Marcus Campbell (214-C-82, agency: Three Eye Sports, college: Mississippi St.), a veteran of many professional leagues over a career spanning eight seasons, is de facto being held hostage in Qatar, after his Club refused yesterday to authorize the American players exit from the Country.
Bags packed, ready to board an airplane to play in a new country, Campbell was told he cannot leave the country. Marcus Campbell, who signed a partially guaranteed contract with Al Rayyan Doha Club in mid-September, and arrived in Doha, Qatar on September 25, never played one official game for the Club after being informed that the teams conceptthe allocation or quotas between African and foreign playershad changed according to constantly changing league and Federation rules. The Player, who signed on for a $10,000 monthly salary, but was paid only $1430 for his fifty days of pre-season work in Doha, accepted the rule change and agreed to leave the team. However, he and his agent, Bill McCandless, citing the Playing Contract, asked the Club to honor the terms of a contract which stated that, if the team released him, they would pay Campbell for the time he was with the team (roughly $17,000) plus a $25,000 severance penalty (and an additional $ 8.500 in agent fees).
After negotiating with the Club and its many managers, translators, and coaches for days on end, the Club finally offered the Player a $20,000 settlement. Armed with a clear contract saying that the Club owed more than twice this amount, Campbell rejected the offer. After more days of back and forth, Campbells agent sent Al Rayyan Doha an ultimatum: settle for more than the $20,000 offered, or face FIBA Arbitration. The Club declined to offer more and a search was underway for a new job for the seven foot center.
During that time Marcus Campbell was unceasingly pressured by the Club and even by people working within the Qatar Basketball Federation to accept the $20,000 offer. They told me, Campbell said from Doha in an interview on Friday, forget about your agent, sign this release and well pay you $20,000, and well give you a ticket back to the United States. Campbell went on, at first, I thought, well the offer is better than nothing, but then I started to think, Ive been here for almost two months, and this team agreed that Id be paid a $25,000 severance fee if they released me, Ill pass on the low ball offer and take them to FIBA arbitration. Campbells agent, adds: I had dealt with this Club before and they had shorted another player of mine, so before I agreed to put Marcus on the plane to Qatar, I insisted that there be a set penalty if they cut the player or terminated the contract. McCandless adds, a couple of years ago, a center of ours was cut, not for skill, but because the team had not registered with the Federation on time. It seemed to me that I should protect Marcus if the same thing were to happen again.
On Tuesday, Marcus Campbell landed a job in Cyprus with Apollon Limassol, and on that very date, Campbells coach in Qatar, American Brian Rowsom, told the Player he had to vacate the apartment in two days. By then, Campbell says, I had decided to take the job in Cyprus and reject the Qatari teams low ball settlement offer. McCandless adds, Years ago, players in Marcus situation would have had to bring a lawsuit in Qatar, but today is a different day: FIBA Arbitration provides a fair and relatively inexpensive way for Players and Clubs to resolve disputes. McCandless goes on: Marcus didnt like the teams offer, he was put off by the teams pressure tactics, so we decided that we would officially notify the Club that they were in material breach, and then leave to take a new job. Still, getting Rowsons eviction notice sent chills down the big centers spine. I came here, Campbell says, to play basketball. I get cut basically because of some registration mistake, nothing to do with skill, the team kicks me to the curb, gives me next to no money to eat, then tells the Coach to tell me get out in two days. McCandless chimes in: face it, they were mad we didnt fold and take their offer, and so they decided to send Marcus an eviction notice.
Waking today in Doha, Campbell never could have imagined what was to follow. My new Club from Cyprus had gotten me a 7 am flight, so I woke early, taxied to the airport, anxious to see a new country and actually play basketball again! The American Center checked in at the Gulf Air ticket counter, got his ticket, and ambled to passport control. There, he presented his passport and ticket. And the wheels came off. where is your visa exit document? said the woman in the booth. Campbell said he had none, and was turned away.
