Report: Riders cruise to victory in Manchester

Leicester Riders won their fifth game on the bounce with a road victory against Manchester Giants. 

In her third straight 20 point outing, Taylor O’Brien led the team with 25 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 30 minutes. 

Rayven Peeples continued her dominance on the glass, which has spanned all season, with a monster 15 points and 17 rebounds on the game. 

The Riders led from the opening quarter, and controlled the game throughout. Led by Peeples, they outrebounded the Giants 62-28 in the game. 

Brooklynn Mcalear-Fanus led the Giants with 20 in the host’s defeat. Manchester shot well from three, hitting 40% of their attempts, but couldn’t keep Leicester off the glass throughout. 

The Riders endured a slow start, falling in a 5-0 hole before O’Brien’s three from the top of the arc took the lid off the basket for the visitors. Marsissa Hamilton, following a 5/5 night from three on Friday, followed her up with a triple of her own, giving the Riders the lead in a quick swing. 

The threes settled the Riders down, and they took control of the first quarter. They established the paint, led by six points from Rayven Peeples, and led the first 26-17 after a relentless attack of the rim throughout the period. 

O’Brien took over the start to the second with 5 quick points, making her points tally 12 with seven minutes left in the half. Young star Erin Powell also put five on the board to bring her total to seven, and Leicester extended their lead. 

O’Brien’s hot first half meant the Riders won the second period 23-15. Peeples bossed the boards with 10 rebounds at the half, contributing to 10 offensive rebounds for the team as they owned the inside. The score was 49-32 at halftime- the Riders in control. 

Sam Ashby got the second half underway with a three to set the tone in the third quarter. The sides exchanged buckets, but the Riders held their opponents 20 points away. 

The Giants did chip into their deficit with four minutes left in the third, as Idil Turk hit back-to-back from deep to make it a 14 point difference. But Peeples got work out of the resulting timeout, making a tough bucket at the rim in response. 

They went 8-0 started by Peeple’s bucket, before the quarter was ended by another Turk three to make it 70-51. 

Boasting a big lead, the Riders saw the game out professionally. Ashby, Peeples and O’Brien shouldered the scoring load, and Leicester won the fourth 22-16 to improve their record to 11-2. 

Championship Preview: Riders vs Eagles

Leicester Riders play the Newcastle Eagles for the second of back-to-back games against their North Eastern opponents. 

They will host the Eagles at the Mattioli Arena, Leicester, as the club looks to pack the house.

Here’s how the game is shaping up…

Fixture information 

Leicester Riders vs Newcastle Eagles 

Mattioli Arena, Leicester, 7 pm

Get tickets here! 

Last time out

Last week saw the Riders head to Newcastle to face tomorrow’s opponents, coming away with a 77-55 win. 

Contrary to the scoreline, the game was contested until late. It was a four-point game going into the final quarter, before the Riders won the fourth 30-14 to blow the game open and take home the win. 

Star guard Taylor O’Brien led the team with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, proving the difference in the final quarter with 10 points. 

The Riders’ defence won the day, however, forcing 24 turnovers out of their opponents and holding them to 36% shooting from the field. 

Season so far

The Riders have established themselves as one of the premier teams in the League once again this season. They sit third with a 9-2 record, their two losses coming to the undefeated London Lions, who they are one win behind in the standings. 

They bounced back from a loss to London with three straight wins, beating the Cardiff Met Archers, Durham Palatinates and the Eagles convincingly. 

The Riders have made their trade on the offensive glass this season, leading the League with 14.1 per game. They only grabbed nine last time out against the Eagles, so expect the boards to be a point of emphasis in this one. 

One to watch

Despite her team’s loss, Tierra Hodges led the game with 20 points and 9 rebounds for the Eagles. 

Newcastle’s December signing exploded onto the scene in Newcastle, leading the League in scoring through six games. 

The 5’9” wing is scoring 22.1 points per game, awent off for 30 points on her debut and has failed to score 20 points in just one game for the Eagles. 

Hodges signed in the North East after an outstanding collegiate career at Furman University and an excellent rookie campaign last season in Finland.

In her final college season, she was named first-team all-conference by coaches and media, led the Southern Conference in rebounding with 10.4 per game and ranked third in scoring with 16.2 per game

Championship Preview: Riders at Eagles

The Riders return to action after a winning weekend of action, facing the Newcastle Eagles on the road. 

The 8-2 Riders are coming off back-to-back wins, ready to play an Eagles team that has endured a difficult start to the season. 

Here’s how the teams shape up…

Fixture information 

Leicester Riders at Newcastle Eagles

Saturday, February 17, 7:30 pm

Vertu Motors Arena 

Watch Live!

Two-win weekend 

The Riders are coming off an impressive weekend of wins, beating the Cardiff Met Archers and Durham Palatinates in back-to-back days. 

They won by an average margin of 37 points, making a statement with dominant victories. They won every quarter of the weekend and maintained their pursuit of the top end of the table. 

Rayven Peeples dominated the weekend on the glass, notching two double-doubles on her way to a Team of the Week nomination. She averaged 16 points and 13 rebounds across the two games. 

The Riders, led by Peeples, have set the tone on the glass on their way to eight wins this season. They rank second in rebounding (0.1 rebounds per game behind the top-ranked London Lions) and first in offensive rebounding. 

Playing against an Eagles team who have struggled to pull down boards this season, will play a large factor in the North East. 

Newcastle looking for form 

Having lost the last three Championship fixtures, the Newcastle Eagles are looking for a win to turn their season around. 

Losses to Oaklands Wolves, Essex Rebels and London Lions are responsible for the poor run of fixtures. They enter this game after a loss against the League-leading Lions, who won 102-56 at home. 

They pulled off back-to-back wins against Durham and Cardiff in mid-December, but failed to build off their form to make a rise up the table. 

They have struggled on the boards this season, ranking second-last in offensive rebounds and third-last in defensive rebounds as the Eagles struggle to generate second possession and close defensive ones.

They’ll need to improve in this department to overcome the glass-crashing Leicester Riders. 

Key matchup 

Eagles’ December signing Tierra Hodges has exploded onto the scene in Newcastle, leading the League in scoring through five games. 

The 5’9” wing is scoring 23.2 points per game, went off for 30 points on her debut and has failed to score 20 points in just one game for the Eagles. 

Hodges signed in the North East after an outstanding collegiate career at Furman University and an excellent rookie campaign last season in Finland.

In her final college season, she was named first-team all-conference by coaches and media, led the Southern Conference in rebounding with 10.4 per game and ranked third in scoring with 16.2 per game 

The American’s performances in the British Basketball League earned her the Player of the Month award for December. 

