Preview: Riders at Flyers

On Saturday, the Riders will play their first road game of the British Basketball Championship season as they visit the SGS College Arena to face the Bristol Flyers.

Coach Rob Paternostro’s squad will travel to Bristol in high spirits after a hard-fought 88-81 victory over the Plymouth City Patriots last Friday.

Fixture Information

Leicester Riders @ Bristol Flyers

SGS College Arena, Bristol

Saturday, September 30, 8:00pm

Watch live!

Riders Aiming to Build Winning Streak

After the bounce-back win in round two, the Riders will want to back up the victory with more of the same in the upcoming two-week road trip.

Leicester will face adversity against the Flyers and the upgraded Serios Group Newcastle Eagles, but the triumph over Plymouth demonstrated that this group is packed with resilience.

Trailing by 10, deep into the third quarter, Paternostro’s squad dug deep to wrestle back momentum through aggression at the rim and reliable free throw shooting.

Former Iowa State guard, Jaren Holmes, was a key part of the comeback and should be a focal point of the Riders’ offence come Saturday night.

Holmes is currently getting to the foul line eight times a game and hitting at an impressive rate of 88%. The abilities of both Holmes and captain Kimbal Mackenzie to draw fouls could be crucial to building a lead in this one.

Mackenzie himself had a difficult three-quarters last Friday, but his refusal to stop taking shots paid off, and he ended the game with a well-earned seven points – incidentally, the difference between the Riders and their opponents.

Leicester’s captain is the epitome of confidence, a trait that the Riders need to take into their matchup with the Flyers if they are to get the better of a team that finished third in the championship last season.

Riders’ thoughts

Texas-born guard Caleb Asberry made is Riders debut against the Plymouth City Patriots, and impressed in front of his home crowd. 

“It felt good to be back, especially because I’ve been out for a little while. It felt good to be out there with the guys,” said Asberry. 

After finding rhythm in the second half last Friday, Asberry looks for the team to put in a performance for the full 40 in this one. 

“Everybody needs to buy in, and play our roles. That’s all it’s going to take: doing the small things.

“We’ve been watching a lot of film, and Bristol play hard. The rebound well from all five spots, so we’ll have to box out well. That’s been our main struggle, so we’re going to have to execute there.”

Bristol’s 2022/2023 in Review

An impressive 25-11 record in the BBL Championship saw Bristol place third in the standings last season, before making it to the Playoff semi-finals. The Flyers were unable to make it to the O2 Arena however, losing to the Riders by three points on aggregate in a hotly contested series.

A surprise defeat to the Surrey Scorchers in the BBL Trophy and a loss to the London Lions in the Cup wrapped up a promise-filled season that ended without a trophy.

Key players for the Flyers were Basketball Journalists Association Player of the Year, VJ King, and the winner of the BJA Pete Jacques Award for British Player of the Year, Jelani Watson-Gayle.

King was the heart of Bristol’s offensive production, dropping 17 points a night at a 44% clip.

Watson-Gayle assisted King with pinpoint accuracy from deep, knocking down 38.9% of his three-point attempts whilst averaging 11.7 points a game.

The Flyers, who will be without the award-winning duo this season, will nonetheless be hoping to remain a force to be reckoned with in the BBL.

Flyers Replace Key Pieces

Bristol managed to retain a large part of their roster for the current season, but lost the services of star players, VJ King, Jelani Watson-Gayle and Thomas Bell.

King moved to Germany to hit buckets for the Hamburg Towers, Bell will play in the Czech National League after a good rookie season with the Flyers and Watson-Gayle has not returned after playing for Winnipeg in the summer.

The Flyers responded by making four off-season moves, notably signing 6’11” centre, Brad Greene, from the Kapfenberg Bulls.

The American led the Austrian Basketball League in rebounds last season and put up 22 double-doubles for the Bulls.

Greene has carried that form into the BBL early, averaging over 14 points and seven rebounds in his first couple of outings.

Finding ways to combat Greene in the paint on both ends of the floor will be vital if the Riders want to come away with the dub.

It will be a tough task for the Flyers, however, as they took on the London Lions on the road on Thursday night, falling 98-84 to start the season 1-2.

Played for Both

Northampton-born power forward Shane Walker has suited up for both the Riders and the Flyers.

The 35-year-old played six years of basketball in the BBL, occupying the Riders’ front court between 2015 and 2018 before consecutive stints with the London Lions and Flyers.

Walker averaged 6.9 points per game in his three seasons with the Riders and became an important piece of a squad that won three BBL Championships, three BBL Trophies and two BBL Playoff titles. 

The 6’10” big man also earned a place in the England squad for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, helping the national team reach the quarter-finals.

Walker most recently competed in the UK with the Flyers in 2021/22, taking to the court on 23 occasions averaging 3.5 points per game.

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our next home fixture!

Riders’ home games selected for Sky Sports coverage

Four Riders home games have been selected for live Sky Sports coverage.

The home games selected are:

Thursday, October 26 vs Surrey Scorchers

Friday, November 10 vs London Lions

Friday, December 1 vs London Lions

Friday, December 15 vs Caledonia Gladiators

See the full 2023 British Basketball League Sky Sports schedule below.

The games will be available on Sky Sports and the Sky Sports YouTube channel.

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our next home fixture!

3 things we learned from Riders vs Patriots

Leicester Riders secured their first victory of the season on Friday, beating the Plymouth City Patriots 88-81. 

Here’s what we can take from the fixture.

Riders have heart 

The Riders had to dig deep in the game, coming back from a double-digit deficit to get one in the win column. 

The score was 61-51 in the visitor’s favour with five minutes remaining in the third, before Miryne Thomas’ three kick-started a run that would see Leicester take their first lead since the opening quarter two minutes into the fourth. 

It was a closely fought encounter down the stretch, as the Riders demonstrated their composure in the clutch to see the game out. 

After having difficulty putting the ball in the hoop through the first three quarters, Leicester captain Kimbal Mackenzie found form when it mattered, leaning on his experience to see out the win from the free-throw line. 

Head Coach Rob Paternostro’s side demonstrated their ability not only to fight back into a game but to see it out in the clutch. 

Success attacking the basket

During the comeback, the Riders found success in close, driving and attacking the hoop to get points on the board. In the fourth quarter, 18 of their 29 points came at the rim, and eight at the free throw line. 

High-flying Blake Bowman set the tone, using his speed and athleticism to find a way to the teeth of Plymouth’s defence and finish strong. The Riders have players up and down the roster who can find holes in defences, opening them up with dribble penetration. 

Combined with the post-play of Samuel Idowu, Bralen Bridges and TJ Lall, who allowed Leicester to dump the ball down low and let them go to work, the Riders found consistent methods of keeping the scoreboard ticking over. 

Asberry’s impact

Making his professional debut, Caleb Asberry returned to the gameday squad after missing the season opener through injury. 

Asberry made his presence known, playing a pivotal role in the lineup that got the Riders back into the game.

