS 74- 77 HATTERS

Leicester Riders slipped to a 74-77 defeat at home to the Sheffield Hatters in the WBBL Championship. For the second home game running the outcome wasn’t decided until the final seconds of yet another thrilling game.

The encounter was only 8 seconds old when Georgia Gayle nailed a three as the visitors started brighter racing into a 11-6 lead. Riders mounted a fightback led by Chelsea Jennings’ 9 first quarter points as Riders trailed 20-23 after the first quarter.

It was the home side who came out firing at the start of the second quarter as Louise Rouse had 7 points in a 15-4 run that saw Sheffield call time out with the Riders up 35-27.

Sheffield were able to trim the lead to 41-38 going into the break with Helen Naylor scoring 7 second quarter points.

It was Naylor again to the fore as she opened the third quarter with back to back three pointers to give the Hatters the lead. From that point on the there was never more than one shot in the game as the teams exchanged the lead multiple times.

With 3 minutes to go Riders were hoping a 68-65 lead would prove crucial but four in a row from Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee would again give the visitors the edge.

Hatters Ariona Gill scored both sides of an Oceana Hamilton bucket and the Riders were forced into foul mode. Gayle & Naylor ultimately kept their cool from the line and secured the Hatters a first win in Leicester since January 2016.

Riders will be buoyed by the performance of Jennings who had 20 points and 7 assists. Anna Lappenkuper scored 16 & Makana Stone 13. Oceana Hamilton was again impressive on the boards grabbing 19 rebounds to go with her 8 points.

Riders will look to return to winning ways as they head north on Saturday to face the Newcastle Eagles in a Championship game that is also a dress rehearsal for their upcoming WBBL Cup Semi Final.

RIDERS V HATTERS PREVIEW

Leicester Riders look to return to winning ways in the WBBL Championship as they host the high-flying Sheffield Hatters at Loughborough University this Sunday (4pm).

Riders will be looking to build on their performance in the first three quarters against the London Lions last week. While the Hatters who have returned to the WBBL having had a year out are unbeaten in both WBBL Cup & League action this season.

Sheffield look to pose plenty of offensive threats with Helen Naylor back in the ranks after spending last year with the Manchester Met Mystics. GB guard Nicolette Fong Lyew Quee made the same move in the summer and seems to have settled in quickly as she racked up 23 points, 7 rebounds & 7 assists last week in the Hatters 33-point win over the Mystics.

Another returnee in shooting guard Georgia Gayle has started the season in fine form. She has hit 20 three pointers in her four outings in WBBL competition this term.

Throw into the mix three new American signings in the guise of playmaker Rebecca Cardenas. A big inside presence with Euro Cup experience in the shape of Nyilah Jamison- Myers as well as swingman Ariona Gill and the Hatters really do look like they mean business.

Riders will be encouraged by the performances of their new signings as Brooklyn McAlear-Fanus, Chelsea Jennings & Oceana Hamilton have all shown that they will be very useful acquisitions this season, but they’ll be aware that they will need a strong team performance across the board in what looks to be the stand out WBBL fixture of the week.

Buy tickets – Click here

RIDERS SUFFER LIONS DEFEAT

Leicester Riders suffered their first defeat of the WBBL season at the Copperbox on Sunday as they went down 85-53 to the London Lions.

The Riders were highly competitive for the first three quarters of this game but were on the end of a Lions blitz in the final quarter as the hosts dominated the final stanza 28-5.

Although trailing 44-33 at the break, Riders were led by Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus and Chelsea Jennings who had combined for 23 of the visitor’s points.

A third quarter rally and 15-3 run inspired by seven in a row from Anna Lappenkuper saw Riders close the gap to 6. Crucially there was one more score to come in third quarter and as the seconds ran down Holly Winterburn netted a long distance three to extend the lead at the end of the third to nine points.

Ultimately the quality and length of the London bench proved too much in the fourth quarter as the Lions were able to pull away convincing winners.

Former Rider Winterburn returned to haunt her former side as she had 21 points including 5/6 from three point range. Cassie Breen was also a perfect 4/4 from down town for the hosts.

There were plenty of positives for the Riders to take. McAlear-Fanus finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Chelsea Jennings had 16 points and 3 steals while Oceana Hamilton battled away on the boards grabbing 14 rebounds to go with her 6 points.

Riders return to action at Loughborough University on Sunday 17th October for a 4pm tip off as they take on the unbeaten Sheffield Hatters.

Buy Tickets : Riders Vs Hatters

RIDERS FACE LIONS CHALLENGE

The Leicester Riders hit the road on Sunday as they face the London Lions in WBBL Championship action.

Both teams enter the contest having progressed undefeated through their respective WBBL Cup groups and both having won their opening league game last week, although in very different circumstances.

While the Lions were completing a routine 54 point win up in Caledonia, the Riders had to wait until the last 2 seconds of the game before snatching the win against the Nottingham Wildcats.

Despite retaining the side that won both the WBBL Trophy and the Play Offs last year, the Lions have strengthened immeasurably as they embraced the challenge of European competition this season.

There will be familiar faces on the opposite bench as former Riders Holly Winterburn and Azania Stewart both now suit up as Lions.

Riders did take both League games against the Lions in the last campaign but coach Derrick Washington is well aware of the size of the task in front of them:

“This is a game that we are looking forward to playing. We know what we must do. We are definitely going to need to hit shots down there as well as being strong defensively. It’s a good challenge for us and we’re excited to be playing them.”