Facing up against her is another Player of the Month, Sam Ashby, who won the award for her efforts in January. 

Ashby balled out against Durham last week, leading the game’s scoring with 21 points, and logged 6 rebounds and 5 steals in the win.

Ashby’s performances this season earned her a spot on the GB roster earlier in the year. She’s averaging 12.9 points per game and ranks fourth in the League in steals with 2.4 per game. 

Expect this battle from the wing position to play a significant role in the outcome of this clash.  

Riders make it back-to-back wins with a blowout against Durham

The Riders made it back-to-back wins in a weekend of action, beating the Durham Palatinates 85-57 to improve their record to 8-2. 

Sam Ashby dominated wire-to-wire, the GB guard logging a game-high 21 points and 6 rebounds after hitting the ground running with 12 in the first. Rayven Peeples scored 14 to back up her teammate, grabbing 13 rebounds for her second double-double of the weekend. 

Leicester shot well from deep in the game, hitting 40% of their threes to blow the game open. On the defensive end, they held Durham to 2-18 shooting from behind the arc in a dominant defensive outing. 

Their standout was Elle Hendershot, who matched Ashby’s 21 points in her team’s effort. But the Palatinates struggled to match the Riders’ play on both ends throughout, and the hosts secured their second big win in as many days. 

Ashby’s defence made a huge impact in the opening stages of the game. She blocked Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby inside to force a 24-second violation and took a charge on Hendershot for two score-saving plays. On the other end, scored five quick points as the Riders charged out the gate for a 10-4 start. 

Durham established the interior to come back into it, led by Hendershot’s 7 points in the first quarter. But Ashby hit back with seven more points to rebuild Leicester’s lead to eight, finishing the first quarter at the free-throw line to make the score 22-14.  

Hot deep shooting meant the Riders maintained their lead in the second, as Marissa Hamilton and Katie Janszewska both hit triples. Taylor O’Brien followed up with seven straight points, and the Riders built their advantage to 39-22. 

The Riders shot 57% from three at the half, while the Palatinates missed each of their seven attempts. That made it 44-29 to the hosts by the break. 

A 6-2 start to the second half made it 50-31 within two minutes. Ashby built on her game tally with seven more points, including a three to put Leicester up 20. Peeples got to work inside with aggressive play around the rim. She scored 7 points in six minutes, capped off by an and-one play. 

To end the third, Katie Januszewska found the bottom of the basket on back-to-back plays to bring her game total to double digits. Leicester won the third 25-15 to make the score 69-44 with one to play. 

Elise Tweeide scored two straight baskets at the rim to get the Riders going in the final quarter of play. Leicester continued to be effective in their runs to the rim, seeing the game out by adding to their side of the scoreboard. 

They finished the game with a 16-13 fourth quarter, meaning they won every quarter of their two-game weekend.

The Riders are back in action on Febuary 17, heading to the North East to take on the Newcastle Eagles. 

Report: Riders secure big home win against Archers

The Riders took a dominant win against Cardiff Met Archers to improve to 7-2 in the Women’s British Basketball League Championship standings. 

It was an impressive win start-to-finish, as Leicester won the opening quarter 22-7 and never looked back. 

American forward Rayven Peeples set the tone in the paint, leading the game with an 18 point, 13 rebound double-double.

She was backed by Katie Januszewska, who had 12 points and 5 rebounds off the bench in 19 minutes. 

The Riders established the inside quickly, getting two offensive boards, a block and a finish at the rim in the opening minute. Peeples was instrumental in their physical approach, swatting Lara Habling’s shot and putting in a pair of layups within three minutes to make it a dominant 10-1 start. 

She finished the first with 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks, as the Riders got all five started on the board in the opening period. Despite shooting 0-8 from three, their dominance in the paint meant Leicester led 22-7 after Januszewska’s mid-range pull up to end it. 

Jessica Eadsforth-Yates knocked down the Riders’ first triple of the game to start the second quarter. She hit another with 5:41 left in the half to bring the team’s game tally to 30, and their lead to 22. 

With the lid off the basket from deep, Marissa Hamilton stepped into a triple to continue to pile on the points. On defence, Leicester locked off the interior, forcing the Archers to try their luck from three. They went 1-11 from range in the first half and 8-32 from the field. 

Emihear Morris joined the action from deep with a corner three to get the home bench off its feet. The Riders led 46-18 going into the break- a convincing first half of play. 

Peeples got the second half going with six quick points, as the Riders showed no let-up. She dominated the start to the third quarter with 8 points, 6 rebounds and a steal in five minutes of action. 

Januszewska caught fire in the middle of the quarter. She scored eight straight points, including two threes to stretch Leicester’s significant lead. Morris followed up with her second triple, and the Riders entered the final stanza up 65-29. 

Leicester started the fourth 6-2 to make it a 40-point advantage for the hosts. The quarter was led by 5 points from Eadsforth-Yates, as the Riders saw it home comfortably by winning the final quarter 21-11. 

The Riders are back in action tomorrow, hosting Durham Palatinates.

Get your tickets here!

Leicester Riders Weekend Preview

The Riders are set to take on a weekend of Women’s British Basketball League action, going up against the Cardiff Met Archers and Durham Palatinates in back-to-back home games. 

Here’s a look at the Riders season so far… 

The state of play

Leicester are currently third in the Championship standings with a 6-2 record. Their only two losses have come to the undefeated London Lions, which came after they hit the ground running under new Head Coach Ben Stanley’s leadership following a 4-0 start. 

The Riders enter the games off the back of a tough loss to the table-topping London Lions. The Lions beat the Riders 43-85 to remain undefeated on the season.  

Katie Januszewska provided a bright spark off the bench for Leicester with 11 points in 19 minutes, going 5-7 from the field, but the Riders couldn’t get it going offensively, especially from deep where they went 3-22. 

Former WNBA guard Temi Fagbenle went off for London in the visitor’s win, scoring 22 points in as many minutes. 

Crashing the glass

The Riders have made their name on the boards this season, pulling down 43.4 rebounds per game, the second most in the League. 

This applies especially on the offensive side of the ball. Leicester crashes the glass of their own missed shots wire to wire, and their 14.5 offensive boards per game rank the highest of any team. 

Rayven Peeples has particularly impressed in that department. She has averaged 10.3 rebounds per game, the third most of any player in the League. She leads the League in offensive rebounds with 5.8, generating consistent second-chance opportunities for the Riders. 

They’ll look to continue that trend this weekend against the two teams that grab the fewest defensive rebounds in the League this season. 