Subbing in with 3:52 left in the third, the Riders went 26-15 until Asberry’s exit from the tie with 3:12 left in the game. His layup early in the fourth cut it to one, and his ability to hunt down loose balls and secure rebounds was on full display. 

The 6’3” guard grabbed four rebounds in 13 minutes of action, injecting the energy and effort the Riders needed to come back and win the tie. 

“I thought Asberry gave us some really good minutes. He hasn’t played in a while, and defensively he was really solid,” said Paternostro after the game. 

“Caleb adds a lot. He’s quick, and he wins the ball. When the ball is loose, he has a talent for finding it. He can really shoot and make plays on the other end. He was in the lineup that turned the game around.”

Want to see the Riders in action?

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Riders react to win against Patriots

Leicester Riders secured their first win of the season, beating the Plymouth City Patriots 88-81. 

Here’s what Head Coach Rob Paternostro and game MVP TJ Lall had to say postgame.

Coach Rob- “It wasn’t perfect, but we showed a lot of character.”

The Riders found themselves down nine going into halftime, having given up 35 points in the second quarter to their opponents. 

They responded in the second half, and were able to overcome the deficit. 

“We had to play better defence in the second half and be a little tougher,” said Paternostro. 

“The challenge I set at halftime was for the guys to give it their all on the defensive side of the ball, and we held them to 29 in the second half.

“We did a really good job defensively, and that was important. When we’re getting stops, we can run in transition, which is where we’re strong.”

The return of rookie guard Caleb Asberry from injury lit a spark in the Riders backcourt. His gritty performance led to six points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action. 

“I thought Asberry gave us some really good minutes. He hasn’t played in a while, and defensively he was really solid.

“Caleb adds a lot. He’s quick, and he wins the ball. When the ball is loose, he has a talent for finding it. He can really shoot and make plays on the other end. He was in the lineup that turned the game around.”

It was a gutsy win for the Riders, bouncing back from their defeat to the Cheshire Phoenix on opening night. It was important, in a lot of ways, to get a win on the board.

“It wasn’t perfect, but we certainly showed a lot of character to be able to come back and get the win. We have to understand that we’ve only been together a few weeks. We have to have patience. We have a lot of bodies, and we need to get as healthy as we can.

“A game like tonight will give the team some confidence that they can win a game in the fourth quarter.”

“That’s what was impressive for me. It was a tough loss last week, and no one felt good going into practice. We had a good week of practice, but then we went into halftime down nine. 

It was a challenge at halftime to come out and show some mental toughness to get the job done. We have a lot of work to do, but hopefully, we can keep getting better and better.”

TJ Lall- “It was good to get our first win.”

Canadian wing TJ Lall was named MVP after putting up 14 points, four rebounds and two blocks in a well rounded performance. 

Lall showed to the Riders faithful his ability to do what is needed to secure a victory. He battled on the glass, contested shots and put the ball in the basket when it counted.

“It was a hard-fought game,” said Lall. “We struggled on defence early, but in the second half, we turned it up, and good things happened for us. It was good to get our first win.”

He got most of his points in the first half to keep the Riders in it, but made clutch free throws down the stretch with the game in the balance. 

Lall was bright throughout, but the team’s intensity left room for improvement following the first half. 

“Our energy wasn’t where we wanted it to be. We needed to communicate better and rebound to close out possessions. It really helped us once we improved our standard in those areas.”

“We really picked up the ball pressure near the end of the third quarter and forced some turnovers. That got us some easy transition points and we could see the game out from there.”

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our next home fixture!

Report: Riders beat Patriots

The Riders claimed their first victory of the 2023/24 British Basketball Championship with an 88-81 defeat of the Plymouth Patriots.

An all-action fourth quarter, that saw Rob Paternostro’s men outscore their opponents 29-16, secured the win over a Plymouth team that led by nine points at halftime. 

TJ Lall dropped a team-high 14 points for the Riders in an efficient display which saw him hit 66% from the field.

The Ontario native was joined in double figures by Xavier Pinson, Jaren Holmes and Braelen Bridges as the Riders’ showed their ability to spread the scoring.

A particularly pleasing aspect of Leicester’s win was their hustle on the boards, limiting the visitors to just eight offensive rebounds.

The Patriots did put up a stern test with some promising performances – TJ Atwood scoring 20 in the first half alone. 

But Leicester responded well in the second half, shutting Atwood’s offense down to help towards a well-earned victory.

An end-to-end first half started well for the Riders, who utilised quick ball movement to create openings in the paint. 

Bridges and Lall benefitted early, both dropping five points in the first quarter which pushed the Riders into an 18-17 lead. 

Supported by a hard-working Samuel Idowu and the debuting Caleb Asberry off the bench, Leicester entered the second quarter looking to build on their narrow lead.

Despite showing a marked improvement on the defensive glass, limiting Plymouth to just a couple of offensive rebounds, an inspired ten-minute spell by the Patriots’ Atwood helped them to build a lead. 

Atwood, who dropped 17 points in round one, finished the first half with six rebounds and four assists to accompany his 20 points. 

A crucial three-pointer by Holmes kept the Riders within touching distance, swiftly followed by a deep three from long ball specialist, Asberry. 

The half ended with the Patriots 52-43 to the good – a buzzer-beater from guard, Mason Faulkner giving Plymouth a nine-point lead.

Starting the second half as he did the first, Bridges dropped the Riders’ first bucket, igniting an 8-2 run after good hustle on both ends of the floor.

A timely three from Miryne Thomas kept the Riders within striking distance before the home team bridged the gap through multiple trips to the foul line. 

The third quarter ended with Leicester facing a 6-point deficit but with their tails up heading into the final ten.

The fourth saw the Riders show the home fans what they can produce in the clutch. 

Buckets from Asberry, Idowu and the agile Pinson pushed Paternostro’s team to a 15-3 surge, wiping out the Patriots’ lead and giving the home side a small cushion.

The game hurtled towards an exciting finish full of back-and-forth action, with the Riders able to keep the lead on the back of fearless play by captain, Kimbal Mackenzie. 

Next Saturday, the Riders take on their first road trip of the season, travelling to Bristol to face the 1-1 Flyers.

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our next home fixture!

Last season’s matchups: Plymouth City Patriots

The Riders face off against the Plymouth City Patriots on Friday for their second game of the season, looking to even up their record at 1-1. 

Here, we look back at last season’s series between the two sides. 

Season sweep

The Riders took the season sweep against the Patriots last year, winning all four of their games against the South Westerners. 

Kimbal Mackenzie in particular had success in the matchup, putting up two 20-point scoring nights, including a 23-point and seven-assist performance in late March. 

Leicester averaged over 100 points against the Patriots last season, Rob Paternostro’s side finding the holes in Plymouth’s defence consistently. 

They concluded the season against Plymouth with a 111-68 win, with Mackenzie putting up 20 points in the game. 