Player of the game last week Hannah Robb added:

“London are obviously a really good team but we’re definitely up for the challenge. Its not something to be nervous about. It’s a great challenge and it’ll give us a look at where we are right now as a team and identify where we have to go moving forward.

RIDERS GRAB LAST GASP WIN

Leicester Riders opened their WBBL Championship season with a thrilling 55-53 win over local rivals the Nottingham Wildcats at Loughborough University on Saturday.

With Riders down by 2 with less than 30 seconds remaining, it was Hannah Robb who tied the game for the hosts. On the next possession, Wildcats Imani Whittingdon saw her shot rim out and Makana Stone got a crucial tip, diverting the ball to teammate Robb. With overtime looming It was Anna Lappenkuper’s drive to the basket and subsequent two free throws with only 1.8 seconds left, that won the game for the Riders.

The game had started with both teams struggling to convert good looks into points as they were locked 27-27 at the half.

The Wildcats looked to of made the crucial run with a 10-3 start to the third quarter as defences continued to dominate. However, Makana Stone hitting a three prompted a Riders response and along with scores from Chelsea Jennings & Hannah Robb the Riders clawed their way back into contention before the thrilling end to this fiercely fought encounter.

Hannah Robb led the Riders with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists & 3 steals and was quick to praise the Riders togetherness:

“It was a bit messy but we did a really good job of sticking with it as we’ve not been together that long. It was important that we tried to keep to what we do best and then to come out with a win was great.”

“We’re slowly coming together. It’s going to take time and we’ve had people coming in over the last couple of weeks so we’re still getting to know each other. The way we ground it out today shows what we are capable of as a team and we should only get better from here.”

Coach Derrick Washington was delighted with his team’s resilience:

“It was a real gritty win. Both teams struggled to score the ball but we were able to see it through. Our defence at the end of that fourth quarter really got us this win. Hannah Robb did an amazing job leading the team with 15 points & 11 Rebounds, she was all over the floor and every time we needed something she was there.”

“We also got some very important minutes for Chelsea Jennings as we continue to integrate her into our team, having only been here for a couple of weeks”

“It was a real team effort, the ladies stuck together and I’m very proud of them. We’re still in the infancy of this team. Everybody is still learning and today was a good test to see where we are.”

Riders are next in action with a trip on the road to face London Lions on Sunday 10th October

RIDERS BOOK SEMI FINAL PLACE

Leicester Riders have set up a WBBL Cup Semi Final against the Newcastle Eagles having won their Group C decider 77-46 against the Cardiff Met Archers.

With both teams having won their opening two games in the group, it was the Riders who blew the game open from start. Captain Brooklynn Mcalear-Fanus and Louise Rouse combined for 11 of the Riders first 13 points as the hosts were immediately able to put distance between themselves and the visitors. Mcalear-Fanus scored 10 first quarter points as the Riders finished the first quarter with a commanding 17 point lead at 25-8.

The Archers briefly rallied in the second quarter to reduce the deficit at the half, however any hopes of a comeback were soon dashed as the Riders won both the third and fourth quarters to keep their grip on the trophy they won last season.

Once again the contributions for the home team were well spread across the roster. Oceana Hamilton claimed a double double with 12 points & 14 rebounds. Anna Lappenkuper had 11 points, 4 assists & 6 steals while Louise Rouse had 14 points & 5 rebounds.

McAlear-Fanus who led from the front with 14 points & 7 assists commented:

“The game went really well, we stuck to our defensive principles which got us that result. We still have work to do on offence but we’re a new team so that’s going to come in time.

I missed our only pre-season game, so these three games have been massive for us as a group and I feel like we’ve improved each time we’ve stepped out on the floor.

It’s been a big adjustment but I can tell that the chemistry is coming along and the more we get to know each other and ask questions the sooner we will all be on the same page.”

Coach Derrick Washington was pleased with his team’s performance:

“We came out strong defensively from the first possession and were able to get up 9-0. The players were doing a great job of communicating as a team. Oceana rebounded the ball well, grabbing 14 boards along with her 12 points. It was nice to see Brooklynn have a good game and get double digits in scoring as well as distributing the ball well.

I feel like every day we’re getting better and every game we’re improving, so I’m really happy with how we are progressing right now and hope we can continue this.

We can now put the Cup to bed for a little while, but know that we can really look forward to that semi-final against Newcastle.

Focus now turns quickly to Nottingham and we need to stick to our principles and be ready to go to battle and execute our plans on both ends of the floor come Saturday.”

WBBL Championship action begins this weekend as the Riders open up with an East Midlands derby against the Nottingham Wildcats at Loughborough University on Saturday 2nd October with a 7pm tip off.

Tickets can be bought by clicking Riders Vs Wildcats

RIDERS OPEN WITH WIN DOUBLE

Leicester Riders kicked off the defence of their WBBL Cup with two wins against Oaklands Wolves and the Gloucester City Queens at Cardiff University over the weekend.

On Saturday Riders ground out a hard fought 57-48 win over the Oaklands Wolves.

With both teams struggling to find any fluency on offence the game had looked in the balance at the end of the third quarter with Riders up 39-36. However a 12-3 run at the start of the fourth quarter would prove crucial as Riders opened up a game high 12 point lead which the Wolves were unable to claw back.

