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Basketball: Leicester Riders launch new logo


Leicester Riders have launched their new logo to reflect their past and had a visit from one of the club's founder members.

Bob Wilson was at the first meeting 46 years ago and the new logo, pictured below, incorporates a 67 to mark the year the club was founded.

The Loughborough All Stars team was established out of those early meetings and toured Britain and Europe to play their games. The national league was not founded until the early 1970s.

Former point-guard Wilson, who now lives in Syracuse, New York, believes it is important for the treble-winning Riders to recognise their history.

"It is marvellous the club has recognised its early beginnings," said Wilson, who now works with student athletes at Syracuse University, a major force in American college basketball.

"At that time, we were just a bunch of students who wanted to play the sport at the highest level we could.

"Forming the team and seeking out that competition seemed the logical step.

"Forming the national league was the next step after that, and moving to the refurbished Granby Halls in 1981 seemed magical at the time.

"Riders now look well on the way to taking the sport in the city to another level."

Rochdale-born Wilson was capped 70 times by England and played for the All Stars in the national league before coaching and becoming head coach in the 1982-83 season.

He then took up a permanent position at Syracuse, where the college side gets crowds of up to 26,000.

He believes facilities are vital for clubs, and is a big supporter of Riders' plans for a new 2,000-seater arena at Grace Road.

Wilson said: "What we know about basketball in the US is it is all about facilities.

"We do have outstanding facilities at Syracuse, which means we can attract and develop top-class players from around the world.

"I know how important it is for Riders to get their new arena built. Without it, they will never reach their true potential.

"Seeing the stability that the club has on the coaching and playing side, I think this can be the start of new era – but they do need to get their playing arena sorted.

"Hopefully, the city of Leicester understands just how important that is."

Wilson is impressed with the standard of play in the BBL.

"The quality of players has undoubtedly gone up over the years, and Leicester look a very impressive team," he said.

"Drew Sullivan is a player we tried to recruit to Syracuse, so we knew all about his quality.

"In my playing days, we tended to rely on our two import players, while these days there is a lot more strength in depth."

Basketball: Leicester Riders launch new logo

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