Nailbiting finish

The Riders needed every point of Mackenzie’s 23-point outing in March, as the Riders and Patriots played out a game wire-to-wire. 

It was a 92-89 Leicester win at the Morningside Arena come the final buzzer, with the game was in the balance throughout. 

Mackenzie finished the fixture with a pair of free throws to put the Riders up three, before Elivis Dusha’s three-point attempt was blocked by Marc Loving to conclude the action. 

But Plymouth’s Rashad Hassan who put a late scare into his former team with a minute left, making a layup to cut it to one and coming up with a block on the next possession to give the Patriots a chance to take a late lead. 

The Riders saw the game out through a clutch steal from Jubril Adekoya and Mackenzie’s free throws, and went on to secure second place in the league table. 

Battle of the backcourt

This season featured revamped rosters on both sides, making Friday’s action a different task for the Riders than they faced last season. 

The matchup in the backcourt remains the same, however, as Mackenzie faces up against Plymouth captain Elvisi Dusha. 

Dusha had a pair of team-leading performances last season, putting up 24 points in the first matchup between the sides and 19 points later in the year.

Both games were in Plymouth, so Dusha will look to see his performances translate to the Morningside Arena floor to challenge Mackenzie in this one. 

Get tickets to the Riders’ Friday night fixture against Plymouth City Patriots!

Conner Washington: Riders Legend

Conner Washington has returned for his 11th year in Riders Red! The club legend and fan favourite has helped pack the Morningside Arena trophy cabinet during his time in the East Midlands.

We take a look back through his storied career!

Loughborough University: Where history began

Washington started life in the Riders programme in 2012, finding success with Loughborough University in the BUCS Championship. 

He helped win Loughborough’s first BUCS title in 22 years, alongside now Assistant Coach Will Maynard and former Rider Anthony Rowe. 

He was named MVP of the BUCS final, leading the University to a historic win.

BBL Breakout year

After lifting the first of his 14 pieces of BBL silverware in 2014, Washington went off for a breakout year in the 2014/15 season. 

He was named to the BBL British Team of the Year, averaging 7.3 points per game on the season and shooting a red-hot 40% from three. The Bedford native put up double-digits on eight occasions and scored a season-high of 23 points. 

Washington made a name as an integral part of the Riders’ roster going forward. 

Double award winner

The following season, Washington’s performances on the season saw him named on both the BBL British Team of the Year and the BBL Defence Team of the Year. 

He helped the Riders to the Championship and Trophy titles, the fifth and sixth pieces of silverware for the Riders under Head Coach Rob Paternostro. 

Washington scored 13 points in the Trophy Final, putting up four rebounds and four assists and going 4-8 from the field, making his presence known on the big stage. 

Winning his first treble

In the 2016/17 season, Washington won the first of his two trebles in his Riders career. The team lifted the BBL Trophy, Championship and Playoff titles, with Washington contributing another 40% three-point shooting season to the team. 

His three-point shooting was on full display at the back end of the season, draining five threes on his way to 18 points against the Plymouth Raiders. 

Washington was once again named to the BBL British Team of the Year and the Defensive Team of the Year for his performances on the season, now established as one of the League’s best homegrown talents. 

2021 league title

On his way to the 2021 BBL Championship title, Washington enjoyed his finest statistical season for the Riders. 

He put up 10.4 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field and 38.4% shooting from three, earning him a spot on the BBL British Team of the Year for the fourth time. 

The Riders needed every point from Washington that season, winning the title by two points with a record of 24-6. It was the start of back-to-back seasons with one of the most successful Riders squads in the club’s history. 

2022 treble

The following year, Washington won his second treble with the Riders. They took home the BBL Cup, Championship and Playoffs, losing only two games on their way to the trio of silverware. 

It was a dominant season, where Washington made an electric impact off the bench behind back-to-back MVP Geno Crandall. He put up 20 points in the second leg of the playoff semi-final, sending the Riders to the O2 Arena. 

In the playoff final, Washington drained four threes on his way to 12 points, winning his 14th piece of silverware in his ninth season with the Leicester Riders. 

Want to see Conner in action?

Get tickets to our season opener against the Cheshire Phoenix!

Get tickets to our preseason opener against Loughborough University here!

Get tickets to our preseason home opener against USA Select here!

Riders sign O’Brien

Leicester Riders are thrilled to announce the signing of Taylor O’Brien. 

The American guard signs from Flordia State, having averaged 6.7 points for the Seminoles last season. 

She spent four years prior at Bucknell University, leading the team in scoring for two straight seasons and earning a place on the All-Patriot League First team for 2021 and 2022. The Pennsylvania native averaged 16.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in her final season with the Bison. 

O’Brien also owns Bucknell’s record in the outdoor high jump and was named to the second Team All-Patriot League with a runner-up finish in the 2019 Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

“I am so excited to be a part of this organisation, and have the experience of playing professionally for the first time,” said O’Brien. 

“I am grateful to be on the Riders, and I’m looking forward to seeing what our team can do this year. I can’t wait to get back on the court!”

Head Coach Ben Stanley added: “We’re thrilled to have Taylor in Riders Red this season. 

“We were extremely impressed by her scoring ability both at Bucknell and Floria State, and we’re excited that there is a lot that she continues to add to her game. I’m anticipating her developing a lot with us this year.”

Washington returns for 2023/24

Leicester Riders are thrilled to welcome the return of Conner Washington to their 2023/24 roster. 

The Riders veteran holds 10 years of experience in the East Midlands and has 14 pieces of silverware to his name. Washington has been an integral part of the Riders’ successes over the past decade.

Conner has been featured on the British Basketball League all-British team on four occasions and the all-defensive team three times. He is a dangerous perimeter threat, averaging over 40% from three in three separate seasons. 

Washington is respected around the League as an intelligent veteran, playing to an elite standard on both ends. 

Playing in his entering his 13th year as a pro, Conner brings a wealth of experience to the Riders roster. His championship pedigree is a vital component of Rob Paternostro’s side.

“I’m excited to be back on the court, and feeling free,” commented Washington. 

“It feels great to be back out there again. This season is going to be a memorable one!”

Want to see Conner in action?

Get tickets to our season opener against the Cheshire Phoenix!

Get tickets to our preseason opener against Loughborough University here!

Get tickets to our preseason home opener against USA Select here!

Leicester Riders: Hospitality

We are proud to offer a number of excellent game night packages, including
our corporate hospitality, the 1967 Club, and our Mezzanine hospitality package for you to indulge in during matchday games.

1967 Club

Enjoy the highest quality game night experience as part of the 1967 Club.

Access to the 1967 Club includes:

  • Exclusive access to the 1967 Club before and after games
  • Complimentary bar until half-time; to include beer, wine and soft drinks
  • Two-course meal served before the game
  • Pre-game presentation from a former player or coach
  • Courtside/baseline seats for the game
  • Post-match platter following the game
  • Reserved Car Parking Space
  • Opportunity to meet the players in the lounge following the game
  • Complimentary season guide and game day team sheet

1967 Club Hospitality price: £80 per person + VAT

Mezzanine Hospitality

Leicester Riders offer action-packed entertainment in an electric atmosphere in the very heart of the city.

