Leicester Riders

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Leicester Riders
Leicester Riders logo
LeagueBritish Basketball League
FIBA Europe Cup
Established1967; 52 years ago (1967)
HistoryLoughborough All-Stars
Leicester All-Stars
Leicester City Riders
Leicester Riders
ArenaMorningside Arena
LocationLeicester, Leicestershire
Main sponsorJelson Homes
Head coachUnited States Rob Paternostro
OwnershipKevin Routledge
Russell Levenston
Championships4 BBL Championship
2 BBL Cup
3 BBL Trophy 1 WBBL Trophy

The Leicester Riders, is a British professional basketball team in the British Basketball League (BBL) and in 2018 represented British basketball by playing in the FIBA Europe Cup. Established in 1967, the club have played in various locations around Leicestershire before moving to their current purpose-built home venue, the Morningside Arena, in 2016.


Founded on 26 April 1967 and then known as the Loughborough All Stars, the Leicester Riders are the oldest club in British basketball.

They were founder members of the National Basketball League in 1972 and the BBL in 1987.

The Riders were founded by students and lecturers at Loughborough University in April 1967 and were known as the Loughborough All Stars. They were founder members of the National Basketball League in 1972, and the British Basketball League in 1987, and are the oldest club in British basketball operating at the top flight.

The club moved from Loughborough to Leicester in 1981, backed by Leicester City Council and Leicester City Bus (hence the change in nickname to "Riders"), before moving back to play at Loughborough University in 2000, following the closure of Granby Halls, at a new venue barely a stone's throw from Victory Hall where the club played its first game.

Logo used from 2004 until 2013

In 2004 the Riders agreed a sponsorship deal with De Montfort University (DMU) and moved back to Leicester, where they played their games at the DMU's John Sandford Sports Centre.

Following a difficult period for the Club financially between 2005 and 2007, former director of the team, Mike Steptoe, and the supporters club formed a consortium which raised enough money to keep the side running. Then local business Jelson Homes stepped forward to sponsor the Club and the appointment of general manager Russell Levenston began a turning point for the club. Part of the sponsorship deal with Jelson Homes was to ensure the future of the club by investing in 'basketball in the community' schemes, providing the youth of Leicester with basketball coaching programmes, such as the "Shoot to the Future" programme, run with the support of the Police.

Riders also now have an extensive youth programme for boys and girls, a Women's team near the top of England Basketball's Division One, one of the country's largest Basketball Apprentice schemes at Charnwood College, and a partnership with Loughborough University, led by the Great Britain men's captain Drew Sullivan, and which includes a GB Futures player, Jamell Anderson, two Great Britain Under 20 men's internationals and two Great Britain Under 20 women's internationals, as well as a number of boys and girls in England Under age international teams. Membership in the Club is expected to reach nearly 1,500 this season. The Club's community programmes reach nearly 15,000 young people in the City and County.

The Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders secured the BBL Cup in thrilling fashion as they defeated the Newcastle Eagles 80–85 at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham on 13 January 2012, in front of a bumper 7,500 crowd, and live on Sky TV, their first piece of silverware since they won the Cup and the Playoff finals in 2001.

After winning the treble in the 2016–17 and 2017–18 season, Leicester applied for the following Basketball Champions League season.[1] This will mean the first European participation of a British team since Guildford Heat featured in the ULEB Cup in 2007. In the first qualifying round, Leicester was eliminated by Danish side Bakken Bears, thus being demoted to the season's FIBA Europe Cup.

Home arenas[edit]

The Morningside Arena, used since 2016
John Sanfdord Sport Centre, former home of the Leicester Riders.

The team has been based at the purpose-built Morningside Arena since 2016. The £4.8 million arena, which is owned by the Leicester Riders Foundation, was officially opened in January 2016. It hosted its first game on 30 January 2016, in a quarter-final match between Leicester Riders and Surrey Scorchers in the British Basketball League Trophy, won by the Riders 77–60.[2]

A list of all home arenas the club has had:

  • Victory Hall (1967–1981)
  • Granby Halls (1981–2000)
  • Sir David Wallace Centre (2000–2004)
  • John Sandford Centre (2004–2014)
  • Sir David Wallace Centre (2014–2016)
  • Morningside Arena (2016–present)[3][4]

Season-by-season records[edit]


British Basketball League

Women's British Basketball League

WBBL Play-offs


  • Winners (2): 2013, 2014

BBL Trophy

WBBL Trophy


Current roster[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Leicester Riders roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht.
G 1 Canada Kiefer Douse 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
G 5 United Kingdom Lascelles, Rema 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
G 6 United Kingdom Junior Mvuezolo, Joe 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
F 8 United Kingdom Jamell Anderson 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
G 10 United Kingdom Joshua Ward-Hibbert 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
G 11 United States Burnett, DeAndre 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
F/C 12 United Kingdom Harrison Gamble 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
G 13 United Kingdom Conner Washington 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
G 14 United States Martin Jr., Wayne 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
F 15 Sweden Pierre Hampton 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
F 21 Sweden Alexander Larsson 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
F 31 United Kingdom Andrew Thomson 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
F 42 United States Trayvonn Wright 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
F 55 United States J.R. Holder 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Head coach

United States Rob Paternostro

Assistant coach(es)

United Kingdom Mark Jarram Spain Pablo Vazquez

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Updated: 8 September 2018

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

Leicester Riders Women roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht.
PF 0 United Kingdom Paxton, Claire 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
PG 3 United Kingdom Ashton, Jennifer 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
PG 4 Scotland Cook, Imogen 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
G 5 United States Elmore, Brea 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
SG 6 United Kingdom Winterburn, Holly 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
C 41 Australia Oliver, Kate 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
G 8 Spain Navarro, Rebecca 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
9 Portugal Viana, Claudia 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
G 10 Scotland Hayward, Dee 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
PF/C 11 United Kingdom Jones, Megan 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
F 12 United Kingdom Campbell, Mollie 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
F 15 Greece Sapalidou, Niki 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
PF 23 United Kingdom Saa, Lauren 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Head coach

Sweden Jesper Sundberg

Assistant coach(es)

United Kingdom Ashley Cookson

  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

Notable players[edit]

To appear in this section a player must have either:

- Set a club record or won an individual award as a professional player.
- Played at least one official international match for his senior national team at any time.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Leicester Riders beat Surrey Scorchers in new arena". BBC. 31 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Leicester Arena (@LeicesterArena) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  4. ^ "New sports arena opens with Riders' match this weekend". Leicester City Council. 29 January 2016.

External links[edit]