Riders were led by Anna Lappenkuper who scored 14 points. Hannah Robb contributed 11 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists while Louise Rouse playing in her first game for the Riders and against her former side had 9 points and 8 rebounds.

Sunday’s game was slightly more routine as the Riders triumphed 81-46 over the WBBL’s newest franchise the Gloucester City Queens.

Riders jumped into an early lead and from that point on they never looked threatened. Dominating the battle of the boards, Riders were able to get off 41 more shots than their West Country opponents and won each of the four quarters.

Contributions came from across the roster with Louise Rouse again excelling with a double double of 14 points and 13 rebounds. Katie Januszewska scored 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in just 18 minutes of action, Anna Lappenkuper also contributed 12 points while Oceana Hamilton got 11 points along with 8 boards. All in all ten Riders got on the scoresheet.

Those two wins set up a winner takes all encounter with the Cardiff Met Archers at Loughborough University on Wednesday night, 7pm tip off. With the victor advancing to the Semi Finals of the WBBL Cup.

For tickets click HERE

RIDERS OPEN WITH DOUBLE HEADER

Leicester Riders open their 2021/22 WBBL season with two games this weekend in the group stages of the WBBL Cup.

The team will be heading to Cardiff where they will take on the Oaklands Wolves on Saturday and then the leagues newest franchise the Gloucester City Queens just 24 hours later.

With a new Head Coach in Derrick Washington and a very new look roster the Riders will be out to defend the competition that they won last season.

Riders pre-season finished with a 64-86 defeat at home to the Newcastle Eagles in a game that was played over five 10 minute quarters.

Riders were however missing two of their import players in point guard Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus who wasn’t risked after taking a knock in the week and Chelsea Jennings who only arrived on the day of the game. New signing Louise Rouse also sat out the game as a precaution.

Coach Washington admits his team may be a little under cooked at this stage:

“We are going to have to use these first cup games as a continuation of our pre-season and build for the rest of the season. We came out good against Newcastle but realistically we’ve only been able to practice together for two weeks. On top of that we were missing three players who we believe are going to be key for us this season and that made those crucial bench points a little tough for us.”

“We have this week to hopefully get Brooklynn and Louise back on court. Chelsea has just arrived, so we want to integrate her into the side and get her bonded with her teammates. With each session we need to increase that team chemistry and keep building.”

“We can’t look too much at the opposition right now. I’m focused on how we execute as a team both offensively and defensively. This is the first time that most of this group has played together and it takes time, but I believe as the weeks go by we are going to continually improve.”

“Any road trip is good to help build relationships and team spirit. This weekend will be a really good test for us as we move forward. “

Riders WBBL Intern Media Officer

Leicester Riders Women Basketball Club is offering voluntary work placement within its Media & Marketing team. The chosen applicant will gain valuable experience working in content and media creation within a professional basketball environment and have the chance to apply their academic knowledge within an applied setting. This opportunity will also aim to accelerate their studies, give practical experience in the workplace and increase employability on completion of their studies. 

Candidates will have the chance to gain experience and input their knowledge in the following areas:

  • Professional matchday media coverage.
  • Club communication.
  • Video planning, filming, editing and publishing.
  • Web and matchday programme article composition.
  • Social media content creation.
  • Player interviews.
  • Media and marketing campaigns.
  • Any other specific duties, as defined and agreed during setting developmental objectives.

Person Specification:

  • Must possess a genuine passion for basketball media.
  • Possess some knowledge of club media output.
  • Contribute to the creative process, turning ideas into practical content.
  • Must be currently working towards a media or similarly related qualification.
  • Willing to work matchdays.
  • Computer literacy but advanced editing skills are welcomed. 

Personal Qualities

  • Good communicator (written and oral skills).
  • Good judgement and uses own initiative.
  • Can work independently or as part of a team.
  • Highly organised and professional.
  • Reliable, well-rounded individual, willing to learn with a can-do attitude.
  • High expectation of self and others.
  • Trustworthy and reliable.
  • The role will be varied and will require a hardworking dedicated individual and in exchange we can guarantee that the experience you will gain from the role will stand you in great stead for any future career in the marketing industry.

To get the best from this opportunity, it is imperative that applicants can commit to the position for the entire 2021-2022 season. 

Suitable candidates will be interviewed on a first come first served basis and applicants that meet the above criteria will be interviewed as soon as possible. The role will remain open until a successful applicant has been appointed. Please send an email of interest to [email protected]

Lecuyer to step up for Riders

Sasha Lecuyer will step up and join the Leicester Riders roster for the 2020/21 WBBL Season.

The 19 year old guard who recently received her first international call up for the Malta Senior National side steps up to the WBBL squad having spent the past two years at Charnwood College.

Last season with the WNBL D1 Loughborough Riders she averaged 22 minutes with 5.3ppg, 3.0rpg & 2.0apg

Lecuyer commented:

“I can’t wait to be on court with all the new players and coaches. I’m really excited for the new season and looking forward to continuing to work hard and push forward for the new season. I’m delighted that my journey with Leicester Riders continues.”

Riders GM Russell Levenston added:

“It’s great to see a player come through the Riders system. Progressing from Charnwood College and going on to study at Loughborough while also moving up from D1 and being a part of the WBBL roster”

Jennings jets in for Riders

Leicester Riders have signed American wing Chelsea Jennings as they continue their preparations for the new WBBL Season.

Riders will be hoping that Jennings who is known as a versatile scorer, will play a big role both on and off the court for the WBBL Cup holders.