Our excellent gameday package includes the use of one of our mezzanines overlooking the playing court and provides a unique gameday hospitality

This new hospitality experience provides a panoramic view of the game, catering, and private bar facilities as well as opportunities to meet the Riders team.

The Mezzanine Hospitality includes:

  • Private use of one of our two mezzanine areas for up to 80 guests
  • Pre-game hot buffet dishes include; curry lasagne; chilli con carne; all served on the mezzanine
  • Tickets to watch the game from the mezzanine or in seats
  • Private cash bar and toilet facilities
  • Complimentary season guide and game day team sheet

Mezzanine Hospitality price: £39 per person + VAT (Minimum numbers of 30 for private use)

Discounted Mezzanine Hospitality is also available at £25 for our preseason fixture against USA Select.

Read about all of our hospitality offers in our corporate brochure.

Interested in a game sponsorship, or want more information? Please contact [email protected].

2023/24 Trophy format explained!

The British Basketball League released a revamped structure for the upcoming season, featuring best-of-three playoff series, the return of the All-Star game and an all-new Trophy format.

The new structure allows The League to turn its full attention to each competition, dedicating a month of play to the Trophy.

Get to know the new Trophy format.

How does the new format work?

This season in the Trophy, the teams are split into two groups of five. Each team will play the other teams in their group once, determining their standings.

The top two teams in each group progress to the semi-finals. Should you finish top of your group, you earn a semi-final matchup against second place in the other group.

The semi-finals and finals are single elimination knockout, leading to an eventual winner being crowned!

Who will we play?

The Riders’ group features the London Lions, Bristol Flyers, Newcastle Eagles and Manchester Giants.

Our group fixtures are as follows:

Saturday 6th Jan20:00HBristol Flyers 
Sunday 7th Jan15:00ALondon Lions
Friday 12th Jan19:45HManchester Giants
Friday 19th Jan19:45ANewcastle Eagles

Where are the games?

Following the group stage, the semi-finals and finals will take place at the Utilita Arena, Birmingham, in a final-four weekend event.

The semi-finals will be played on Saturday, January 27, leading to the final on Sunday, January 28.

READ MORE: Leicester Riders 2023/24 fixtures released!

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our British Basketball League season opener against Cheshire Phoenix here!

Get tickets to our preseason opener against Loughborough University here!

Get tickets to our preseason home opener against USA Select here!

2023/24 fixture changes

Some Leicester Riders’ fixtures for the 2023/24 season have been changed.

Our home game against Plymouth City Patriots on Febuary 22 has moved to September 22 and becomes our second home fixture.

Our trip to the London Lions has moved from September 20 to December 10.

Our previously unscheduled home fixture against Newcastle Eagles will be played on November 4.

The full fixture list is detailed below.


DateTimeCompetition H/AOpponent
Friday 15th Sept19:45Regular seasonHCheshire Phoenix
Friday 22nd Sept19:45Regular seasonHPlymouth City Patriots
Saturday 30th Sept20:00Regular seasonABristol Flyers
Friday 6th Oct19:45Regular seasonANewcastle Eagles
Friday 13th Oct19:30 Regular seasonHSurrey Scorchers
Saturday 14th Oct20:00Regular seasonAManchester Giants
Friday 20th Oct19:30Regular seasonANewcastle Eagles
Thursday 26th Oct19:45Regular seasonH Surrey Scorchers
Sunday 29th Oct18:00Regular seasonACaledonia Gladiators
Saturday 4th Nov19:30Regular seasonHNewcastle Eagles
Friday 10th Nov19:45Regular seasonHLondon Lions
Sunday 12th Nov18:00Regular seasonACheshire Phoenix
Friday 17th Nov19:45Regular seasonASheffield Sharks
Saturday 25th Nov20:00Regular seasonHManchester Giants
Friday 1st Dec19:45Regular seasonHLondon Lions
Sunday 3rd Dec18:00Regular seasonACheshire Phoenix
Sunday 10th Dec16:30Regular seasonALondon Lions
Friday 15th Dec19:30Regular seasonHCaledonia Gladiators
Saturday 23rd Dec17:00Regular seasonAManchester Giants
Thursday 28th Dec19:45Regular seasonHBristol Flyers
Saturday 30th Dec17:00Regular seasonHSheffield Sharks
Saturday 6th Jan 20:00TrophyHBristol Flyers
Sunday 7th Jan15:00 TrophyALondon Lions
Wednesday 10th Jan19:45TrophyHManchester Giants
Friday 19th Jan19:45TrophyANewcastle Eagles
Saturday 27th JanTBCTrophyTBCSemi Final at Utilita Arena, Birmingham
Sunday 28th JanTBCTrophyTBCFinal at Utilita Arena, Birmingham
Friday 9th Feb19:45Regular seasonHPlymouth City Patriots
Sunday 11th Feb18:00Regular seasonACaledonia Gladiators
Friday 16th Feb19:30Regular seasonHSheffield Sharks
Sunday 18th Feb15:00Regular seasonAPlymouth City Patriots
Friday 1st Mar19:45Regular seasonHCheshire Phoenix
Sunday 3rd Mar15:00Regular seasonALondon Lions
Sunday 10th Mar15:00Regular seasonABristol Flyers
Sunday 17th MarTBCAll-StarCopper Box Arena
Friday 22nd Mar19:30Regular seasonHCaledonia Gladiators
Sunday 24th Mar18:00Regular seasonAPlymouth City Patriots
Friday 29th Mar19:45Regular seasonASheffield Sharks
Sunday 31st Mar15:00Regular seasonHNewcastle Eagles
Thursday 4th Apr19:45Regular seasonHBristol Flyers
Friday 19th Apr19:45Regular seasonHManchester Giants
Sunday 21st Apr15:00Regular seasonASurrey Scorchers

Please note fixtures and timings may be subject to change.

The following game remains unscheduled.

Competition H/AOpponent
Regular seasonASurrey Scorchers

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our preseason home opener against USA Select here!

Get tickets to our season opener against the Cheshire Phoenix!

Jaren Holmes: Road to the Riders

Sport is in Jaren Holmes’ blood. He and his brother were raised with it, and now, they make careers from it. His brother, William, was drafted to the Los Angeles Angels in the MLB, and Jaren has signed his first professional contract with the Leicester Riders. 

“I was raised by a single mother, and she always put sports in our hearts,” said Holmes, reflecting on his journey. “For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a ball in my hand.

“I played baseball too until my freshman year in high school. But when I had to choose, I couldn’t live down the fact my little brother was better than me at baseball! So basketball was my choice.

“I’ve always had a great IQ, my grandfather taught me how to play the right way: making the right play, not being selfish, it’s all about winning. That’s how I was raised.

