The anticipated off-season wait finally came to an end as the Riders stepped on court this morning for their first practice of pre-season. The return of the familiar, along with the new, took the floor, enthusiastic and ready to start the 2015-16 campaign.
Head Coach Paternostro shared his thoughts on getting his team back on court in preparation for the 2015-16 season.
“I think we are all excited to begin the season, we have a group that knows each other very well, and are looking forward to competing again. Many of our players live in Leicester year round so it was excellent that they had a chance to play together throughout the off-season.”
Impressively, Paternostro brought back nine of his roster from last season, along with former Rider, Drew Sullivan.
“We didn’t bring back our players to be what they were last season, we brought them back because we believe they can all be better this season, we expect improvements from each and every one of them.”
“Adding Drew was a huge pickup for us, his versatility will allow us to do different things on both ends of the floor, and his competiveness and desire to win is something that we are looking forward to adding to our team.”
Newcomer to the BBL, Billy Reader, also joins the Riders from Moorhead State for his first professional season out of College. Paternostro believes the 6’10 American will provide a different element to his team this year and is looking forward to the variety of lineups on offer due to the versatility of his roster.
“Billy Reader is a guy with great size, he is a centre, a guy who can play in the paint on both ends of the floor and I like the passion he plays with. He is a young player, with a lot of potential, who we believe will give us a different element this season.
We can play many ways this season; we have a lot of lineup possibilities. We can play big, medium or small, which should give us plenty of options throughout the campaign.”
The Riders are set to take on Loughborough Student Riders in their opening pre-season match-up this Sunday. The game will be the first opportunity for the Riders to step on court as a complete squad and will provide a showcase for fans ahead of the fast approaching BBL season.
“Its always great to play in front of our fans, and see them again at the early preseason games. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with them.”
The Riders take on Loughborough Student Riders on Sunday 30th August at Sir David Wallace, Loughborough.
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