Blast from the Past: Ryan Zamroz

Zamroz  lays the ball in for the Riders. Image: Ville Vuorinen

Zamroz lays the ball in for the Riders. Image: Ville Vuorinen

Ryan Zamroz had an impressive season with Leicester Riders in 2010-11 and believes his time in the BBL was a good platform for bigger things in Europe.

The 26 year-old averaged 18.4 points per game with the Riders and has gone on to excel in spells in Sweden and France since.

“I enjoyed my time with Leicester. Although I had played a season in Australia, the UK was my first introduction to Pro basketball in Europe and helped establish my career here.

“The UK is a beautiful place with a lot to see and playing with Leicester allowed me to see and experience it.  Not to mention meeting some great people there in Leicester as well!” Zamroz added.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Blast from the Past: Steve Dagostino

Number 1: Dagostino with the BBL Cup in 2011. Image: Rob McPherson

MVP: Dagostino with the BBL Cup in 2011.(Image: Rob McPherson-MPhotography.co.uk)

Steve Dagostino describes his time with the Sheffield Sharks as ‘one of the greatest experiences in his professional career’ and the point guard will be most remembered for his scintillating display in the 2011 BBL Cup Final.

“For me the CUP was amazing.  As a team we couldn’t have played a better game and my confidence was sky high that day,” admitted Dagostino, who poured in 35 points on 8-10 shooting from downtown to earn the MVP award.

Continue reading

Gamble looking to stake his claim at Leicester

Riders-LogoLeicester Riders have confirmed their TENTH summer signing in 21 year-old Harrison Gamble.

The 6’10” forward/centre spent last season in Spain where he averaged 9.4 points per game along with 4.9 rebounds for Sant Josep Girona.

Gamble also has previous experience of playing in the UK having spent four seasons with the Reading Rockets and is looking forward to his next big challenge with the defending champions.

Last season’s treble-winners have comfortably announced more signings than any other BBL club so far with three new recruits joining seven players all committed to re-signing for the Riders.

Gamble joins fellow British youngsters Jamell Anderson and Connor Washington while Drew Sullivan, Barry Lamble and Anthony Rowe are the other returning Brits. Spaniard Jorge Calvo re-signs for a second year as does American Jay Couisnard, who is now accompanied by two new compatriots in 23 year-olds Rashad Hassan and Anthony Downing.

Check out Leicester Riders’ profile page on Buzzer Beater with an in-depth look at their summer transactions.

New GB coach names EuroBasket squad

Countdown to Slovenia

Countdown to Slovenia

Joe Prunty has selected 17 players for his first squad as the new GB head-coach in preparation for the 2013 EuroBasket.

The former Cleveland Cavaliers assistant has had to make do without leading NBA stars Luol Deng and Joel Freeland while Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens are once again not involved.

Prunty seems to have an eye on the future having selected the young trio of Myles Hesson, Alex Marcotullio and the Under-20’s MVP at the European Championships, Devon van Oostrum. The three men will no doubt relish the opportunity to learn from experienced members of the squad including the likes of Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Leicester Riders’ Drew Sullivan.

Orlan Jackman has been rewarded for having a fine first season in the BBL with his first call-up while former BBL players Liam Potter and Dzaflo Larkai are the other new additions to the GB squad. The former last played in the UK with the Everton Tigers in 2010 while Potter has recently played for both Leicester and Plymouth.

Continue reading

Riders dominate end of season awards

Riders_Horse_LogoLeicester Riders completed a historic treble this season and their dominance was reflected in the end of season awards.

The Coach of the Year accolade was claimed by Rob Paternostro for the second time while the player equivalent was also won for a second time by Drew Sullivan.

Riders’ head-coach first won the award in 2008-09 – his first season in charge at the club – and then led his side to their best season last year but a first club Championship and treble tops the lot.

Sullivan led the way for Leicester in numerous departments and his defensive intensity set the tone for his side as they became renowned for the defensive strength throughout the season. The 33 year-old, who captained GB at last year’s Olympics, had a stellar campaign, finishing as the club’s leading scorer with 509 points at an average of 14.5 ppg whilst also averaging 7.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.

The Player of the Year was joined in the BBL team of the Year by team-mate Jay Couisnard, who finished as the runner-up in the MVP voting and also earned the Cup Final MVP award in January. The American was a decisive factor in a number of games for the Riders, in particular their overtime victory in Manchester when Couisnard netted two buzzer-beaters to get the win.

Travis Holmes finished the season in sensational form which helped him take third in the MVP race whilst taking a place in the team of the year.  The Surrey Heat guard and twin of Chavis, finished with an impressive 20.6 ppg average helped by an incredible 44 point haul against Cheshire.

The final two spots on the team of the year were taken by Kareem Maddox and Matt Schneck who had a personal battle in the stakes for the best rebounder. It was the BBL rookie who came out on top with an average of 10.7 per game while Schneck complimented a healthy 16.5 points per game with an average of 10.1 rebounds.

The Americans were both ‘walking double-doubles’ for their teams with the Plymouth Raiders’ centre opening the season with 10 straight games with double-figures in points and rebounds while Maddox produced arguably the stat-line of the season with 26p/20r/4a/3st/4bl against Surrey in a run of ten straight double-doubles.

The BBL also announced the British team of the Year and Defensive team of the Year and they were both as follows:

British Team– Orlan Jackman; Drew Sullivan; Sam Cricelli; Anthony Rowe and Mike Tuck
Defensive Team– Chavis Holmes; Jay Couisnard; Zaire Taylor; Drew Sullivan and Kareem Maddox

Here are some of the crucial stats from the season via the BBL and Sporting Pulse.

Most points: Charles Smith– 691; Best average: Chez Marks– 22.8;
Most in a game: Charles Smith– 49 v Durham
Best FG%: Demetrius Jemison– 61*; Best 3PT%: Arnas Kazlauskas– 44.6*;
Best FT%: BJ Holmes– 88.3*
Most FG made: Charles Smith– 261; Most 3PT made: Joe Chapman– 108;
Most FT made: Tayo Ogedengbe– 134
Most rebounds: Kareem Maddox– 376; Best avge: Kareem Maddox– 10.7;
Most in a game: Kareem Maddox– 20 v Surrey
Most assists: Joe Chapman– 201; Best average: Ralph Bucci– 5.5
Most steals: Chavis Holmes– 95; Best average: Travis Holmes– 3.0
Most blocks: Alif Bland– 76; Best average: Alif Bland– 2.4
Most double-doubles: Matt Schneck– 22;
Triple-doubles:  Ralph Bucci v London (10p/11r/12a) & Joe Chapman v Durham (18p/10r/11a)

*minimum 100 attempts