Basketball returns with the National Lynch Trophy

The 2020/21 basketball season will tip-off on October 10 with a new piece of silverware on offer for teams in NBL Division One following the creation of the Lynch Trophy.

The competition sees all 14 of the Basketball England NBL Division One clubs, with invited academy sides Myerscough and Charnwood, competing in four regional groups of four.

The group stages will be played over three weekends, the 10/11, 17/18 and 24/25 October, and will be used as trial events for the coming season. The games will provide controlled windows for clubs, officials, coaches and players to understand the ‘new normal’ and how games will need to be conducted before NBL Division One commences on October 31/November 1.

Playing each other once, the top two sides in each group will progress to the quarter-finals. All games in the group stage will be played in four central bubbles and will be livestreamed.

Gail Richards, Basketball England’s Senior Delivery Manager said: “We are really pleased to support and work together with NBL1 clubs to form this pre-season event.

“We are coming through a difficult time for the sport and we are confident the event will help us understand some of the challenges faced by players, clubs and officials heading into the new season, while giving the teams the opportunity for some competitive action.”

Rob Lynch, Director L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage, said: “We’re really looking forward to working with the NBL clubs as the National Lynch Trophy 2020/21 commences and we help restart professional basketball in England.

 “It’s great to be involved in a national competition with clubs stretching from Newcastle, to the south coast where we expect Worthing and Solent to challenge, and with Hemel Storm and Oaklands Wolves on our doorstep. We know there will be some entertaining games. The Lynch Trophy 2020/21 is an exciting new tournament and we’re excited to play a part.”

Hemel Hempstead MP Sir Mike Penning, who is also the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for basketball, and represents the constituency where Lynch are based: “I am delighted to see the return of another national competition for the NBL1 teams and also the support of a commercial partner in Lynch. This new competition speaks to the APPG vision of a stronger and more commercially viable framework for semi-professional basketball in this country.”

Follow the Lynch Trophy on Twitter @LynchTrophy and Instagram @LLynchTrophy

About L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage

With an expansive fleet of modern plant and equipment, Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage provides operated, self-drive and contract hire plant to a variety of sectors within the construction arena. Contracts within the civil engineering, rail engineering, public utilities, ground works, highways maintenance, demolition and winter maintenance sectors all offer Lynch the opportunity to build a wide portfolio of skills within a variety of areas.

Loughborough Riders core set to Return

Loughborough Riders will boast a large returning core ahead of the NBL and BUCS Premier seasons, with key faces making a return to the line up ahead of a unusual season set to begin.

Jonas Dieterich, Kyle Jimenez, Liam Johnson, Carl Ntifo, Harrison Gamble, David Oputa return to the Loughborough side as a positive returning core for Coach Jarram’s roster with Loughborough second team players Conor O’Reilly and Mayowa Oloke stepping up to group in training camp.

Head Coach Mark Jarram will continue to build a combination roster built around student athlete players eligibly for BUCS Premier competition and a weekend roster including a number of alumni and Charnwood College students.

“We’re extremely fortunate to return a lot of our core group from last season,” commented Coach Jarram.

“With a large number of incoming freshmen it’s important to have some continuity and corporate knowledge. Harrison, Jonas and Kyle are all respected voices in the locker room whilst also leading by example.

We’re also intrigued to see how the other returners can grow and develop as second year players.”

The Loughborough Riders will continue pre-season as league details and schedules are finalized for October. Be sure to follow @lborobasketball on social media for news and updated throughout the season as basketball returns.

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.

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.