“Now, when I step on the basketball court, it always feels like home. It feels like I’m supposed to be there. It’s peaceful.”

It wasn’t a straight road to the best conference in college basketball, where Holmes completed his final college year. It all started at Ranger Junior College, under legendary coach Billy Gillispie. 

There, he helped them to a berth in the NJCAA Division I championship game, starting all 33 games as a freshman, averaging 12.0 points and winning 31 games. 

“Coach G brings a lot out of you as a player. He has a mentality of everyone leaning on each other to get through all his ways of coaching. Playing for him was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. 

“I believe that my body changed in JUCO playing Coach G. The workouts he had us doing were second to none, and prepared my body for D1. I give all the credit to him.

“He moulded me into the player I am today, and I take my body very seriously now.”

And at Ranger, Jaren made lifelong friends. Most notably with Caleb Asberry, who will suit up with him on the Riders roster this season. 

“Caleb and I have been really good friends for about five to six years. We started from the bottom at Ranger, and we had to endure a lot of trials and tribulations to get where we are today. 

“I hold Caleb and his family close to my heart, and we’ve stayed in close contact. Even our mums are close! It’s come full circle now we can play together again, and I’m super excited about that.

“There was nothing to do at Ranger; the town is literally a petrol station and a Subway. We only had each other, and we became brothers. It’s good to be back with my brother again.”

His work at Junior College brought him to the big leagues. St Bonaventure gave him a shot in the NCAA D1, and he took it, proving he belonged at the top level of collegiate sport. 

He scored over 1000 points for the Bonnies, putting up 13.5 points, five rebounds and 3.6 assists in the 2021/22 season. He was named to the Atlantic 10 Second Team All-Conference in 2021. 

Holmes transferred to Iowa State in the Big 12 conference for his final year of college and continued to impress. He was named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team and received an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, playing under Assistant Coach and former Rider JR Blount. 

 “It was amazing to get to D1—a breath of fresh air. I worked so hard to get to that level: through every no, the doubts and people saying I couldn’t play at that level. After all of the hard work, faith, prayer and sacrifice, it was something I could never imagine. I couldn’t believe it.

“I always thought I was supposed to be at that level. I just had to change my body, become more athletic and become a better ball player. I proved that this year. 

“I was able to play in the best conference in the country and not miss a step. I’m tremendously thankful to St Bonaventure and Iowa State for the opportunities they gave me. They both gave me a shot when a whole lot of other teams didn’t.” 

But even after all the rejection and upset that led him to this point, Holmes wouldn’t change a thing. 

“I’d go through every situation, every heartbreak that I had to endure on this journey to make it here to the Riders. It’s made me a better basketball player and a better person. It helped me understand that life is hard, and you’re going to be disappointed throughout it. 

“It doesn’t matter where you want to go, or what you think you deserve. Timing is everything, and I’m a firm believer in waiting for your time and being ready when your name is called. Keep your head down, work and believe in yourself. 

“Keep God first, and no matter the situation, the upset and the heartbreak, I keep my head high and move two feet at a time.”

His assistant coach at Iowa State, Blount, helped recruit Holmes to Leicester. Blount played for the Riders in the 2010/11 season, averaging 20.6 points under Head Coach Rob Paternostro. 

“JR always talked about his time in Leicester and said it was amazing. He said Coach Rob believed in him and trusted him, and let him play his game. When Coach JR brought this opportunity to me, I would never pass it down.

“I had a great conversation with Coach Rob. We talked everything through and I liked what he said: the way he talked about my game, and how he wanted me to play my role. 

“The Riders are the best fit for me because of how they carry their organisation. It’s a well-run club, with a tremendous fanbase.”

Holmes is now ready to build on the success the Riders have had over the last decade. 

“I love basketball, and I love to win. And that’s what the Riders do. They win. 

“I’m excited and happy to be a part of this great organisation. I can’t wait to see the fans go wild. I’ve watched a couple of games already and the fanbase is crazy! I’m super excited.

“I’ll bring a winning attitude and work ethic, and excitement, laughter and intensity. I’m also committed to working hard in the community of Leicester. 

“It’ll be an honour to meet the fans in Leicester. I’m ready to get to work!”

Jaren Holmes: Top 5 Performances

Riders’ new man Jaren Holmes is entering his first professional season following a four-year college career.

The 6’4” guard made a name for himself as an elite scorer and facilitator during his time in the NCAA D1.

Get to know him with some of his best showings. 

Career high 38 points

Holmes exploded for a career-high 38 points in just 37 minutes in his second year for St. Bonaventure Bonnies. It was a sharpshooting clinic, as a red-hot Holmes drained eight threes in his team’s 83-57 win against Saint Joseph’s Hawks. 

He hit a triple to get the action underway, but it was a 28-point second half that blew the game open. He scored 11 straight points in the half to build the lead and lead the Bonnies to a blowout win. 

Holmes dominated the boards as well as the scoring, grabbing 10 rebounds on his way to an emphatic double-double. 

The game is tied for eighth all-time for single-game scoring performances in college history. 


You could have forgiven Holmes for a down game after his career-high night against St Joe’s. Instead, he went off for 26 points to lead the Bonnies to a 68-54 win against the Fordham Rams.

Holmes hit the dagger with a 1:30 remaining to seal the win, his hot hand staying hot with another five threes in the game. He went 10-16 from the field in a game where neither team found a rhythm on offence.

The win moved the team to 5-1 to start the season, in the midst of a seven-game winning streak.

Holmes went on to average 13.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game on the season, earning a place on the Atlantic 10 second-team All-Conference honours and was named to the A-10 All-Academic Team for the second year in a row.

Upset on primetime

In a top-25 matchup live on ESPN, Holmes led Iowa State to an upset win against the #5 Kansas State in front of a raucous home crowd.

He had 23 points for the Cyclones in the fight for the Big 12 one-seed, going 8-11 from the field and dishing seven assists.

It was a hard-fought game wire-to-wire, but Holmes cooly knocked down the game-winning free throws, after being sent to the line up two.

A 16-point second half from Holmes saw Iowa State take the win. Holmes led the team to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

Double-double against Coppin State

Playing 37 minutes against the Coppin State Eagles, Holmes went off for 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the Bonnies’ 93-81, going 10-14 from the field and and 3-5 from three.

He made his presence known on both ends, adding two steals and a block to his box score.

The Bonnies won 93-81, kicking off a three-game winning streak as they started Homes’ senior year 4-1.

Playing big minutes was something Holmes became accustomed to that season, as he became one of the national minutes leaders at 38.1 per contest and started all 33 games.

Crashing the glass

Holmes showed he could lead the team in multiple ways by dominating the paint for his career-high in rebounds.

Holmes led the Bonnies in points and rebounds in a 70-54 win against the Marquette Golden Eagles, going off for a 19 and 13 double-double in the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic tournament.