A college career with Texas A&M has been followed up with pro spells in Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Iceland.

Last year while playing for U.M.F Njardvik (Icleand-D1) she averaged 21.3ppg 7.5rpg & 2.9apg.

Jennings is looking forward to getting started:

“I am super excited about signing with the Riders. I am really looking forward to enjoying a great season.”

“This will be my 6th year as a pro and I hope to bring the team extra leadership as well as utilising my scoring ability to make the team successful. I also want to help develop our younger players and make all those around me better.”

“I would like to thank the Riders for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started with my new teammates”

Coach Washington commented:

“Chelsea is a dynamic two way player who can get the job done at both ends of the floor”

“She will bring experience and high energy to our team which is what we will need this season.”

“I’m excited as a coach to try and help Chelsea continue to grow as a player in her professional career.”

Riders sign centre Hamilton

Leicester Riders have added the signing of Canadian centre Oceana Hamilton as they continue to build their roster for the 2021/22 WBBL season.

Hamilton will add an extra inside ability to the new look Riders as she is known for her defensive attributes as well as being a post up offensive threat.

Her college career saw her play at Northwestern in the Big10, after two years at the University of Alabama. After her college days she has gone on to play pro in both Australia and Germany.

Last year with Capitol Basscats Dusseldorf she averaged 9.3ppg, 7.1rpg & 1.6bpg in DBBL2 Germany.

Hamilton said “I’m excited and looking forward to joining the Riders! I’m hoping to bring my international experience, post presence and winning mentality to this already competitive program”

Riders play caller Derrick Washington is looking forward to Hamilton’s arrival.

“Oceana will not only add height at 6’4 but she will be an offensive threat in the post and a huge presence for us on the defensive end around the basket”.

“Oceana will be another player that will bring a wealth of experience and help the team in a positive way both on and off the court”.

CORE OF FOUR ARE BACK FOR MORE

Leicester Riders are pleased to announce four returnees from last years squad.

Erin Hikin, Robyn Ainge, Katie Januszewska & Eimhear Morris will all suit up again for the Riders in the upcoming 2021/22 WBBL Season.

Hikin will enter her third season with Riders after previously being a member of the 2019/20 WBBL Trophy winning side and the 2020/21 WBBL Cup winning side.

Ainge, Januszewska and Morris will all be playing in their second season with the Riders. Ainge, who averaged 12.7ppg, 5.1rpg & 3.3apg for Loughborough Riders in WNBL D1 last year commented: “Last season was extremely tough for everyone in the league, but it was a great experience for my first WBBL season. I know what to expect now and feel as though my game has adjusted. I am really excited to get the season started again and hopefully win some trophies!!”

Januszewska who is an England & GB youth international saw her court time grow as the WBBL season progressed last term. KJ’s best game came in a win over the League Champions, the Sevenoaks Suns as she scored 16 points.

“I am excited for my second season in the WBBL and I feel I gained a lot of knowledge and experience from last season. I want to continue to build upon that this upcoming season. I am also looking forward to progressing further with my development as well as helping the team.”

Irish guard Morris will continue to combine her degree at Loughborough Uni with playing for the Riders. “I am extremely excited to see what this up-and-coming season has in store for us as a team. We have new coaches and teammates this season. its always nice to have a change but also good to see old faces. I can’t wait to get started and to continue my studies at Loughborough alongside competing.”

Rouse is a Rider

Louise Rouse has signed for the Leicester Riders ahead of the 2021/22 WBBL Season.

Rouse makes the switch to the East Midlands after two seasons with the Oakland Wolves where the 19 year old became a mainstay of their side.

Last year in WBBL Championship action she averaged 8.2ppg & 5.7rpg in nearly 25 minutes of action.

Rouse commented “I’m very excited to be joining the Riders this season.“

“I’ll have a great opportunity to develop my game at a top basketball program whilst also studying at a great university.“

“I hope to bring enthusiasm and drive to the team and a willingness to learn and improve every day“

Coach Washington is equally excited to add Rouse to his roster.

“We are very lucky to have a young exciting British player like Louise on our squad for the upcoming season.“

“ Louise has made great strides in her progress over the last couple of seasons and we aim to help her continue this at the Riders“

* Photo cred: Mansoor Ahmed

Stone Signs First Pro Deal

Makana Stone has signed her first professional contract with the Leicester Riders after having an impressive debut season playing in WNBL D1 for Loughborough Riders.

Stone was an almost ever-present figure in the Loughborough Riders team, playing 17 out of 19 games and receiving team of the year honours.

She had an immediate impact putting up double-doubles averaging 15.9PPG, 13.6RPG and 3.4SPG.

She also finished with the league’s third highest efficiency rating and played a key role in helping the Loughborough Riders go 13-6 to claim 3rd place in the league.

The former Whiteman College athlete commented

“Let’s gooo! I am so stoked to have signed with and spend another season with the Riders family. It has been a goal of mine to play professionally overseas.”

“As an NCAA D3 women’s basketball player it has taken a combination of regulation changes within BE/WBBL, my family and coaches unconditional love and support, and lots of personal development to be able to get here.”

“A lot has gone into the making of this opportunity and I am so ready to make the most of it!”

Stone added “I was blessed to be able to practice with the WBBL squad last season and I am so excited to level up and compete in this league.”