Weekend opponents 

The Riders will take on the Cardiff Met Archers and Durham Palatinates this weekend, two teams they have had success against already this season. 

Leicester took on the Archers in November, beating them 110-64 in South Wales. Their leading scorer on the season, Taylor O’Brien, put up 26 points and 6 rebounds in the win, where the Riders shot 52.4% from the field and 37.5% from three. 

The Archers currently sit bottom of the League table, going winless through eight games. As for the Palatinates, they’re currently ninth in the table with a 2-5 record. 

The Riders took them on in late January, once again going on the road and taking home the win. This time, it was a 75-62 victory, led by 15 each from GB wing Sam Ashby and Peeples. 

Leicester will need to replicate their wins from earlier in the season to continue their pursuit of the top end of the table. 

Support the team

Tickets are available for both of these fixtures, which will be played at the Loughborough University Netball Centre. 

We face Cardiff Met Archers on Saturday at 6pm, and Durham Palatinates on Sunday at 1 pm. 

Get your tickets here!

Report: Riders fall short of a comeback against Rebels

The Riders fell out of the Women’s British Basketball League Trophy, losing to the Essex Rebels 84-70 on the road. 

Leicester fell into a 17-point hole early after a slow start, and were down 23 to start the final quarter. 

They came storming back into it, cutting the deficit to six with 3:39 left after a three-point explosion from Taylor O’Brien. But it was too little, too late, and the Rebels knocked down late free throws to progress to the semi-final. 

Sam Ashby led the Riders’ scoring with 21 points after putting up 14 in the first half, backed by Mckenzie Johnston’s 18 and O’Brien’s 15. O’Brien hit five threes in the fourth quarter to spark the comeback. 

Katherine Tudor’s monster third quarter meant she led the game with 24 points. The Rebels cooked from deep, shooting 50% from three on the game. 

Ashby got straight to work for Leicester from the tip, attacking the hoop on the team’s first three possessions for a return of four points. Ashby scored the Riders’ first six, getting to the line with 7:24 left to tie the game. 

Despite the GB international’s play, it was Essex who took the early initiative. Rebel’s star guard Katherine Tudor drained the team’s second three of the game to make it 14-6. 

It was quickly 19-8 with 4:15 left in the first, forcing Head Coach Ben Stanley to call his first timeout. But the Riders had no answer for the Rebels’ physically inside throughout the first. Their opponents scored 20 points in the paint and led 31-14 after one.

Jessica Eadsforth-Yates got the second quarter going for Leicester with a triple from the top of the arc. Ashby followed up from the same spot before nailing another on the next play as the Riders began to chip into the deficit. 

But Essex hit back, and burst back out to a 20 point lead. Megan Haines’ three for her 11th points capped off an 8-0 run with 4:49 remaining in the half. 

It was Leicester’s captain, Johnston, who led the charge going into the break. She scored eight in the second quarter, and cut it to a 13-point game after Katie Januszewska blocked Claire Paxton’s three-point attempt. 

The final score of the half was Essex’s Dayzsha Rogan pulling up from midrange, and the sides entered the locker rooms with the hosts up 48-33. 

Johnston got right back to it in the third, pulling up in the lane to make the first basket of the second half. But a red-hot Rebels team kept gunning from deep, Tudor hitting three triples in as many minutes. 

Another three from Tudor with 3:42 left in the third rebuilt their advantage to 20. Johnston kept battling, scoring another eight points to bring her game tally to 16, but turnovers cost the Riders throughout the quarter, keeping the Rebels out of reach. 

Rogan finished the quarter at the foul line, making it 71-48. 

The Riders battled back in the final quarter, Taylor O’Brien connecting from deep to cut the deficit to 15. She fired again with 6”30 remaining, making the score 72-59. 

O’Brien caught fire, knocking down her third triple of the period with 4:40 left in the game to bring the score to 75-65. Johnston then drove to the hole and made it a single-digit affair for the first time since the first quarter. 

O’Brien pulled up from deep again and cut it to six, forcing an Essex timeout with 3:39 remaining. 

But the timeout stalled the Riders offence, and the Rebels had enough to hang on in the closing stages by making their free-throws. 

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our next home game against Cardiff Met Archers on Febuary 10!

Trophy Preview: Riders at Rebels

The Riders return from their winter break to tip off their Women’s British Basketball League Betty Codona Trophy campaign on the road against the Essex Rebels. 

They enter the competition at the quarter-final stage- last year’s finalists received a BYE for the first round of the competition. 

Here’s how the teams shape up…

Fixture information

Leicester Riders at Essex Rebels

Essex Sports Arena

Saturday, January 13, 4 pm

Back after the break

The Riders last played on December 9, and are now set to take on the same opponents in the same building. 

They concluded their pre-winter campaign with a 79-70 win on the road to Essex, led by 20 points from star guard Taylor O’Brien. 

The Riders are one of two teams with a single loss in the Championship this season, their only defeat coming on the road to the undefeated London Lions. They’re 5-1, with the second-best points production in the League. 

Tay leading the way

O’Brien has hit the ground running in Riders red, leading the team in scoring on the season. She’s scoring 19.7 points per game, the second-highest scorer in the League through six games, getting her points on 46.4% shooting from the field. 

Her efforts in November saw her named Women’s British Basketball League Player of the Month, averaging 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists on 61.7% shooting from the field. 

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

She has established herself as one of the stars of British basketball and will look to lead the team to the Trophy final this year. 

Want to see Taylor in the British Basketball League All-Star game?

Vote here!

Battle in the backcourt

Facing off against O’Brien is fellow American Katherine Tudor, who went off for a game-high 23 points last time out against Leicester. 

Tudor signed in Essex in the offseason and leads the team’s scoring with 18.3 points per game. 

The 25-year-old signed from Australian NBL1 West side Mandura Magic, where she averaged 15.6 points per game last season across 22 NBL games, the second-highest points average amongst the team.

Her best scoring performance of the season came against the Riders, and the ever-consistent scoring threat will look to match O’Brien in this one. 

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our next home game against Cardiff Met Archers on February 10!

Riders sign Thompson!

Leicester Riders are thrilled to sign Athena Thompson to their 2023/24 Women’s British Basketball League roster. 

Thompson, an exciting 15-year-old youth prospect, plays for Milton Keynes Breakers in the WNBL Under 16s. 

She has experience suiting up for GB under 18s, and competed for the under 16s at the FIBA European Youth Championships this summer, alongside Riders forward Katie Januszewska who played for the u20s, leading the team in scoring with 14 points per game. 

