2018-19 Team Profiles: Leicester Riders

Leicester Riders are entering new ground this season as they take on a European challenge with Basketball Champions League action starting next week.

Last season: The Riders secured a second consecutive treble by claiming the Championship, Trophy and Play-Offs titles to continue their haul of BBL success. Rob Paternostro’s side overcame DBL Sharks Sheffield in the Trophy Final before wrapping up the league title and finishing the season in style at The O2 Arena by seeing off the challenge of London Lions.

Back again: Team of the Year member Pierre Hampton leads a core group of returning players including Trophy Final MVP, JR Holder – who led the team in scoring last season. Riders retain plenty of experience through new captain Andy Thomson, while Rema Lascelles and Kiefer Douse will continue in the back-court. High-flying TrayVonn Wright is set for another explosive season with Harrison Gamble and Josh Ward-Hibbert providing depth ahead of tough challenges.

New faces: Following the retirements of club captain Tyler Bernardini and Eric Robertson as well as Shane Walker’s departure to Bahrain, the Riders have made four new additions including the return of two former players. Conner Washington and Jamell Anderson are back following European ventures and are joined by American guard Niem Stevenson and Alex Larsson, who becomes the second Swede on the roster.

Pre-Season: Leicester began their summer prep with a tough loss against Belgian opposition, BC Oostende before an emphatic victory over USA Select, 117-53. In their most recent outings, Riders ran out victors against BBL opposition in Cheshire Phoenix before defeating Norweigan side Kongsberg Miners, in overtime.

Outlook: Riders are not set to start their BBL Championship title defence until mid-October as they prepare for BCL qualification before a possible route into the FIBA Europe Cup; facing a tough schedule in pursuit of more silverware.

Book your tickets to see Riders in the new season, HERE.