“I am really looking forward to officially contributing and being a part of the squad, playing alongside returners and welcoming some new faces!”

Riders GM Russell Levenston said “It is great to see Makana sign her first pro contract and remain within our programme set-up after a dominant season in the WNBL D1.”

“Makana is very hard working and carries herself well on and off the court, she is very deserving of this chance to showcase her ability at the highest level of the game in the UK. We are all excited to see Makana suit up for the Riders in the WBBL.”

Robb & Lappenkuper return for Riders

Hannah Robb will be returning to the Leicester Riders for the upcoming 2021/22 WBBL Season.

Robb played an instrumental part in the Riders winning the WBBL Cup last season with 17 points in the final against the Sevenoaks Suns

At only 23 years of age the former Caledonia Pride guard will already be entering her 6th season in the WBBL.

She has already clocked up over 100 games across all WBBL competitions and currently sits joint 13th for all time threes made across all WBBL games.

Last year in WBBL Championship play she averaged 9.3ppg, 3.3rpg & 2.2apg and was second in three point shooting for the Riders.

“I’m very excited to be back for another year with the Riders! It’s a great opportunity for me to continue to grow individually and with the team. I had a lot of fun last year and I’m eager to get back out there and build upon what we achieved last season.”

“It will be great to meet the new players as well as seeing some more familiar faces. I’m really looking forward to what will be another competitive and exciting year for this team!”

Coach Washington is looking forward to having Robb back in the Riders ranks.

“We are excited to have Hannah back with us this season, not only for her shooting ability but for her leadership qualities as well”

“On and off the court she will have a positive impact on the team with her experience and this will be particularly valuable for our younger players”

“I believe she will have a career year in the WBBL this season”

Also joining Robb for a second season with the Riders is German international guard Anna Lappenkuper.

Lappenkuper averaged 26.8 minutes per game with 7.3ppg, 3.1rpg & 2.8 apg in WBBL Championship action last year.

“I’m excited for this new season. This will be my second season in Leicester and we have a new coach and team. I’m really excited to get started with pre-season and getting to know everyone.”

Riders recruit McAlear-Fanus

Leicester Riders have began preparations for the 2021/22 WBBL season with the signing of Canadian point guard Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus.

Playmaker McAlear-Fanus arrives at the Riders after a 5 year career at the University of Ottawa where she was twice an OUA First Team All Star.

In her final year with the ‘Gee-Gees’ she averaged 15.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG & 6.8 APG.

“I’m extremely excited to start my professional career with the Leicester Riders. They have a great group of players and coaches and I can’t wait to grow with the program.”

“I hope to bring a fast pace style to the point guard spot and put my teammates in the best position possible for success.”

Riders Head Coach Derrick Washington is looking forward to welcoming her to the Riders.

“I’m excited to bring Brooklynn on board here at the Riders. I believe she has the potential to be a great young talent in this League”

“Brooklynn is an all round player that any coach would want on their team. Her two-way impact on the floor will be a key component to our success in the WBBL this season”.

Riders will be announcing further signings in the coming days.

Thank you Holly

After reaching an agreement with London Lions which sees the departure of Holly Winterburn to the capital, Leicester Riders Managing Director thanks the former Oregon Duck for her efforts in a Riders jersey.

“We have a long history with Holly having brought her through the programme, and taking her back after her time at Oregon,” reflected Rider Managing Director Russell Levenston.

“She leaves here on good terms and we wish her all the best for the future.”

“We’re really excited about our new coaching staff and the direction they wish to take the women’s side of our programme. We are building a new team and we are all really looking forward to seeing them in action.”

“We have some exciting announcements to come as our team takes shape ahead of the new WBBL season.”

Riders unveil new look coaching team for WBBL

Derrick Washington joins the Leicester Riders family, taking the reins as head of the Women’s programme for the 2021-2022 WBBL season.

Washington, formally Head Coach and Director for the Norwood Flames in NBL 1, Central in Australia and a Minnesota State University alumnus, is looking ahead to pre-season and to getting his team on the court.

“As a professional coach I pride myself in being able to build relationships with everyone and to be a connector of people. Joining the Leicester Riders is a great fit for me because it’s such a connected, family-type organisation.”

“My mentality coming into this Head Coach position is to have a day to day growth mindset. If you can grow day to day and get better then the end result will take care of itself.”

“My goal is to not only continue the great success and tradition the Riders have built over the years but to help develop players to become better.”

Managing Director, Russell Levenston commented: “We’re really excited about Derrick joining the Leicester Riders as the Women’s Head Coach for the WBBL programme and the Loughborough University BUCS 1st team. For a young coach he brings a lot of experience to the club, coaching at a high level in America and the WNBA, through to Head Coaching in Australia. We are really excited for him to bring his energy to the Riders Women’s programme for next season’’

Marg Jones will join Washington’s coaching team this season as Assistant coach for the WBBL team and will head up the Women’s Charnwood Academy Programme based out of Loughborough. Marg, formally the Riders Division 1 Head Coach and Assistant WBBL Coach, returns to the Riders after three years back home in Canada, coaching within elite Women’s Basketball.

Credit: Joe Pinchin

“Everyone at the club is excited to have Marg back at the Riders programme. She was influential working alongside Krumesh Patel in the Riders Women’s programme, and now back as Head Coach for the Charnwood Academy. She brings an enormous amount of experience from Canada and her role with GB U20s. As a club we are excited for the season ahead’’ – Russell Levenston, Managing Director.