Thompson has been a valuable participant in Riders’ practices throughout the season. The club, in collaboration with the Breakers, have decided that signing to the first team roster will be a positive step in her development going forward. 

Thompson will continue to play for her current side, Milton Keynes Breakers, while signed to the Riders. 

“We’re really happy to be able to announce Athena joining us,”  commented Head Coach Ben Stanley. 

“She’s been a huge impact player in her age group with some big games already this year, and she has really come into her own in recent practices. We’re excited to help her develop and to see her on the court with us.” 

Thompson added: “Joining Leicester Riders has been a great opportunity for me, and I’ve been able to develop my knowledge around more experienced players. It’s allowed me to compete at a high level, and I’m grateful for this opportunity going forward.”

Josh Merrington, General Manager of Milton Keynes Breakers, added: “We’re grateful to the Leicester Riders for providing Athena the opportunity to play high-level basketball with their Women’s British Basketball League team. Athena has been dominating her own age group for a while, so playing at a higher level will really aid her development.”

Want to see Thompson in action?

Get tickets to our next home game against Cardiff Met Archers on Febuary 10!

Report: Riders win a battle in Essex

The Riders improved to 5-1 after defeating the Essex Rebels 79-70 in a hard-fought road encounter. 

Rayven Peeples dominated late, scoring seven in the final quarter on her way to 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Taylor O’Brien led the Riders with 19 points and 5 rebounds, after being named Women’s British Basketball League Player of the Month earlier in the day. 

Leicester were forced to fight for the win, never leading by double digits in the game. They found form late on to seal it after leading all through the second half.

Star guard Kat Tudor led the game with 23 points and 9 rebounds, catching fire from deep to shoot 5-9. The Rebels hit big shots to keep within striking distance, but couldn’t overcome Rayven’s power in the paint. 

On the road against an in-form Rebels outfit, the Riders exchanged buckets with Essex early. Scottish forward Claire Paxton scored five quick points for the Rebels, matched by GB international Sam Ashby for the visitors through the opening five minutes. 

For her seventh points, Ashby’s quick cut to the basket was found by Taylor O’Brien’s handoff for the highlight of the first quarter. Leicester found success by attacking the hoop off the ball throughout. 

After seven first-quarter lead changes, the Riders led 21-19 following Dayzsha Rogan’s blown breakaway layup to end it. 

Missed open threes were the story of the second for the Riders. The team got good looks from deep but only connected on one of their six open attempts as the Rebels remained in the game. 

O’Brien took the reigns as the clock ticked down to the half. She scored seven in the quarter to bring her game tally to a team-high 12. 

With little between the sides, Shahid Abboud caught fire for five quick points to give the Riders their biggest lead of the game at 42-35. She knocked down a three, then drove into the teeth of the Rebels’ defence and sank a floater in the lane. 

Essex hit back to close the half at the hands of their leading scorer on the season Kat Tudor, before Paxton hit two free throws to make it 42-39 in Leicester’s favour going into the locker rooms. 

Rayven Peeples took over the scoring load to behind the second half, as the Riders played from in front. She scored six straight points in three minutes, concluded by a tough finish through contact. 

With the three ball still not dropping, the Riders found ways to consistently get to the bucket and keep the scoreboard ticking over. But once again, the Rebels found form late in the quarter to bring it back to a possession with four straight points. 

Peepes continued to impress in the fourth, driving to her right and finishing through a foul for an and-one play. O’Brien followed up her teammate with a three to extend the Riders’ lead to six. 

Peeples extended the lead to nine with five minutes remaining in the game with eight of the Riders’ first 10 points in the final quarter of action. The American rookie put Leicester in good stead to see the game out. 

Tudor found a response for the Rebels with their first triple of the fourth, and her game-high 23rd points of the afternoon. 

But the Riders had enough to get over the line, as Peeples continued to battle down low with no answer defensively from Essex. 

Mckenzie Johnston’s layup inside was the dagger, sealing Leicester their fifth win of the season. 

The Riders can now enjoy a winter break, returning to action on Febuary 10th to take on the Cardiff Met Archers at home.

Get tickets here!

Taylor O’Brien named Women’s British Basketball League Player of the Month

Leicester Riders guard Taylor O’Brien has been voted as the Women’s British Basketball League Player of the Month for her performances throughout November. 

The American rookie averaged 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists on 61.7% shooting from the field, going 2-0 over the two games in the month of action. 

Her highest-scoring performance came against the Cardiff Met Archers on November 18, where she put up 26 points and six rebounds in the Riders’ resounding win. 

Preview: Riders at Rebels

Leicester Riders look to bounce back after their first defeat of the season, as they head to the South East to face the Essex Rebels. 

Fixture Information

Leicester Riders @ Essex Rebels

Essex Sports Arena

Saturday, December 9, 4pm

Falling in the capital 

The Riders fell for the first time in the 2023/24 Women’s British Basketball League season, taking a 77-61 defeat to the back-to-back quadruple-winning London Lions. 

The Riders played the Lions the toughest of all of their opponents early in the season in a spirited performance, but London’s firepower proved too much for Leicester from the offset. 

Rayven Peeples put in an impressive performance in the capital for the Riders, leading the game with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Peeples grabbed seven boards on the offensive glass to buy the Riders second chances throughout. 

She ranks third in the League in rebounds per game, putting herself among Britain’s best on the boards. 

It’s been a successful start to the season for the Riders through five games, as they’ve put themselves in the mix at the top of the table with a 4-1 record. Led by Peeples, they rank top of the offensive rebounding and blocks per game charts, their force in the interior leading to four straight wins to start the season. 

They’ll want to get straight back to winning ways against Essex to maintain the momentum built from the opening tip-off. 

Rebels looking competitive

 10-12 record left the Rebels sixth in the standings last season, facing the Riders in the first round of the playoffs. They fell in a close one, the Riders edging the tie 83-80 in an overtime thriller, with Essex coming close to an upset win. 

They’ve seen a plethora of players join the team in the offseason, most notably American guard Kat Tudor who leads the Rebels’ scoring on the season with 20.3 points per game. 

The roster changes have led them to a .500 start to the season, sitting with a 2-2 record through four games. Their losses this season have come at the hands of the undefeated London Lions and Caledonia Gladiators in a tough schedule to strat the season. 

Last time out, they played the Gladiators tough in a 69-61 road defeat. It was a five-point game with under a minute remaining, with the hosts finding enough late to get over the line, but the Rebels showed they can compete with the elite teams in the league on any given night. 

They’ll need the same level of play in this one to avoid falling below .500. 

