Riyadi Club, also known as, An-Nadi Al Riyadi was founded in 1934 by: Hussein Sejaan, Hassan Ladki, Fouad Zantout, Youssef Shaker, Mustafa Shaker, Zouheir Yatim, Helmi Chehab, and Wafic Nsouli. In 1934, and thanks to the continuous efforts of Mr. Hussein Sejaan, “Elm wa-Khabar # 2575” gave permission for the youngsters of “Ras Beirut” to participate in sports activities at the club’s first location in “Rawshe” in what is currently “Farid el Atrash Casino”.
1945 Sport Approval Granted
In 1945, the Ministry of the Interior gave permission to “Riyadi Club in Beirut – An-Nadi Al-Riyadi fi Beirut” to participate in various sports in its location in “Rawshe”. Some of these sports were Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Tennis, and Ping Pong.
Evolution of the game (1954)
In 1947, Riyadi club moved from “Rawshe” to “Sanayeh” near “Saroulla” street. It was located beside the gas station that currently facesPatesserie Le Roi”. President Beshara el-Khoury, Prime Minister Riad el-Solh and Mr. Saeb Salam attended the opening ceremony. The first time Riyadi played a basketball game against a foreign team was in 1947 and was against “Galatasaray” from Turkey. The match was tight, and Riyadi lost 33-39. President Beshara el-Khoury, Prime Minister Riad el-Solh and Mr. Saeb Salam attended the game and cheered for Riyadi. Riyadi Club finally moved to its current location in “Rawshe” facing the “Military club” in 1954.
Riyadi Women’s Team 1965
In 1965, Riyadi launched its first women team to compete with few other clubs that had women teams at that time like “Homentmen” and “Antranik”. The dream of an enclosed court (Saeb Salam Arena) was realized in 1991 during the term of Club President Hisham Jaroudi and with the generous help and support of his Honorary President Mr. Tammam Salam and a number of sports and Al-Riyadi supporters from across Lebanon.
Riyadi’s current basketball team stands out with its remarkable blend of skill and experience. The team’s roster showcases a rich diversity of talents, combining local and international players who have honed their skills over the years. Led by the towering Egyptian Forward/Center Ismail Ahmad, the team benefits from his vast experience and presence on the court. Amir Saoud, a Lebanese Guard, adds agility and tactical expertise to the lineup.
The team’s backcourt trio of Karim Zeinoun, Ali Mansour, and Wael Arakji offers dynamic ball-handling, scoring ability, and defensive skills, while the frontcourt duo of Hayk Gyokchyan and Bilal Tabbara adds experience and versatility, with further depth provided by Jihad Kreidly and Marwan Ziade, and international contributions from Sani Sakakini, Elmedin Kikanović, and Aaron Harrison in various positions.