Follow @RidersWomen on Twitter for 2021-2022 season fixtures.

2022 Cup Finals Tickets on Sale

Fans of British basketball will be welcomed back to the first event of the season as the British Basketball Cup Finals return to Utilita Arena Birmingham.

The 2022 British Basketball Cup Finals take place on Sunday 30 January with two amazing games to entertain fans as teams from the WBBL and BBL compete for the first silverware of the 2021/22 season.

“After what has been a difficult time for us all, we cannot wait to welcome the fans back to Utilita Arena Birmingham for the first big basketball event of 2022,” said Andy Webb, BBL’s Chief Operating Officer. “Everyone is raring to go and it’s going to be a fun filled day not to be missed.”

Tickets are on sale now with prices starting from £18. To get the best seats in the house, click here to book.

Job Vacancy: WBBL Head Coach

Title: WBBL & Loughborough University Women’s Head Coach
Start date: 1st August 2021
Salary: Competitive Salary depending on Experience & level of Qualifications
Reporting to Leicester Riders: Russell Levenston (MD)
Reporting to Loughborough University: Jo Emmett (Head of Performance Programmes)

Leicester Riders and Loughborough University are seeking an outstanding Head Coach for the women’s programme to oversee coaching, delivery, and ongoing strategic development of performance women’s basketball. You will be the Head Coach of the WBBL and women’s university 1st team which both have a proven track record in the UK at the highest level in professional and top university level.

Applicants will need a minimum of Basketball England Level 2 coaching qualification, or equivalent and have a substantial experience at a performance level. You will have a good understanding of the structure of basketball in the UK, WBBL, Basketball England, and the British Universities & Colleges Sport system (BUCS). You will be required to adopt a flexible approach to work, be able to work as part of a team and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. We operate with an interdisciplinary team (IDT) approach to player development; you will need to lead the IDT and need to be comfortable providing and receiving challenge outside your area of specialism. The post holder will be based at Loughborough University which is one of the top performance sport universities for basketball in the UK.

Role & responsibilities

  • Head Coach of Women’s Team for Leicester Riders in Women’s British Basketball League
  • Head Coach of 1st Team for Loughborough University in BUCS competition
  • Excellent Communication skills that can be demonstrated through successfully driving a programme,
    leading the IDT and work within a team
  • Develop athletes and staff at the highest level in UK
  • Oversight of the women’s player pathway working with Academy and National League
  • Recruitment for the women’s programme
  • Reporting and communication with management

    Qualifications
  • Level 3 BE Coaching preferred, Level 2 minimum requirement
  • Substantial Head Coach experience and extensive experience of performance basketball in a professional club or University
  • First aid qualification (Essential)
  • Safeguarding training (Desirable)
  • Training can be provided if candidate is successful

    Preferred skills
  • Holds a clean driving Licence

Closing Date: Sunday 27th June 2021
Interview Date: 2nd July 2021 (9am-5pm) at Loughborough University

Please send a copy of your CV and a covering letter to
[email protected]

Winterburn Crowned as the Young Player of the Year

Holly Winterburn has been selected as the 2020-21 WBBL Young Player of the Year. Within the last four years, this is the third time the GB guard has won this award. 

This season, Holly has stepped up in a leadership role and has been an offensive threat within the league. As one of the youngest players on the Riders squad, Winterburn has averaged 31.2 minutes 14.9 points, 7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. She led the team in average points, steals and was third in the league in assists. 

Key performances this season was a 36 point game against BA London Lions in their final matchup and a near triple-double against Manchester Met Mystics in March where she had 17 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists.

Winterburn has racked up awards this season where she has been featured in the All-Star Five on nine occasions, selected into the Molten WBBL All-British Team and Molten WBBL First Team. 

Holly has been a key factor in the Riders success this season, including winning the WBBL Cup, and we would like to congratulate her for receiving this award once again. 

Winterburn makes the 2020-21 Molten WBBL First Team

Holly Winterburn is selected into the 2020-21 Molten WBBL First Team and is the youngest player on the squad. 

After returning from Oregon, Winterburn stepped into a leadership role for the Riders and has been a difficult matchup for opposing teams in the WBBL. Holly is a continual threat on the court and the statistics alone show her impact in the game. This season, the GB guard averaged 31.2 minutes 14.9 points, 7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. She finished leading the Riders in average points, assists (third in the league), and steals.

Her most notable game was against BA London Lions in their final matchup where she scored a season-high 36 points with six rebounds, five assists, two steals, two blocks and secured a road win. 

There were multiple occasions where she just missed out on a triple-double, but the closest performance was against Manchester Met Mystics in March where she had 17 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists in the WBBL Championship.

The Riders Assistant Coach Antonio Quintero commented: “I’m super happy for Holly and it is a well-deserved award. She worked hard every day and had an incredible season. Holly has shown her impact in the league through her basketball knowledge and by performing great in different areas of the game.”

2020-21 Molten WBBL First Team

Cat Carr (Sevenoaks Suns) – 18.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 1.4 steals.

Alison Gorrell (Newcastle Eagles) – 23.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.5 steals.

Kennedy Leonard (BA London Lions) – 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 11.3 assists, and 3.9 steals.

Holly Winterburn (Leicester Riders) – 14.9 points, 7 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2.1 steals.

Cassie Breen (BA London Lions) – 18.7 points, 4 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Riders would like to congratulate all the players who made the First Team as you all have had an amazing season and positively impacted the league. 