Key matchup 

A battle between Americans in the backcourt awaits in this one, as two of the top four scorers in the Women’s British Basketball League go face to face in Essex.

For Essex, Kat Tudor has hit the ground running to lead the Rebels early in the season. The California native signed from  Australian NBL1 West side Mandura Magic, where she averaged 15.6 points per game last season, ranking second on her team. 

Tudor’s four-year college career at Oregon State University saw her put up 8.6 points and 3.0 rebounds, shooting at over 40% from three. She finished third in program history in career 3-pointers and fourth in career 3-point percentage. 

The 25-year-old’s elite three-point shooting has carried over to the South East. Tudor his hitting her triples at a 45.9% rate, the best of anyone who has taken over 20. 

Faced with the task of slowing her down is Taylor O’Brien, who has had a similarly impressive start to her first season in British Basketball. 

She leads the Riders with 19.6 points per game, putting up 20 points on three occasions through five games. 

O’Brien signed 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.

She’ll look to counteract Tudor’s shooting with her speed and athleticism in this battle in the backcourt. 

Championship Preview: Riders at Lions

The Women’s British Basketball League will lose one of its three undefeated records this weekend as the 4-0 Leicester Riders head to the capital to take on the 3-0 London Lions. 

Fixture information 

Leicester Riders at London Lions 

Copper Box Arena, London 

Sunday, December 2, 6 PM

Off the back of a battle

The Riders remain undefeated and top of the Women’s British Basketball League Championship table, but it took overtime for them to keep the loss column vacant against the Nottingham Wildcats. 

The Riders fell down early and struggled to get into a rhythm throughout but came back from down double digits to take control of the game late. The hosts looked like they’d done enough to win it in regulation and would have if not for a three from Mari Stewart, which tied it up. 

GB international Sam Ashby stepped up in overtime with two clutch threes, taking the win and improving the team to 4-0. 

The Riders have hung their hat on their offensive firepower thus far this season, scoring 94.3 points per game- the second most in the League. 

Taylor O’Brien leads the team’s scoring with 21.3 points per game, ranking third among all players in the League. The American guard put up 22 points against Nottingham, her second straight 20+ point performance. 

They’ll need every ounce of that offence in this one to overcome the Lions. 

The team to beat

Last season’s quadruple winners have picked up where they left off last season after they won the Women’s British Basketball League Championship with a dominant 21-1 record. 

They’re 3-0 to start the season, winning by an average of 42 points- blowing away anyone in their path. They’re the only side with a higher-scoring offence than the Riders, scoring 103.7 points per game and shooting a red-hot 52% from the field and 44.3% from three.

The Riders met the Lions in all three domestic finals last year, the Lions coming away victors on each of the occasions. The Riders came closest in the Trophy final, bringing it to a five point game midway through the fourth, but fell 11 points short by the final buzzer. 

Karlie Samuelson leads the team on the season with 22.5 points per outing. The former WNBA player, with experience playing for the LA Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Seattle Storm and Dallas Wings, has two Spanish National League Championships to her name, and is showcasing her elite quality on British soil. 

The Riders will have their work cut out defensively to slow down Samuelson and the Lions. 

Key matchup 

In the absence of Mckenzie Johnston through injury, British guard Jessica Eadsforth-Yates stepped up into the starting five to run the point against the Nottingham Wildcats. 

She pulled the strings effectively, logging 13 points, six assists and six rebounds in the overtime win. The performance marked three straight games where Eadsforth-Yates amassed double-digit points, making an effective contribution to the high-firing Riders offence. 

Eadsforth-Yates arrived at the Riders at the age of 16 for Charnwood college and suited up for the Loughborough Riders a year later in the WNBL D1. Following two seasons in the NCAA DII with Davis & Elkins, she returned to her home country to sign with the Newcastle Eagles as a rookie then the Riders a year later. 

She’ll go face-to-face with fellow Brit Shanice Beckford-Norton, who is putting up 11 points per game on the season so far in her fourth season in London. 

Beckford-Norton is a GB international who most recently represented her country alongside Sam Ashby in the Eurobasket qualifiers. She spent her college career at the prestigious LSU in the NCAA D1, before playing her rookie season in Germany for Heidelberg. 

In 2020, the Londoner returned home by signing with the Lions – averaging just over 14 points in her first WBBL season. 

Eadsforth-Yates is faced with the stern task of matching up with Beckford-Norton in the place of Johnston in a face-off that will go a long way in determining the outcome of the tie. 

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our next home game against Cardiff Met Archers!

Riders duo named to Team of the Week!

For the second week running, Leicester Riders have two players named to the Women’s British Basketball League Team of the Week! 

Following the Riders’ overtime victory against the Nottingham Wildcats, Sam Ashby and Taylor O’Brien were recognised for their performances. 

Taylor O’Brien makes the team two weeks in a row following her stat-sheet-stuffing outing against Nottingham. She put up 22 points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks, impacting every aspect of the game. 

Player of the Game Sam Ashby backed her teammate with 18 points,10 rebounds, seven steals and four assists, the GB international logging her first double-double of the season. 

The Riders return to action on Sunday, hitting the road to take on the undefeated London Lions. 

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our next home game against Cardiff Met Archers!

Report: Riders beat Wildcats in overtime

The Riders improved to 4-0 in the Women’s British Basketball League Championship, taking an 83-75 overtime home win against the Nottingham Wildcats. 

Taylor O’Brien led the team with her second straight 20-point performance, leading the game with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. She was backed by an 18-point double-double from Sam Ashby, who grabbed 10 rebounds in a red-hot overtime performance. 

The so-far winless Wildcats put up a heroic fight against the table-topping Riders, pushing them all the way after a hot start. 22 from Jessica Wayne led the team, as the visitors shot 44% from three to come close to an upset win. 

Starting off 6-0, Nottingham took an early surprise lead led by seven from 6’3” center Brooke Bjelko. The Riders shot 27% from the field in the first but trailed only by a possession after Elise Tweeidie’s free throw to end the quarter. 

The visitors stretched their lead in the second, making it double-digits thanks to a layup inside from American Wayne. Leicester’s two for 13 shooting from deep dug their first half hole, but Taylor O’Brien found form to end the second quarter to keep the hosts in touch. 

O’Brien had four points and a steal in the final two minutes to bring her game tally to nine, and making the score 28-39 going into the locker rooms. 

She continued her dominance in the third, scoring 11 in the quarter as the Riders attempted to chip into the deficit. Driving inside, her and-one play cut it to a four-point game with two minutes left. 

