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Leicester Riders

Leicester Riders were founded in 1967, and are the oldest professional club in British Basketball, having been founder members of the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1972 and the British Basketball League (BBL) in 1987.

The 2001/02 campaign proved to be a complete contrast from previous seasons as the Riders lifted their first pieces of silverware. Billy Mims’ team recorded an 84-82 victory against the London Leopards to lift the BBL Cup, finished fourth in the Northern Conference, and became the lowest ranked team to win the play-offs as victories against Milton Keynes Lions. Chester Jets and London Towers set up the final against Sheffield Sharks, where an 84-75 victory saw them complete the double.

In 2004 the Riders returned to Leicester, as they entered into a deal with DeMontfort University, which would see the University’s John Sandford Sports Centre become the club’s home venue. The next two seasons both saw the team experience play-off action, and they reached the BBL Trophy Final in 2006.

2012/13 proved the Riders most successful season to date, winning an historic treble. The side beat arch rivals Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Cup Final in front of a packed Birmingham NIA, and followed that with edging out their North-East counterparts to win both the BBL Championship title and the BBL Playoff Final at the Wembley Arena. Rob Paternostro was named as BBL Coach of the Year and Drew Sullivan was named most valuable player, with American point guard Jay Couisnard finishing runner-up.