Holmes made just six field goals in the game, but his persistence on the glass and ability to get to the free throw line saw him fill up the scoring column, leading his team to the win.

The win put the Bonnies to a 5-0 start to the season, building early momentum in Homes’ junior year.

Want to see Jaren in action?

Get tickets to our preseason opener against Loughborough University here!

Get tickets to our preseason home opener against USA Select here!

Image credit: Iowa State Cyclones

Riders revisited: Tony Windless on his Leicester Riders career

“I really enjoyed being here. We have some of the best fans in the league!”

Riders legend Tony Windless reflected on his time with the Leicester Riders, and how the club has grown since his arrival in 2008. 

Windless was there for the start of the Riders’ revolution. The 6’5” guard signed to now legendary Head Coach Rob Paternostro’s first Riders roster, having spent time in France and the BBL for the London Lions. 

He hit the ground running, putting up 12.7 points and 6.4 rebounds in the 2008/09 season. The Riders went 21-12, good for third in the BBL Championship standings and improved from a 10-23 record the season before. 

Windless would remain on the Riders roster until 2011 when he announced his retirement from professional basketball. 

He is remembered as a key fixture in the team that kick-started the Riders winning culture under Rob Paternostro. 

He sat down with us to talk about his Riders career, and the growth of the club.

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our preseason opener against Loughborough University here!

Get tickets to our preseason home opener against USA Select here!

Leicester Riders launch rebrand

Leicester Riders are excited to present their rebrand ahead of the 2023/24 season, ushering in a new era of Riders basketball. 

The Riders are proud to have innovatively evolved throughout their 56-year history as Britain’s oldest professional basketball club. This rebrand allows the club to continue modernising, 10 years on from the launch of its previous logo.

This marks a fresh start for the club, with a revitalised roster of young talent ready to take the reins and add to the Riders’ rich history. 

The updated brand incorporates every facet of the club, from its community work with the Leicester Riders Foundation, its player pathways and development through Charnwood College and Loughborough University, to the first teams in the BBL and WBBL.

The club would like to thank its partners at 5or6 for their support during the rebrand.

Leicester Riders managing director Russell Levenston commented: “It’s been 10 years since the previous logo was created, as we thought it was the fitting moment for us to re-evaluate the Riders brand.

“Looking at how branding has changed over the past decade, we thought it was the right time to refresh ours.

“Thank you for all the work 5or6 has put into supporting the club, both with the rebranding and their continued support through the years. We have worked closely with the team there since they designed the last logo in 2013.

“What is especially pleasing is the new brand’s versatility, and how it can incorporate everything we are about, from our pathways and community work through to the pros.

“These are exciting times for the club, and we look forward to seeing how the brand grows over the coming years. We hope everyone loves it as much as we do!”

Xavier Pinson: Top Performances

Riders’ new man Xavier Pinson is entering his first professional season following a five-year college career.

The 6’2” guard from Chicago made a name for himself as an elite scorer, facilitator and teammate during his time in the NCAA D1.

Get to know him with some of his best showings. 

A career high in points wins overtime thriller

In his final year in Missouri, Pinson exploded for 36 points for his career-high in scoring. 

The Tigers needed every one of his points to take a 102-98 win against TCU, as Pinson three point eruption took the game over. 

Missouri was down eight with two minutes left, but he led a comeback with a deep shooting, making a four-point play to cut it to four, then tying the game with a clutch three with four seconds left, sending it to overtime. 

In OT, yet another three-point bomb connected to take the lead with a minute and a half remaining, which the Tigers would see out. 

In the game, Pinson hit a career-high eight threes; the Horned Frogs with no answer to Pinson’s hot hand. 

They attempted to stem the bleeding by sending Pinson to the foul line, but he cooly knocked down eight of his nine free throws, including at the end of OT to seal it. 

The game was one of his five 20-point scoring explosions in his junior year, and his last season at Missouri. 

Winning, whatever it takes

Pinson kicked off his season at LSU on a 12-game winning streak, and winning 14 of his first 15 games. 

During that time, he was recognised as a player who would do anything to contribute to winning, no matter how that manifested on the stat sheet. 

Nothing demonstrates that more than Pinson’s seven-steal game, in a 75-61 win against the undefeated Wake Forest.  

Pinson had nine points on the game, six of them from the free throw line, he remained engaged and intense throughout. His defensive efforts allowed LSU to get out on the run, in a game where buckets were tough for both sides. 

Pinson found a way to impact the proceedings and proved the difference between the sides without lighting up the points column as he so often does. 

Pinson’s play for LSU helped set a new culture, centred around suffocating defence leading to transition points. 

Hot start for New Mexico’s new man

Transferring to New Mexico State for his final year of eligibility, Pisnon went off for two 20-point games in his first three outings. The highest scoring of the pair was a 25-point game, another three-point explosion for the 23 -year-old. 

He drained six threes in a 90-77 win against the University of San Diego. Pinson shot 80% from the field and dished eight assists for the Aggies, dominating all areas of the game. 

His explosiveness and quickness made a quick impression on his new team, as he led the game to take New Mexico State’s second win of the season. 

Pinson went on to put up five 20-point outings on the season, leading the Aggies in points and assists per game.  

Carrying the scoring load

Pinson put Missouri on his back for two straight games in his sophomore year, averaging 30 points to lead his team to consecutive wins. 

He followed up a 28-point outing against Auburn, where he went 10-12 from the field and 6-8 from the free throw line, with a 32-point explosion against Ole Miss. 

Pinson went 4-4 from three and 10-11 from the foul line in a three-point win, where the Tigers needed every point he put up. He went off for 24 in the second half alone. 

He hit six free throws in the final minute, and eight of Missouri’s last 12 points to seal the victory, coming up clutch in just his second college year. 

The outings broke Pinson’s career-highs in back-to-back games, as he demonstrated his ability to take over proceedings and lead a team to wins. 

Freshman’s first 20 point game

Pinson had consistent success against Ole Miss, putting up his first 20-point game against them in his freshman year. 

He had 20 points and six assists, pushing the Rebels all the way in a six-point loss. He led the team with his points tally, going 8-12 from the field in just 29 minutes of play. 

Missouri entered the game as underdogs, against an Ole Miss side with their eyes set firmly on the NCAA Tournament. 

The game was tied with 3:35 to play, but their opponents saw the best of the late momentum to avoid the upset. Pinson impressed on all fronts in the game, setting him up for three successful seasons in Missouri. 

Want to see Xavier in action?

Get tickets to our preseason opener against Loughborough University here!

Get tickets to our preseason home opener against USA Select here!

Image credit: Montreal Alliance

Riders through the Decades

Leicester Riders, Britain’s oldest professional basketball club, was founded in 1967. Our rich history spans five arenas, 19 pieces of silverware and three name changes.

As founding members of the National Basketball League in 1972 and the British Basketball League in 1987, we have forever been staples of the sport in the UK.

Take a look back in time at the club through the decades.