Charnwood graduate Katie Januszewska got on the scoreboard to follow up her teammates, scoring five quick points and snatching the lead for the first time since the opening quarter. The Riders held the Wildcats to a scoreless final seven minutes of the third to lead by four with one to play. 

Shahd Abboud, upon her return from injury, led the Riders out the gate in the fourth with two quick buckets. They stamped their authority in the final period of play, building a solid foundation to see the game out from. Abboud hit a three with four minutes gone to make it an eight-point Leicester lead. 

Nottingham hit big shots throughout to keep it competitive, and cut it to a one-point game after a three from Wayne with 1:45 left to play. After a back-and-forth exchange, Mari Stewart drained another triple which tied it up with nine seconds remaining. 

Ashby couldn’t connect on the would-be game-winner, and the tie went to overtime. 

She took over the overtime period with back-to-back threes to amend for the miss, building a two-possession lead for the Riders to defend. The GB international’s second triple with 2:30 to go proved to be the final score before the fixture became a free-throw-shooting affair. 

Jessica Eadsforth-Yates and Ashby hit their foul shots to end the game, winning it in overtime. 

The Riders are back in action next week, hitting the road to take on last season’s quadruple-winning London Lions on Sunday.

Championship Preview: Riders vs Wildcats

Leicester Riders return home to take on the Nottingham Wildcats in their fourth game of the Women’s British Basketball League season. 

They have the chance to improve to 4-0 to start the season in the first season under new Head Coach Ben Stanley. 

Fixture information 

Leicester Riders vs Nottingham Wildcats 

Morningside Arena, Leicester

Saturday, November 25, 4:30 PM

Get tickets here!

Tickets for the following Riders men’s game against Manchester Giants are also valid for the women’s game, so come down and get behind the team! 

Three on the bounce

The first three games of the season were in little doubt late on for the Riders, who have won by a margin of 32 per game. Their latest opponent was the Cardiff Met Archers, who the Riders faced on the road in South Wales. 

Leicester came away with a dominant 110-64 win against the Archers in a game that was in little doubt throughout. Their leading scorer on the season Taylor O’Brien led the way once again with a 26 point outing. 

“I owe it all to my teammates,” said O’Brien after the win. “They’ve been able to get me easy, open shots. The way we move and pass the ball makes it easy for everybody on this team to be successful.”

That was evident against the Archers, as the Riders had six players contribute double-digit points to the explosive offensive performance. Now, they look ahead to the Wildcats, hoping to continue in their rich vein of form. 

 “We’ve got to do it again. We have to come out with energy, be strong and together, and if we do that we’ll be ok.”

Coach’s thoughts 

Head Coach Ben Stanley has enjoyed an undefeated start to his tenure at the reins of the Leicester Riders. 

With three wins under the team’s belt, Stanley looks to build in the team’s performances for the rest of the season. 

“On the defensive end of the floor it was our best performance of the season,” said Stanley. “It’s been a really weird season for trying to find a rhythm with the late start and international break, so it was a great performance from the ladies.

“We’ve got a great group of young ladies, and it’s been a pleasure to coach them. We’re still building, and trying to become more consistent in the performances we’re putting out there. Consistency and discipline are the two biggest words for us at the moment.”

Wildcats looking for first win

After a 3-19 season last year left them second bottom of the Championship standings last season, this year has started much like the last for the Wildcats. 

They are 0-4 through their opening games, shooting a League-low 21.2% from three and 40.7% from the field which results in only 68.8 points per game. 

Last time out, it was the Durham Palatinates who took an 85-72 victory against the Wildcats in Nottingham. They hung in the game deep in the fourth quarter, keeping it to within single digits with four and a half minutes remaining, but the Palatinates had enough to stretch their lead late and come away with the win. 

They’re led on the season by Mari Stewart, who went off for 24 points and eight rebounds against Durham to bring her season average to 17.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per outing. 

The second-year Wildcat is their best source of offensive production early in the year, and Nottingham will lean on her to find a way past the in-form Riders. 

Key matchup 

Backing up her teammate in the clash against Durham was American Jessica Wayne, who put up 21 points and 11 rebounds on 53% shooting in the clash. 

Wayne signed with the Wildcats from Durham this offseason, having spent her first two professional seasons with the Palatinates. In 35.2 minutes per game, she put up 14.2 points and 7.9 rebounds, making her name as one of the League’s forces around the paint from the guard spot. 

The 25-year-old is a two-way threat and established as an elite perimeter defender. Last season, she earned a spot on the WBBL All-Defensive team, ranking third in the League in steals per game with 3.1.

Matching up on the other end is captain Mckenzie Johnston, who has hit the ground running in her second season in Riders red. 

The Montana native is scoring 14.7 per game, and earned a spot on the Women’s British Basketball League Team of the Week in week two after she put up 19 points and nine rebounds against Oaklands Wolves. 

In a game where a hot start was important in setting the tone against the Cardiff Met Archers last time out, she was directly involved in the team’s first 15 which saw them burst out to a big lead.

Johnston has taken a step up from an impressive first season with the Riders, where her 8.3 points, 6.3 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game helped the team to three domestic finals. 

The captain will have a vital responsibility on both ends in this one, and will look to prove the difference in her matchup with Wayne.   

Preview: Riders at Archers

Leicester plays their third game of the season and their second straight on the road, as they head to South Wales to take on the Cardiff Met Archers. 

Fixture information

Leicester Riders at Cardiff Met Archers

Archers Arena, Cyncoed Campus

Saturday, November 18, 3:15 pm

Riders rolling to start the year

The Riders resume their season after a two-week international break, following a perfect start to their Women’s British Basketball League season. 

They’re 2-0 through their opening games after wins against the Manchester Giants on opening night and an away victory against the Oaklands Wolves. 

Both wins came in a similar fashion, with Head Coach Ben Stanley’s halftime adjustments leading to third-quarter explosions, seeing Leicester blow out their first two opponents by over 20 points.  

Led by Rayven Peeples’ 6.5 offensive rebounds per game, the Riders’ presence on the glass opens up multiple second opportunities for the team, who are knocking down shots at a 45.5% rate.

Taylor O’Brien tops the scoring charts through two games with 18.5 a game, good for top five in the League. Should the Riders continue their scoring form following the break, they’ll be in good stead to improve to 3-0. 

Cardiff searching for opening win

Cardiff endured an up-and-down season last year, finishing with a 9-13 record to end the season seventh in the standings. 

The team’s leading scorer, Shannon Hatch, departed in the summer, opening the door for a new face to lead the club forward. 

Early on, it’s been American rookie Haylee Saurette leading the way with 15.5 points per game. 

