Basketball: Leicester Riders' Yorick Williams aiming to make history
Yorick Williams could make history on Sunday .
If Leicester Riders manage to defeat reigning champions Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Cup final at Birmingham's NIA, the veteran guard will become the first player to have won the Cup with three different teams.
Williams lifted the Cup for the first time with Brighton Bears in the 2004-05 season. He repeated the feat in 2007-08 with Milton Keynes Lions.
Despite his experience in what will be Riders' first appearance in a BBL Cup final, the Manchester-born 37-year-old believes basketball in this country has changes immeasurably since he first won the title.
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"It is a completely different era," said Williams. "A different game, a different style. None of what happened before matters.
"I want to win for this team, my team-mates, the coaches and our fans – they especially deserve it because they have been waiting a while."
Last season was the most successful season in Riders' history. They finished second in the BBL and were runners-up in the Play-off final, losing to Sunday's opponents Newcastle.
But this season looks as if it could, potentially, be even better for Rob Paternostro's men. They currently sit joint top of the BBL Championship and Sunday gives Riders a shot at winning their first piece of silverware in 12 years.
"Playing for Leicester this season is special," said Williams. "We were close last season, and I think we have improved the team.
"My role has changed a lot over the years. I feel I have the experience to deliver different things for the team depending on the situation.
"We have a lot of versatility in the squad. I think that will make a difference."
"There is no reason we cannot go one better. I feel like we have all the pieces in place.
"Now it is about performance – who brings it on the day – who leaves everything on the floor. Newcastle, like every team in the BBL, are beatable. But they have a lot of experience and will not roll over. We have to be at our best."
Williams also paid tribute to head coach Paternostro who, he said, will no doubt have his team fully prepared.
"Rob Paternostro and his staff have done a great job," he said.
"To be honest, they did a great job for the Play-off final as well.
"Now it is about the players staying composed and delivering. I believe we can do it."
Riders' Great Britain captain Drew Sullivan was rewarded for a stunning performance against Worcester Wolves last Saturday by being selected in the BBL Team of the Week.
It is a perfect tonic ahead of leading his club in the BBL Cup final.
Sullivan was unstoppable around the hoop against Wolves, making a highly efficient eight of 10 at the basket, to rack up 20 points. The forward just missed out on a double-double by a single rebound, finishing with nine, although that didn't detract from a great effort that also included four assists
Paternostro said: "Drew set the tone right from the off against Worcester. He was aggressive at both ends and showed real leadership qualities.
"His consistency of play this season has been outstanding."