Stewart and Clark selected to the WBBL Defensive Team

Azania Stewart and Ella Clark are voted in the 2020-21 Molten WBBL Defensive Team of the Year. 

Riders had a reputation for their tenacious defence and Stewart slid right in when she joined the team. The GB Olympian led the league with 1.9 blocks per game and averaged 8.8 rebounds. Azania had double-digit rebounds five times during the regular season with a whopping 18 rebounds against the league leaders, Sevenoaks Suns. The 6’4 centre had four steals on two occasions and used her length to protect the rim, resulting in a season-high five blocks in a key matchup against BA London Lions. 

Over the last two seasons, Clark has been disruptive on the defensive end. This year, Ella joins Azania in the top two spots as she was second in the league with 1.6 blocks per game. She had a season-high four blocks against Essex Rebels and helped the team get revenge after Essex had ended their undefeated streak. The 6’3 forward also averaged 6.6 rebounds per game, with a season-high of 13 against Caledonia Pride. 

With the help of Stewart and Clark, the Riders allowed the fewest points in the paint (19) and limited opponents to a low field goal percentage of 33%.

Molten WBBL Defensive Team of the Year

Jasmine Joyner – 10.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.4 blocks

Azania Stewart – 8.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.9 blocks

Kennedy Leonard – 5.2 rebounds, 3.9 steals and 0.6 blocks

Shanice Beckford-Norton – 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 0.3 blocks

Ella Clark – 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.6 blocks

Congratulations to all the players that were selected for this team, especially Clark and Stewart for leading the Riders on the defensive end.

Winterburn and Stewart make the WBBL All-British Team

Holly Winterburn and Azania Stewart are voted in the Molten WBBL All-British Team of the Year. 

Winterburn was unanimously voted in by the WBBL coaches and is the youngest to make the team. The captain continually filled the stat sheet with an outstanding 36 points against BA London Lions and a near triple-double with 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in the WBBL Cup final against Sevenoaks Suns. To finish the season, the GB guard led the Riders with 14.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals and was second in total rebounds with 7 rebounds per game. 

Stewart was an excellent new addition as she brought both experience, leadership and post-play to the Riders. The GB Olympian came out of retirement effortless as she averaged 10.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Stewart had two standout performances against the league leaders, Sevenoaks Suns, with a near triple-double of 12 points, 7 assists and 8 rebounds and a season-high 18 rebounds.

Head Coach Jesper Sundberg commented: “Winterburn and Stewart have performed at a high-level on both ends of the court. Holly grew her game this year as a facilitator and stepping up vocally for the team. Azania came in late and worked her way in to a leading role. She was a constant threat around the rim and a defensive anchor in the paint.”

Molten WBBL All-British Team of the Year

Holly Winterburn – 14.9 points, 7 rebounds and 6.2 assist

Kennedy Leonard – 15.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 11.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds

Georgia Jones – 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds,  and 5.3 assists

Claire Paxton – 15.7 points, 9 rebounds and 3.2 assists

Azania Stewart – 10.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 assists

Congratulations to all the players that were selected for this team, especially Winterburn and Stewart for representing the Leicester Riders!

May Madness Quarterfinal Knockout

Tough May Madness quarterfinal for the Riders women as they fall to Newcastle Eagles, 73-79.

Riders started the game off strong with an 8-0 run before Newcastle’s Perez hit a jump shot to shift the momentum back into the host’s favour. The second quarter gave Eagles their first lead of the game where they never looked back. Turnovers haunted the Riders as they had 7 alone in that quarter and 15 in the game. A short push in the third started by Lappenkuper’s layup tied the ball game, however Gorrell responded with a 2-point jumper to put Newcastle back on top. Two key free throws in the final 25 seconds solidified Eagle’s win and knocked Riders out of the 2021 playoffs. 

For the Riders, Hannah Robb put up an impressive 18 points, Stewart had 13 points and 8 rebounds and Winterburn had a near triple-double of 9 points, 7 rebounds and 10 assists. While the Eagles duo, Abbey Lowe and Alison Gorrell, had a combined 50 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists and 8 steals. 

Scorers

Riders: Robb 18, Stewart 13, Brewer 13, Lappenkuper 10, Winterburn 9, Januszewska 6, Clark 4.

Eagle: Lowe 26, Gorrell 24, Mcvicar 13, Rodriguez Perez 9, Bland 7.

Riders women would like to thank everyone that has contributed to this season, which includes the players, staff, fans, sponsors and the WBBL. It hasn’t been easy, but we got through it. Good luck to everyone else remaining in the playoffs and we look forward to returning next season!

Riders Hand Sevenoaks Their First League Loss

On 25th April, we saw a replay of the fixture we had last week between the Leicester Riders and the Sevenoaks Suns. However, this time round, the Riders were able to take the win against the number 1 seed and were the first team to defeat the Suns this season. 

The Riders celebrated their win after a thrilling comeback in the second half. The Suns dominated throughout the first half by finding open players and moving the ball around well. Their strong individual defence pushed the Riders offence to the end allowing them to score only 6 points in the second quarter. The Suns started the second half with a massive 18 point lead at 40-22 however, the Riders were able to close the gap. A 20-11 third quarter for the Riders put them in a much better position going into the final quarter. A stunning performance by the Riders in both offence and defence and continuous defensive rebounds gave the Riders a 64-58 win. 