In 2022-23, Saurette led Point Loma in scoring and rebounding, marking the third-straight season she averaged double-digit scoring and over seven rebounds per game during her collegiate career. 

Despite her efforts, the Archers started out 0-2 after facing the same two opponents as the Riders to begin the season. Managing only 55.5, they’ll have to find ways of upping their production to keep up with Leicester’s high-powered offence in this one. 

Key matchup

Off the back of her first international appearances for Great Britain, Sam Ashby returns to the squad in good form. 

Ashby impressed on her first outing and was entrusted with 20 minutes against Estonia on the road in the second of the two games. She went perfect from the field, hitting a three and making all four of her free throw attempts to put up eight points, eight rebounds and a steal on the game. 

For the Riders, she’s putting up 14 points from 21 minutes per outing, shooting 52.4% from the field and 42.9% from three. Last time out against the Wolves, the Australian-born guard went off for 18 points and six rebounds, making an impact on the glass. 

Facing up against Ashby in the backcourt will be Former Hawai‘i Hilo star guard Mandi Kawaha. Kawaha became the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo all-time leading scorer and assists leader, and also holds the single-game scoring record with 36 points. 

Last time out against the Manchester Giants, she scored 17 points to lead her team in her second outing for the club. She shot 40% from three in her final college season, so Ashby and the rest of the team will need to pay close attention to the Hawaiian native in this one. 

Want to see the Riders in action?

Get tickets to our next home game against Nottingham Wildcats!

McKenzie Johnston named to Team of the Week

Riders captain Mckenzie Johnston was named to the Women’s British Basketball League Team of the Week for her performance against Oaklands Wolves this weekend.

Johnston put up 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the Riders’ 92-78 win, grabbing four boards on the offensive end.

The Montana-born guard went 6-11 from the field, making both of her three-point attempts and going perfect on her five foul shots.

She made headlines with her one-in-a-million full-court heave, finding nothing but string from her own foul line to close the opening half.

Johnston is averaging 15.5 and seven rebounds through the first two games of the season, hitting the ground running in her second year in Riders red.

Want to see Johnston in action?

Get tickets to our next home game against Nottingham Wildcats!

Rayven Peeples named to Team of the Week

Riders forward Rayven Peeples has been named to the Women’s British Basketball League Team of the Week following week one’s action.

Peeples was dominant in the team’s season opener, leading the Riders to a 92-65 win against Manchester Giants.

She put up 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, and led the charge in the third quarter which saw the Riders blow the game open.

In week two, Peeples continued her dominance in the paint with her second straight double-double, going off for 11 points and 12 rebounds in the Riders’ win against Oaklands Wolves.

Report: Riders beat Wolves

Leicester Riders beat the Oaklands Wolves 92-78 on the road to improve to 2-0 on the season. 

The Riders had three players score over 18 points, showcasing their strength across the roster. Taylor O’Brien led the game with 21, backed by McKenzie Johnston’s 19 and Sam Ashby’s 18 in a bombardment from the backcourt. 

A 30-18 third quarter proved the difference in the tie after a tightly contested first half. The Riders saw themselves up narrowly as the quarter came to a close, before Johnston’s full-court heave to beat the buzzer snatched momentum for the visitors. 

The Riders dominated the glass throughout, winning the rebounding battle 50-35 led by Rayven Peeple’s 12 for her second-straight double-double. 

Oaklands led at the half and put on a good showing throughout, forcing Leicester to compete for 40 minutes to get the win over the line. Shaquera Wade’s 14 points, five rebounds and three assists led the team, but it wasn’t enough as the Wolves fell to 1-1. 

Sam Ashby’s dominance began from the jump. In the first quarter she stuffed the stat sheet, putting up eight points and four rebounds in just six minutes. Her efforts were matched by Oakland’s Wade, who also put eight on the board in a back-and-forth backcourt battle. 

The Riders trailed through seven minutes before Peeples cleaned up Ashby’s missed layup with three minutes left in the quarter. That gave Leicester their first lead of the game, which they carried into the end of the first. 

The Wolves exploded to start the second quarter with a 10-0 run, draining two threes out the gate and forcing a Riders timeout. It was Ashby again who stemmed the tide, making a layup inside as Leicester kept in the tie.

The Wolves held them at arm’s length for much of the second. Their lead remained around two scores, finding the basket consistently despite Peeple’s seven points in the quarter.

Momentum swung the Riders’ way with two minutes remaining. They finished the half 5-2, cutting it to one possession by the break. 

Where the Riders found form in the third quarter in their season opener, they did the same in this one. Marissa Hamilton provided a threat from behind the arc, hitting two to put Leicester up four. 

It was the visitor’s turn to hold their opponents at arm’s length going into the fourth. Oaklands hung around for most of the quarter, but Johnston sent the Riders’ bench into raptures by making a heave from her own three-point line to beat the buzzer, making it 71-62 with one to play. 

Jessica Eadsforth-Yates had the hot hand to start the fourth, draining two threes to make it a 14-point game in the Riders’ favour. They saw the game out from there, with American guard Taylor O’Brien’s triple setting the stage for a comfortable finale.

After a two-week break, the Riders will remain on the road for their next tie, heading across the western border to take on Cardiff Met Archers on November 18th. 

Championship Preview: Riders at Wolves

Round two of the Women’s British Basketball League sees the Riders take on Oaklands Wolves on the road.

Fixture information

Leicester Riders at Oaklands Wolves

Oaklands College
Hatfield Road
St Albans
Al4 0JA

Saturday, October 28, 5:45 PM

Back with a bang 

The Riders, returning with a revamped roster of fresh and familiar faces, hit the ground running to start their 2023/24 campaign. They beat the Manchester Giants 92-65, led by American forward Rayven Peeples who put up 18 points and 10 rebounds. 

Peeples exploded for 10 points in the third, which saw the Riders expand their lead to 16 after going into halftimes tied at 40. 

Leicester shot 52% from the field and a red-hot 47% from three to record a blowout in their season opener. 

They now turn their attention to Oaklands, as they face their first competitive action on the road this season. 

Winning Wolves on opening night 

After a difficult season last year, going 5-17 in the Championship and missing out on a playoff place, the Wolves started this season 1-0. 

They took on the Cardiff Met Archers on the road, taking a 79-55 win back home to get their season underway in style. 

It was a defensive display by the Wolves, who held Cardiff to just 28.4% shooting from the field in the game. On the other end, Oaklands’ three-point shooting got points on the board, as the visitors made 10 of their 26 attempts. 

