Donar Groningen: Through the years

Leicester Riders will hed to the Netherlands to take on Donar Groningen during their pre-season. The game will take place on Friday, September 1.

Riders face Donar annually, providing a stern test during the Riders’ season preparations.

Donar, seven-time Dutch champions, enter this campaign after finishing second in the playoffs last season.

The game will provide key minutes for the newly formed Riders roster, looking to build on-court chemistry for a packed Britsh Basketball League schedule.

Donar has a storied history in Dutch basketball. We take a look back into the prestigious organisation’s past. 


Founded in 1951, Donar is one of the original Dutch first-division clubs, entering the league in 1970. 12 years on, they won their first championship with an emphatic 158–58 win against BOB Oud-Beijerland. 

The 100-point win has never been repeated in the Netherlands, as Donar wrote themselves into the history books. 

Following relegation just one year later, Donar returned to the first division in 1986, where they remained ever since.

Winning ways

The 2009–10 season kick-started Donar’s modern trophy-winning run. They won their third national championship, beating West-Brabant Giants 4–1 in the Finals.

The title-winning squad returned for the next season, and they became the first Dutch basketball team to take part in the qualifying rounds of the new Euroleague.

Star man Jason Dourisseau was named the Dutch League MVP, and the team won a second NBB Cup in 2011, beating WCAA Giants. 

They fell just short in the playoffs Finals to Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden, in a historic game seven featuring three overtimes.

The 2013/14 season saw a reshuffled roster, which won the 2014 NBB Cup by beating Zorg en Zekerheid Leiden 79–71. They went on to win their fourth national title, this time emerging victors of a seven-game series against SPM Shoeters Den Bosch. 

Dynastic run 

In the 2015 offseason, Erik Braal took the role of Head Coach, and became the most successful coach in club history, winning five trophies in six seasons. The first: Donar’s fifth DBL title. 

In the 2016–17 season, Donar reached the second round of the FIBA Europe Cup, their best European performance in club history. That season, they won the treble for the first time, winning the Supercup, the NBB Cup and the playoff title. 

In 2017, Donar again qualified for the FIBA Europe Cup. They made strides in Europe, progressing all the way to the semi-finals of the playoffs before falling to the defending Italian champion Reyer Venezia, despite winning the second leg at home.

Domestically, the club had success behind star man Brandyn Curry, who was named league MVP. Donar won its third consecutive Dutch title after sweeping ZZ Leiden in the finals.

The following season, Donar reached the round of 16 in the FIBA Europe Cup for the second time in their history.


In 2020, Braal departed the club. A year later, Donar joined the newly formed BNXT League, which merged the national leagues of Belgium and the Netherlands. They immediately added more silverware to their packed cabinet, winning their seventh Cup, and making the playoff finals.  

In 2022/23, under Head Coach Andrej Štimac, Donar reached the finals of the Dutch League for the 13th time. In the series, Donar played ZZ Leiden once again and narrowly lost a decisive Game 5, therefore finishing second in last season’s playoffs.

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International watch: Katie Januszewska to play in the European Youth Championships

Riders’ guard Katie Januszewska is set to suit up for Great Britain Under-20s in the FIBA European Youth Championships!

“KJ” was named to the 12-player roster by Head Coach Chantelle Handy, as the squad prepares to play in Division “B” on July 28.

GB will head to Craiova, Romania, to take on Germany, Ukraine and Switzerland in Group A.

The top two finishers in the group will progress to the quarter-final stage.

Schedule of play

July 28, 1:30 PM- GB vs Ukraine

July 30, 1:30 PM: GB vs Germany

August 2, 4 PM: GB vs Switzerland

Where to watch

You can watch every game on GB Basketball TV.

Rider watch: Young Riders help GB past group stage

Young Riders have been in international action in the FIBA European Youth Championships! 

Victor Ndoukou and Charnwood’s Lane Campbell have represented GB Under-20s in Skopje, North Macedonia. 

Ndoukou averaged 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in the group stage, going off for 14 and 11 in the tournament-opening win against Austria.

Campbell also went off in the game, becoming just the fourth GB player to record at least 10 assists in a single game at the Under-20s European Championships. 

He had eight points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the game and put up six points, five rebounds and 5.5 assists throughout the group stage. 

GB went 2-2 in Group B, with wins against Austria and Hungary, seeing them through to the Division B quarter-finals. 

They take on North Macedonia in the opening round of the knockout stage, the game tipping off at 7:45 on Friday, July 14.

Photo credit: FIBA

Watch: Victor Ndoukou on his GB Under-20s call up

Young Riders’ forward Victor Ndoukou recieved a call-up to captain Great Britain Under-20s for the FIBA European Youth Championships ‘B’ Divison.

Ndoukou will play alongside Charnwood’s Lane Campbell in the competition.

We sat down with Ndoukou, who told us what representing his country means to him.

Starting on the 7th July, Great Britain will compete in Skopje, North Macedonia, in a group alongside Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg and Portugal.

The group games take place on the following:

Friday, July 7 2023, 8 PM BST – Great Britain vs Austria
Saturday, July 8 2023, 3 PM BST – Portugal vs Great Britain
Sunday, July 9 2023, 12:30 PM BST – Great Britain vs Luxembourg
Tuesday, July 11 2023, 12:30 PM BST – Hungary vs Great Britain

You can watch every game on GB Basketball TV.

We’ll keep you up to date on Ndoukou and GB as the action unfolds!

Photo credit: Ville Vuorinen

International watch: Riders suit up for GB Under-20s

There was Riders’ representation on the international stage this week in preparation for the FIBA European Youth Championships in July. 

Victor Ndoukou and Lane Campbell were joined by Charnwood product Ceejay Hanson to represent Great Britain Under-20s, taking on last year’s fourth-placed finishers, Finland, in Helsinki over two games.

“It was a great environment in Finland,” said Riders women’s head coach Krumesh Patel, who was appointed head coach of GB U20’s in March.

“They are a competitive team that got a lot right! The Riders guys did really well over the two games, and we hope that’s something they can use to build towards the Euros!”

The European Youth Championships take place in Skopje, North Macedonia, from July 7-16, featuring 19 national teams from across Europe.

Great Britain competes in Division B, and have been drawn against Luxembourg, Portugal, Austria and Hungary in their group. 

Photo credit: Ville Vuorinen