Leicester Riders’ third straight league title hopes to inspire generation of basketball players

By Ross Barnett

Leicester Riders defeated Plymouth Raiders 104-75 away from home to claim their third straight British Basketball League title.

The Riders will be presented with their trophy on Friday, April 20, after they take on London Lions at the Leicester Arena at 7.30pm.

Head of Sport at Demon FM, Andre Cowen, who is a massive Leicester Riders fan, will be present, and said: “The team changed dramatically this year but were still able to win the league. It’ll be a boost to the sport in the city.

“With three players in the squad going to Loughborough University, it shows everyone that they don’t have to be an American scholar to play professionally.”

The side is the oldest basketball team in the United Kingdom and have added the league title to their collection along with a BBL Trophy win, when they defeated Sheffield Sharks 90-85 on March 4.

Andre believes the recent success of the basketball team will encourage more people to get involved with the sport, adding: “The third league title in a row makes them the joint longest reigning champions.

“Their names should encourage more people to get involved in the sport with the promise of a high calibre team in the city.

“They do so much work with a lot of groups around Leicester to introduce people to the sport. Hopefully people will see that, no matter the player changes, the Riders are consistent and that they have fun!”

Andre did admit that it is difficult for the team in a city which is dominated by Leicester City Football Club and Leicester Tigers.

He said: “They’ve made huge strides in making themselves a well known team and they may find themselves a becoming more and more popular as the NBA and Basketball become more popular in the UK.”

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