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Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut
Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut logo
Leagues Lebanese Basketball League
Founded 1934
History 1934 - present
Arena Raouché
Location Raouché, Beirut, Lebanon
Team colors Blue and Yellow
President Hisham Jaroudi
Head coach Fouad Abou Chakra
Championships Lebanese Cup 1949/50, 1950/51, 1951/52, 1952/53, 1953/54, 1955/56, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1967/68, 1970/71, 1972/73, 1992/93, 1994/95, 1996/97, 2004/2005, 2005/2006,2006/2007 and 2008/2009
Website
Uniforms
Kit body thingreybluesides.png
Home jersey
Team colours
Home
Kit body thinyellowsides.png
Away jersey
Team colours
Away

Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut, also known as Riyadi Club and Sporting Club (Arabic: النادي الرياضي بيروت An-Nadi Al Riyadi Beirut‎) is a Lebanese Basketball club based in Raouché, Beirut where both men's and women's tournaments are held every year.

An amateur side also exists, where participants can sign up for classes and train for preparation to become professional basketball players. The club also holds chess, martial arts, dancing, and other tournaments.

Contents

History

The club was founded in 1934 by Hussein Sejaan, Hassan Ladki, Fouad Zantout, Youssef Shaker, Mustafa Shaker, Zouheir Yatim, Helmi Chehab, and Wafic Nsouli at that time. In 1945, the Ministry of the Interior gave permission to "Riyadi Club in Beirut" to get involved in various sports in its location in Raouché. Some of these sports were basketball, volleyball, handball, tennis, and table tennis (Ping Pong).

In 1947, Al Riyadi club moved from Raouché to Sanayeh. President Bechara El Khoury, Prime Minister Riad El-Solh and Saeb Salam attended the opening ceremony. They were also all present at Al Riyadi's first basketball game against Turkish Galatasaray S.K.. The club finally returned to its current location in Raouché facing the Bain Militaire in 1954.

In 1965, Riyadi launched its first women basketball team to compete with other clubs that already had women teams at that time such as Homenetmen Beirut and Antranik SC.

The closed court, named Saeb Salam Arena was accomplished in 1991 during the term of Club President Hisham Jaroudi and with assistance from club President Tammam Salam and many Al-Riyadi supporters from all across Lebanon.

Achievements

Al Riyadi Club won the Lebanese Basketball Championship 19 times, including the 2006-2007 championship. They also went undefeated for nearly two years. In 1998, Riyadi won the West Asian Basketball Championship (WABA) that took place in Jordan; which earned them an appearance at the Asian Basketball Championship that took place in Malaysia in the same year. The club was able to win a bronze medal through an organized performance by the players. Riyadi's Michael Cumberland was nominated top player in Asia, while the team’s captain Walid Dumyati was named the top point guard in Asia. Al Riyadi has also won Housameddine Hariri International Tournament nine times.

Al Riyadi has also clinched Damascus International Tournament Cup in 2004. Riyadi was crowned Champion of 16th Dubai International Tournament which was held during the month of January, 2005. A year later in 2006, Riyadi preserved the title by winning the final by 20 points over the Egyptian Al Jazeera (83-63) in the final. Ismail Ahmad was named MVP of the tournament; Tony Madison was the best scorer and the best 3-point shooter, and Fouad Abou Chakra claimed the title of best coach.

On May 1, 2005, the club was crowned Champions of Lebanon for the 2004-2005 season after 8 years of waiting. The team broke a record by winning 25 times in 25 games, to become the first team in the recent Lebanese Basketball History to win the championship without any loss. In the finals, Al Riyadi defeated Sagesse Beirut in Manara by 40 points (112-72), and ended the series by (3-0). After that, Al-Riyadi headed to Dubai, and participated in Hamdan Ben Rashed Tournament which was held during the month of May 2005. The club was crowned Champion of the Tournament after defeating Iran's Saba 99-83.

In November 2006, right before the 2006-2007 Lebanese League kicked off, the FLBB requested from Al-Riyadi to participate in King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein’s Tournament in Jordan instead of the Lebanese national team who at the time was not ready for such an intense competition. The FLBB thought that Riyadi players would best represent Lebanon against national teams taking part in the tournament including Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Kosovo, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt. The players brought the cup back to Lebanon after beating the Egypt national basketball team in the finals (70-68).

In 2007, Al Riyadi preserved both the Lebanese Championship and the Lebanese Cup in a season without defeats. It defeated Blue Stars twice in both finals. Right before the kick off of the 2007-2008 season, Riyadi claimed the 17th Housameddine Hariri tournament in Saida by beating Al Ahli Egypt (85-80).

In 2008, Iran's Saba Battery, the champions of 2006-2007 season's FIBA ASIA, found their way to the final stage of West Asian Basketball Association competitions, underway in the Iranian southern port city of Mahshahr, to play against their rival, Lebanon's Al Riyadi.

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El Khatib joins Al Riyadi

See: Fadi El Khatib

After his release in January 2008 by the Ukrainian Basketball League, Fadi El Khatib headed towards Lebanon to sign with Blue Stars. However, Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut canceled his contract with the last and signed him up for the 2007-2008 Basketball season. El Khatib participated in many Arab tournament

Current roster

Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht.
G/F -- Lebanon Abdel-Nour, Jean 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)
11 Lebanon Abou El Zoulof, Wassim
PG -- Lebanon Akl, Rodrigue 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
G 8 Lebanon El Turk, Omar 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
F/C 12 Lebanon Fakhreddine, Ali 2.02 m (6 ft 8 in)
PF -- Lebanon Freije, Matt 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in)
G/F 13 Lebanon Hijazih, Abdallah 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
-- Lebanon Jalloul, Mohammed
F 9 United States Johnson, Nate 1.99 m (6 ft 6 in)
-- Lebanon Kasim, Yasser
PG 6 Lebanon Mahmoud, Ali 1.82 m (5 ft 12 in)
C 5 Serbia Radojevic, Aleksandar 2.20 m (7 ft 3 in)
F 7 Lebanon Sabra, Yehia 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
4 Lebanon Saud, Amir
C 15 Lebanon Vogel, Joseph (C) 2.11 m (6 ft 11 in)
Head coach
  • Lebanon Fouad Abou Chakra
Assistant coach(es)
  • Lebanon Tigran Gyokchyan

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (INJ) Injured

Al Riyadi's Women Section

The Riyadi's Basketball team for women was formed in 1965, and competed against few Lebanese women's teams. However, Riyadi ladies team qualified for the first time in the club history to the final of the Lebanese league in 2006 -2007 after their third consecutive win over Homenetmen in the final four. Riyadi was crowned Lebanese cup 2006 champion after defeating Antranik by 5 points with a final score of 61 to 56.

Riyadi's Emma Eskedjian dominated the glass grabbing 14 rebounds and managed to score 18 points; while Nour Chkeir lead the team in scoring with 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Talar Marcusian nailed 4 3-pointers and the team's American Jessica Butler grabbed 10 rebounds. As for Antranik, Nisrine Dandan was the best scorer of the game with 20 points while the team's import Shandra Brown scored 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

See also

External links


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