1960sLoughborough All-Stars

The club, originally known as the Loughborough All-Stars, was founded by students and lecturers at Loughborough University on 26 April 1967.

Vaughan Thomas, a Wales and GB international, created a team that included the best players the East Midlands had to offer.

Pictured is the squad from the 1968/69 season, following a win against the Edinburgh Hornets.

Peter Shaw (#6), was a founding member who played seven seasons with the team.

Shaw became the club’s coach in 1974, and was a fixture of the sidelines for much of the next 15 years.

1970s- National Basketball League founded

1972 marked the founding of the National League, of which the All-Stars were among six competing teams.

Pictured is the Loughborough squad from the 1972/72 season, the first year of the NBL.

The All-Stars finished with a 5-5 record that season, led by Riders legend Carl Olsson’s (#13) 19 points per game.

After a half-decade of the National League, the All-Stars departed in 1979 to become a non-league club.

1980s- Riders are born

Between 1979 and 1981 the club won the Founders Cup (the top honour for a non-league side) during both their seasons out of the top flight.

1981 marked the year that the club moved from Loughborough to its current home, Leicester, as they reentered the National League in Division Two.

The move was backed by Leicester City Council and Leicester City Bus, hence the change in name to “Riders”.

Coached by Shaw, the Riders played their games at the newly refurbished Granby Halls, until its closure in 2000.

The side made light work of Division Two, winning the league undefeated and collecting the National Trophy.

They also tasted their first major final in the mid-80s, but fell to the dominant Solent Stars.

1990s- National Cup Final

Image credit: Mansoor Ahmed

Near the start of the 90s, the Riders made the second National Cup Final of their then 24-year history.

The competition has run since 1936, and this iteration saw the Riders take on the Sunderland Saints at the London Arena.

The Riders lost 88-81, led by Gene Waldron’s 26-point effort, but returned a decade later to win the Cup against the Greater London Leopards in an 84-82 thriller.  

They would have to wait a decade to return to the big stage.

2000s- Riders’ first BBL silverware

The Riders kicked off the 2000s with a bang.

They celebrated their move back to Loughborough, this time to the Sir David Wallace Centre, by filling the trophy cabinet immediately.

With their 2001 NTL Cup and BBL Playoff win, they took home their first pieces of British Basketball League silverware, led by legendary Head Coach Billy Mims.

It all started in the Cup Final, where the Riders broke their 30-year duck in major competitions. Their 84-82 win against London was led by MVP Ralph Blalock, who scored 26 in the game.

To end the famous 2000/01 season, the Riders came through to win the BBL Playoffs as the 8-seed, beating the Sheffield Sharks at Wembley Arena (pictured).

Blalock, again, led all scorers with 25, capping off a Cinderella story.

“The Riders were written off as no-hopers at the start of the season, but under the stewardship of former London Leopards head coach Billy Mims, the unfashionable Midlands outfit became a revelation.”

Daniel Routledge

2010s- Dynastic decade

It was over a decade-long wait for the Riders to lift their next trophy, but good things come in threes!

Led by Head Coach Rob Paternostro, now the most decorated coach in BBL history, the Riders were crowned treble winners, winning the 2013 BBL Cup, BBL Championship and BBL Playoffs (pictured).

The Playoff Final was a 68-57 win against the Newcastle Eagles, led by Drew Sullivan’s 24-point dominant display.

The historic season kicked off a dominant Riders run, where they won 10 competitions in six years!

In 2016, they moved into their current home, the Morningside Arena, allowing the Riders to bring British basketball dominance into their own arena.

2020s- Completing a trio of trebles

Having followed up their 2013 treble with another in 2017, the Riders made it three in ten years in 2022.

After winning the league a year prior, the Riders returned with a bang to take home the BBL Cup, BBL Championship (pictured), and BBL Playoffs.

With a 25-2 record, they dominated the league, before beating the London Lions in the Playoff final 78-75, led by back-to-back BBL MVP Geno Crandall’s 23 points, to cap off another historic year.

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our home preseason opener against USA Select!

5 things you may not know about TJ Lall

Canadian/British forward TJ Lall has become the sixth member of our 2022/23 roster.

To help you get to know more, here are some things you may not know about our new man:

He ended a 30-year championship drought 

In his final college season, Lall led Brock University to their first OUA title since 1992. 

In front of a sold-out crowd, Lall put up a game-high 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists on the Badgers’ way to a 95-75 blowout against Queens University.

He dominated, going 11-16 from the field 4-7 from three, getting it done in all aspects of the game to bring long-awaited silverware back to his university. 

He was named MVP in college 

Lall dominated the OUA in his final college year. His 22 points and 7.9 rebounds per game earned him the honours of First Team All-Canadian, OUA West MVP and OUA West First Team All-Star. 

Not only did he lead the Badgers to their first title in three decades, Brock University also made an appearance at the U SPORTS Final 8 Tournament. 

They posted a regular-season record of 14-1 in the OUA West and won three straight playoff games to make their first appearance at the national championships since 2017-18.

He was the number one pick in the 2020 CEBL Draft

As a 23-year-old, following his college career at Carleton University, Lall was selected number one overall by the newly established Ottawa BlackJacks in the 2020 CEBL draft. 

The three-round draft saw 21 players selected from 10 universities across Canada, and Lall was deemed the best prospect of all for a bran new franchise. 

Ottawa Head Coach Taffe Charles told the Waterloo Region Record described him as “athletic”, “a really good two-way player” and ,” a very good rebounder” after their selection. 

He was a national champion boxer

Sport runs in the Lall family, as TJ’s dad was a kickboxer.

Lall took up the sport competitively until the age of 15, even winning a national championship!

Lall ultimately settled on hoops over the ring, but remains a huge boxing fan.

His favourite player was Allen Iverson

During the early 2000s, Allen Iverson made waves across the basketball landscape.

His flashy handles and elite scoring captured the imagination of Lall, who greatly admired “AI”.

Along with Tracey MacGrady and Kevin Garnett, he was one of the first to get him into the sport, kickstarting what would become his professional career.

Want to see Lall in action? Buy tickets to the Riders’ preseason home opener against USA Select!

Riders sign Lall

The Leicester Riders are excited to sign 6’7” forward TJ Lall to their 2023/24 roster. 

The Canadian, who holds a British passport, has played four seasons in the Canadian CEBL, most recently alongside Riders’ guard Kimbal Mackenzie for the Niagara River Lions. 

Lall played last season in the Japanese first division for Kyoto Hannaryz, putting up 6.8 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.

He was selected by the Ottawa BlackJacks as the first overall pick during the 2020 CEBL Draft, where he had his first taste of professional basketball.

In college, the Ontario native won four national titles with the Carleton Ravens before transferring to Brock University for his fifth college season.

He averaged 22 points and 7.9 rebounds per game and was named First Team All-Canadian, OUA West First Team All-Star and Brock Men’s Basketball Team MVP. 

“I’m very excited and grateful for the opportunity to play for the Riders,” said Lall.