Caterrion Thompson led them in the game, the 5’9” guard playing big with 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Another performance like that will be sure to test the Riders around the rim. 

Key matchup  

Thompson’s hot start to the season should come as no surprise for those who have followed her career. She arrives in Oaklands having led the scoring for Finnish side Forssain, averaging 18.1 points per game. 

The Ohio-born guard started out her college career at Bowling Green, where she remained until her Junior year. As a Redshirt Junior, Thompson ranked second on her team in scoring with 13.7 points per game and averaged 5.3 rebounds. 

In her final college season with Mississippi State, Thompson averaged 8.1 points and 3.1 rebounds, leading the team in 3-point shooting percentage with 41%. 

Tasked with the role of slowing her down is Riders guard Taylor O’Brien, who had a dominant display of her own against Manchester. O‘Brien bossed the opening half of play, getting to the hoop with ease to put up a game-high 12 rebounds and 16 points. 

The rookie signed to the Riders from Flordia State, averaging 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.

Expect a battle in the backcourt in this one. 

Report: Riders beat Giants to open season

The Riders recorded a dominant win in their season opener, beating the Manchester Giants at home. 

American rookie Rayven Peeples led the game with 18 points, leading a third-quarter charge where the Riders built their lead. She was backed by Taylor O’Brien and Katie Januszewska who scored 16 each. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Leicester Riders Women (@riderswomen)

The score was tied at the half, but the Riders’ offence clicked into gear to score 31 in the third quarter, taking a 20-point advantage going into the fourth. 

For Manchester, the newly re-franchised outfit struggled to generate offence against stifling Riders defence in the second half. Myah Pace led their efforts with 13, but her team managed only 25 points after halftime. 

Throughout a high-scoring first half, nothing separated either side. Young Brit Januszewska impressed in the opening stages, leading the game with eight points upon her Riders return. 

The Charnwood Academy graduate was hot from three early, making two of her first three attempts. 

The Riders went into the half shooting 50% from the field, but 6-13 shooting from the free throw line left the door open for the Giants who were able to remain in the game with their three-point shooting. 

Manchester went 7-14 from deep, and the game was tied at 40 after 20 minutes. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Leicester Riders Women (@riderswomen)

American guard Taylor O’Brien made her mark early on her Riders debut, putting up 13 points and eight rebounds following the first two quarters. She then added to her tally to get the third underway, draining a three to give the Riders the lead. 

Spurred on by the triple, Leicester stretched their lead in the quarter and held the Giants and arm’s length. Six points in two minutes from forward Peeples saw them establish authority at the rim, and a pull-up jumper from returning Rider McKenzie Johnston gave them an eight-point advantage. 

Peeples had 12 points and three offensive rebounds in a monster third-quarter performance, which the Riders won 31-15 to blow the game open. 

Following the offensive explosion in the third, it was a case of seeing it out professionally in the fourth. The Riders stretched their advantage to 30, securing the win in their opening game. 

The Riders return to action on Saturday, where they take on Oaklands Wolves on the road. 

Championship Preview: Riders vs Giants

The Riders host the Manchester Giants on their opening night of the Women’s British Basketball League. 

Attempting to follow up on making all three domestic finals last season, Leicester’s revamped roster will test themselves in competitive action for the first time in this one. 

Fixture information

Leicester Riders vs Manchester Giants

Netball & Badminton Centre- Loughborough University

Saturday, October 21, 6 PM

Get tickets!

New Riders faces

The Riders enter a new era under newly appointed Head Coach Ben Stanley, who brought in a plethora of new signings among returning familiar faces. 

Accompanying the likes of Mckenzie Johnstone and Jessica Eadsforth-Yates, who played a pivotal part in last season’s success, are six new additions to the roster. 

Meet the full roster here! 

Australian guard Sam Ashby, Israeli forward Shahd Abboud and American pair Rayven Peeples and Taylor O’Brien are just a few of the new faces suiting up the East Midlands this season. 

They impressed in pre-season, beating the Sheffield Hatters and Newcastle Eagles, the latter by 20 points on the road. 

The League Championship will prove a whole new task, but early signs are positive for the new Riders roster. 

Giants re-franchise 

Over the summer, the Manchester Mystics franchised to become the Manchester Giants, putting both men’s and women’s basketball under the same name in Manchester. 

The Mystics have left a lasting legacy on the sport, having played nine seasons in the Women’s British Basketball League, memorably lifting the Cup in 2017.

Their first signing of the summer: British Basketball legend Georgia Anderson who returns to action following a season away from the game after the birth of her first child. 

Accompanying Anderson is Leah McDerment, who won the quadruple with the London Lions last season, Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist Hannah Shaw, and former Rider Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus.

With a talented roster marking the start of a new-Giants era, Manchester will have high aspirations going into their first game of the season. 

Key matchup 

Having spent a year on the sidelines, Georgia Anderson will be itching to get back on the court for this season opener. 

The 5’8” point guard is one of the League’s all-time greats, leading the Women’s British Basketball League in all-time Regular Season assists (942) and steals (255), ranks third in scoring (2226) and defensive rebounds (615) and in the top four overall for overall rebounds, assists per game and games played. 

The last time we saw Anderson in action, she put up 13.8 points, seven assists, 4.3 rebounds and two steals per game. 

Facing up against her, and a player who will play a pivotal role from the same spot is American guard Taylor O’Brien. 

The rookie signed to the Riders 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.

That athleticism will aid in her defensive efforts against Anderson, as they battle for supremacy in the backcourt. 

Riders sign Tweedie

Leicester Riders are excited to announce the signing of Elise Tweedie for the 2023/24 season. 

The 21-year-old Scot joins from the University of Edinburgh, where she graduated this summer. 

Tweedie played two seasons for her home country Caledonia Pride in the Women’s British Basketball League. The 6’4” center averaged 4.5 points and 4.2 rebounds and played 23 games in 2021/22. 

Tweedie will also compete for Loughborough University, where she will complete her master’s degree. The club would like to thank the University for their support.

Tweedie commented: “I’m incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity to play for the Riders this season and to make my return to the Women’s British Basketball League. 

“The team’s strong culture, fan base and mission are all things I’m super excited to be a part of. I’m eagerly looking forward to starting this journey with my new teammates and coaches, and I can’t wait to see the success we can attain together!”

Head Coach Ben Stanley commented: “We’re very happy to have Elise join us this year.  She’s contributed for Pride in the League previously and knows the league.  

“She’s got good mobility, she’s versatile and brings with her size, a great attitude and huge willingness to get better. I’m looking forward to getting her on the floor and also seeing her improvement over the season.”