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.