“I can’t wait to experience basketball in the UK and get on court to battle with the team!”

“We are thrilled to have TJ for next season,” commented Head Coach Rob Paternostro. 

“TJ is a versatile player who can make an impact on both ends of the floor and a guy who plays with the type of energy that can really impact a game. 

“He can do a variety of things: defend multiple positions, score in different ways and as shown the ability to play make for others. 

“He has been teammates with guys we know very well, and they’ve all said great things about him as a player and a teammate.” 

Want to see TJ in action?

Buy tickets to our preseason home opener against USA Select!

Photo credit: Niagara River Lions

Interested in sponsoring one of our players? Please contact [email protected]

A message from Mo

Hello everybody! It’s great to be back! 

I’m so happy that the management, coaching staff and fans still believe in me after all that we’ve been through. 

I’m grateful to be able to reach and motivate others, sharing the blessings that basketball has allowed me. 

As you all know, I’ve missed some time with injury over the last couple of seasons. It’s been a long road, but God and my girlfriend have helped me mentally. They have been with me every day to help me heal and grow as a person on and off the court. 

During my recovery, I enjoyed working with the Foundation. I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes and in the community around basketball.

Connecting with the kids was great: helping to motivate and inspire them to get through any difficult times they face. 

Now I’m healthy, I can’t wait to get back out there. Expect us to give our best effort every time we step onto the floor. Personally, I expect myself to bring veteran leadership to help the younger players learn and grow. 

I know the fans will have our back every game and bring the energy and noise we need in tight spots to get us over the edge. 

I’m excited to still be a part of the Riders. I’m grateful to be able to make up for lost time, and I’m looking forward to being back out there with all the fans!

Praise God.

Mo Walker

Riders re-sign Walker

The Riders are thrilled to announce the return of Mo Walker for the 2023/24 season. 

It will be the Canadian/British big man’s fourth season with the Riders, after signing for the 2020/21 season. 

Walker was an integral part of the club’s treble-winning success in 2022, averaging 11.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game that year. 

Before last season was cut short due to injury, the  University of Minnesota graduate was putting up 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds, shooting 58.6% from the field. 

“I’m excited to still be a part of the Riders!” said Walker. 

“Anyone who has followed the club and has watched my journey knows I have lost time in the past due to injury. But I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to make up for lost time, and I’m looking forward to being back out there in front of the Riders fans!” 

“We are all looking forward to having Mo back on the court for us next season,” commented Head Coach Rob Paternostro. 

“I thought he started off very well last season and was playing good basketball before the injury. He can be very difficult to match up with, can score in different ways and has the ability to put real pressure on the opposing defence.

“Mo has always shown great leadership during his time here and we have valued that on and off the court.”

Riders retain Ndoukou

Leicester Riders can confirm the retention of Victor Ndoukou for the 2023/24 season.

The 6’8″ forward signed his first professional contract with the Riders in January to accompany his studies at Loughborough University, committing him to Leicester for four years.

Ndoukou won the 2021/22 EABL MVP award and averaged 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in NBL D1, shooting 46% from three that season.

“It’s an honour to play for the Riders,” said Ndoukou.

“Only the good players play for them, so I’m really grateful to be a part of that, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision to sign here.

“Having the trust from all my coaching staff is a big thing for me, and hopefully, coming into this year, I can make strides with my career.”

Head coach Rob Paternostro commented: “Victor is a guy who has been with our programme for years, and we have really enjoyed working with him and watching his game develop.

“He is a skilled player with a high basketball IQ, who makes good decisions out on the floor and possesses good size and strength.”

Ndoukou is in action for GB Under-20s this week for the FIBA European Youth Championships.

Thank you for your continued support

Leicester Riders Chairman Kevin Routledge has thanked all Riders fans, after an outpouring of support following the postponement of the BBL 2019/20 season.

The BBL announced last Tuesday a suspension of the current season indefinitely, because of the national measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

No date has been set for a possible resumption to the season, with the BBL awaiting updated Government advice.

“These are challenging times for the Riders, and the BBL, in common with other professional leagues and clubs.”

“Indeed the challenges are being faced across a lot of sectors of industry in these unprecedented times, and so we have to be understanding, and keep a perspective.”

“In addition, we are rightly proud of the work in the community of our Foundation, but now their activities will be significantly curtailed, particularly due to the schools closure.”

“We are also extremely proud that we were the first club in the BBL to build their own venue, the Morningside Arena, and that too had to be closed to the public as of last Friday evening, with the most recent announcement by the Prime Minister.”

“The public generally may not be aware, but the Morningside Arena is owned by our charity, the Leicester Riders Foundation, and inevitably, as the largest indoor venue in the city, it has significant overheads.”

“If any of our supporters, or the public, wished to provide further support, donations to our Foundation will greatly assist us continuing with a reduced service.”

“The total loss of revenues to those three organisations, as a result of the suspension and closures, could reach £1 million, depending upon how long the closures continue.”

“This means it will take some time for us to recover.”

“We are exploring every opportunity to continue to make some use of the arena, in line with Government advice and guidelines, during these challenging times.”

“But we have been overwhelmed with messages of support from our players, fans, sponsors, funders and suppliers.”

“We are particularly thankful that we have not yet had a single request for a ticket refund for the advanced sales for the remaining Riders home games, which is hugely helpful to sustaining our businesses through these difficult times, while we find out if the season can resume.”

“In addition, all our sponsors have remained very supportive and are offering their help and expertise.”

“Also, all the players and staff of the Riders, and the staff of our Foundation and Arena, have stepped up and voluntarily agreed short term reductions in wages to help get us through these unprecedented conditions.”

“And we have been delighted with the support from our main suppliers, who have shown great flexibility in terms of payment, notwithstanding some having their own difficulties.”

“We have also had support and advice from the Council, which has been very helpful, particularly recognising that the demands on their leadership and staff are immense in these circumstances.”

“We particularly welcome the announcement by the Chancellor on Friday night, to support keeping people in work. That will be boost for all businesses like ours.”

“We are also aware that the BBL is having conversations with national government to see what support might be forthcoming because of the damage to our sport.”

“The Riders continue preparations so that we can restart to finish the current season, although understandably some of our overseas players like Kyron Cartwright, Corey Johnson and Namon Wright returned to the US, in light of pending or threatened travel bans by American authorities.”

“We will address the strength of our playing squad, once clarity is provided on what happens next.”

“The Riders will also accelerate our preparations for next season, and in that regard we will launch our season tickets offer for the 2020/21 season later this week.”

“Any of our fans who can afford to buy theirs soon would make a huge difference to the short and medium term sustainability of the Leicester Riders.”

“I understand that many of our fans and their families are facing similar financial uncertainty, but even a small contribution could go a long way.”

“Meanwhile everyone at the Club, the Foundation and at the Arena remains resolute, and determined to stay safe, comply with Government guidelines, and get back, in due course, to normal business.”