Games played: 21
Points Per Game: 15.8
Rebounds Per Game: 5.0
Assists per game: 2.4
Darien Nelson-Henry joined the Riders the Riders in October providing a much needed inside presence after Mo Walker picked up a season ending injury in preseason. Darien had an efficient season for the Riders shooting the ball at an extremely high percentage around the basket and providing a defensive presence inside for coach Paternostro’s team.
Darien shot the ball extremely efficiently all season for the Riders and was third in the BBL in field goal percentage with 64% and fourth in the BBL in two point percentage with 63%. Nelson Henry also had a season high of 20 points which came against the Newcastle Eagles on November 1st up in the North East.
Despite joining the team late Coach Rob believes Darien was a great fit for the team. “I thought Darien did a great job of fitting in both on and off the court, it’s never easy to join a team during the season and handled the transition very well. He uses his size to get great position around the basket and he did a great job at finishing. I think it was easy to see right away what a skilled and smart player he was, his scoring and passing gave our offense a lift and his screen setting was also an important part of our team.”
November 1st 2019 v Newcastle Eagles – BBL Cup
Stat line: 20 points (9-14 FG), 6 rebounds, 2 blocks
The Leicester Riders travelled up North to take on the Newcastle Eagles as the two teams did battle for the second time in the BBL Cup. The Riders got off to a quick start with Nelson Henry chipping with an easy two and a couple of sweet mid-range jumpers however, the Eagles battled back and won the first quarter 25-18. Darien once again got going early in the second quarter with two more neat finishes around the basket off passes from Kyron Cartwright, but the Riders struggled to make any inroads into the Eagles lead and went into the half time break down 41-35. The Riders made a fast start to the second half with Darien continuing to cause the Eagles problems inside. The Riders outscored the Eagles by 8 in the third leading 57-59 heading into the final period. The two teams traded bucket early in the fourth with Darien scoring a driving layup followed by a signature mid range jumper to extend the lead to 5 with three minutes to go. Nelson-Henry then made 2/2 free throws with 21 seconds left on the clock as the Riders secured the win 69-76.
December 6th 2019 v Plymouth Raiders – BBL Championship
Stat line: 15 points (7-13 FG), 4 Rebounds, 2 assists
The Leicester Riders got their BBL Championship campaign underway at the Morningside Arena as they took on the Plymouth Raiders. The two teams traded baskets in the early stages but the Riders managed to pull out to an early 7 point lead as Nelson-Henry converted an and one mid way through the quarter. The Raiders fought back in the final minutes of the period to cut the gap to just two points heading into the second quarter. The Riders asserted their dominance in the second quarter knocking down 3 quick triples to open up a gap. Nelson-Henry got going with a sweet lefty reverse layup and then another easy two off a sweet pass from Kyron Cartwright. Darien capped off a productive quarter with another sweet post move inside as the Riders took a 12 point lead into the break. Darien got the Riders going in the third quarter with a baby hook inside but the Raiders had the momentum cutting the gap to just six points heading into the fourth quarter. Despite the Raiders cutting the gap the Riders regained control in the fourth quarter. A Nelson-Henry and one extended the lead to 13 before another score inside off the pick and roll continued the run. The Riders were able to get out in transition in the closing minutes of the game as the Raiders aimed to up the temp but the Riders ran out winners 97-79.
February 14th 2020 v Newcastle Eagles – BBL Championship
Stat line: 19 points (9-16 FG), 7 rebounds, 5 assists
The Leicester Riders took on the Newcastle Eagles at the Morningside Arena as they met for the final time in the BBL Championship. The Eagles jumped out to a fast start but a Nelson-Henry layup quickly followed by a dunk steadied the ship and the Riders went on a run of their own winning the quarter 26-16. Darien made a mid range jumper to get the Riders off the mark in the second period as the Riders run continued. Darien made another lay up with two minutes left in the quarter as the Riders went into the half time break up 49-34. The Riders came out of the locker room the hungrier of the two teams in the second half, Darien continued to cause the Eagles problems scoring another layup and mid range jumper as the lead continued to grow. Heading into the final period the Riders led 71-52. The Riders did not slow down in the fourth continuing to score the ball with ease, Darien entered the game with 5 minutes left to play and quickly netted two more layups and a rare three pointer as the Riders ran out winners 101-63.