Riders were led by Katie Januszewska’s 16 points, Azania Stewart’s 18 rebounds and Holly Winterburn’s 12 assists. The Suns were led by Catherine Carr’s 21 points and 6 assists and Tayani Clark’s 13 rebounds. 

Scorers

Riders: K. Januszewska 16, M. Brewer 15, A. Stewart 10, H. Winterburn 8, A. Lappenkuper 5, A. Smith 3, E. Morris 3, H. Robb 2, R. Ainge 2 

Suns: C. Carr 21, L. Da Silva 11, T. Clark 10, R. Busch 8, K. Hulme 4, I. Perez 2, J. Monakana 2 

We will now see the Riders next in the play-offs as this was their last game of the regular season.

Riders Secure a Top Two Spot in the Playoffs

Big win for the Riders as they defeated BA London Lions on the road, 80-84. This game determined the second and third position in the WBBL Championship and playoff ranking.

It was a competitive game from the offset as London Lions grabbed an 8-point lead to finish the first quarter. Out the gate, Leonard and Breen from London were quick to get on the score sheet, whereas the Riders struggled. Holly Winterburn went off with 13 points in the second quarter and reduced the deficit to a 2-point game at the half. A layup from Robb in the third gave Riders their first lead of the game which started a quick run for the visitors. The Missouri-native, Maya Brewer, completed a huge AND-1 in the final leg which sparked a victorious run to solidify a top two spot in the WBBL rankings.

The Lions’ defensive pressure was evident as they forced the Riders to 21 turnovers. However, the Riders protected the rim like their life depended on it with 10 blocks, led by Azania Stewarts’ five. 

Winterburn put up a monster performance with 36 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Whilst for London, Kennedy Leonard led the way with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds. 

Scorers

Riders: Winterburn 36, Stewart 13, Robb 13, Smith 8, Brewer 7, Januszewska 4, Clark 2, Lappenkuper 1. 

Lions: Leonard 22, Breen 16, Umeh 16, Beckford-Norton 14, Charles 7, Klocker 3, Robinson 2. 

Riders host Sevenoaks tomorrow (24th April 2021) at 4:00pm for the final-game in the regular season. Tune in for a another great game of basketball. 

Riders Fall to the Suns

Tough road game for the Riders as they fell to the Sevenoaks Suns, 51-63. Leicester kept it to a three-point game to finish the third, but Sevenoaks’ fourth quarter run consolidated the win.  

Out the gate both teams went on a rally until Ella Clark hit a three to give Riders a 5-point lead. However, the momentum shifted to the Suns favour after multiple turnovers from the visiting team. A quick push mid-way in third by Clark, Smith and Stewart closed the gap, however the Riders were unable to reclaim the lead over the league leaders. 

Both teams had players shy of triple-doubles. Despite getting triple-teamed, Azania Stewart led the Riders with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists, whilst the Suns were led by Carr (20p, 12r, 9a) and Clark (15p, 12r, 7a).

Scorers

Riders: Stewart 12, Lappenkuper 11, Winterburn 7, Smith 7, Brewer 6, Clark 5, Robb 3.

Suns: Carr 20, Clark 15, Da Silva 10, Busch 9, Garrido-Perez 7, Monakana 2.

Riders have a busy weekend ahead as they take on both BA London Lions (24th April) and Sevenoaks Suns (25th April) to finalise their position in May Madness.

WBBL Announce May Madness

May Madness is ready to take over the best British basketball teams with all eyes on the prize of reaching the showpiece finale of the Play-Offs.

And this year sees an exciting change as the WBBL and BBL series sees 20 games across two weeks and three venues with Week 1 of the series featuring doubleheader action every day between Saturday 1 May and Friday 7 May. All games will also be broadcast by Sky Sports which sees for the first time all WBBL playoff games broadcast.

The three central venues hosting the Play-Offs are Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle, University of Worcester Arena, and the Morningside Arena in Leicester. The series tips off on Saturday 1 May at the Vertu Motors Arena with the WBBL quarter-finals and Round 1 of the BBL quarter-finals before moving to University of Worcester Arena for Round 2 of the BBL quarter-finals and the WBBL semi-finals. The Morningside Arena will host the BBL semi-finals and the WBBL and BBL finals on Sunday 16 May.

The change in format was in response to the ongoing requirements of the Covid 19 protocols. With fans unable to return to indoor sporting events and the regular season stretched due to rearranged fixtures, condensing not only the timetable but also the venues allowed the best chance of finishing the season with a bang.

Sky Sports will be showing all 20 games for free on their YouTube channel for fans in the UK with the BBL semi-finals and the BBL and WBBL Finals also aired live on Sky Sports. Fans in the UK and overseas will also be able to watch free on BBL Player.

The full schedule (subject to change) is as follows:

WBBL May Madness Schedule
May Madness – Fan Pack Giveaway (T&C)

As the race to the end of the season hots up, we’re looking forward to May Madness with an amazing Facebook giveaway to say thank you for your support this season! The May Madness Fan Pack includes tickets to all the 2022 BBL and WBBL Finals, a Sure Shot Hot Shot unit, Molten balls and May Madness goodies. For your chance to win, head to the Riders Women Facebook page and in the Fan Giveaway post comment your favourite Leicester Riders memories from this season and all time.

Entries close on Saturday 25 April.

Full T&Cs click the link below:

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!