Thousands of miles away, agent McCandless cell phone rung. I saw it was Marcus calling, said McCandless, so I picked it up, figuring he would tell me he was on the plane. Not so. Campbell sounded discouraged: they wont let me leave. He then explained why. McCandless urged Marcus to not give up. I told him, go to the Qatar Basketball Federation, tell them your problem, and perhaps theyll get you an exit visa, and you can fly on Friday to Cyprus. McCandless goes on: I mean, the player plays for a team for 50 days, makes next to nothing, gets evicted, and tries to take a plane to a new job in a new country and he cant get out?
Turned away, feeling like he had lost a second job, Campbell decide to make some calls and get some answers. First, he called the teams translator, who seemed to know nothing. He called other team managers and the Coach, but no one seemed willing to help.
Marcus Campbell then goes to the Qatari Basketball Federation to see if they can issue him the exit visa to leave the country.
At the Federation office, nobody seems to be willing to help. On the contrary, there too insinuations are made that Campbell should have accepted the settlement offer made by the club. Things got really bizarre when the assistant secretary general of the Qatar Basketball Federation, Mr. Mohammad Ali Hobash, turns out to be the President of Al Rayyan! The club that had terminated the agreement with Campbell, thrown him out of his apartment, and now prevented him from leaving the country!
Marcus Campbell was fired on the 25th of October. He has no money, no place to stay and cant leave the country. He is basically held hostage. His former club and the Qatari Basketball federation will only let him leave the country if he signs a document that he will NOT take the case to FIBA arbitration and waives all his rights and claims.
Marcus Campbell has turned to the US Consulate, meaning that this story could now become international. In the meantime, the FIBA has also gotten involved and has asked the Qatar Basketball Federation to immediately issue an exit visa to Campbell. Whatever happens, one thing seems clear; there will be a legal follow-up.
Cpurtesy of Court-Side
Light Scribe down Lucky Seven in thriller - 7 days ago
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Losing steam in the dying minutes proved to be costly for Lucky Seven as they blew the chances of winning the game as they went down to league leaders Light Scribe 96-93 in thrilling game at the Premiere Division of Nissan Cup 2016 hosted by Pinoy Basketball of Qatar (PIBAQ) at Al Gharafa Training Gym. Lucky Seven had numerous chances to win but were undone by remarkable fightback from Light Scribe, who started to creep in with their mini rally inspired by their top scorer Ronnie Cajayon [read more]
Losing steam in the dying minutes proved to be costly for Lucky Seven as they blew the chances of winning the game as they went down to league leaders Light Scribe 96-93 in thrilling game at the Premiere Division of Nissan Cup 2016 hosted by Pinoy Basketball of Qatar (PIBAQ) at Al Gharafa Training Gym. Lucky Seven had numerous chances to win but were undone by remarkable fightback from Light Scribe, who started to creep in with their mini rally inspired by their top scorer Ronnie Cajayon. Before that sudden twist, the Poldong Rodriguez mentored squad was enjoying as much 17 points with nine minutes left in the last quarter But the momentum shifted to in the crucial minutes. Cajayon gave them anew headaches in the crucial minute left in the five-minute overtime after he replicated it with another two back-to-back baskets by two short jumpers. Cajayon scored 27 points with Sandie Limin netting 22 and 20 points was scored by Kemuel Proceso. Lucky Seven's main man Khim Calo fired 25 points but he was unable to hit the mark in the crucial minutes. In the other game, KBAS Batangas continued their winning spree after they defeated Monte Vista 82-59. KBAS reliable duo of Eric Tamayo and Nino Gelig shared 15 points each to ensure their victory against Monte Vista now suffering two back to back loses in the elimination rounds. The Nissan 21st Season Men's Championship Cup of Pinoy Basketball of Qatar (PIBAQ) is presented by OOoredoo and McDonald's Qatar. The tournament is brought by Qatar Basketball Federation and the Philippine Embassy in Qatar and Co-Sponsored by Alicafe, Diana Jewellery and Watches, GO Sports, Philippine Airlines, Filipino Community Center, Fraser Suites Hotel and Shuttersbug Photography. Courtesy of: gulf-times.com
Al Fateh Al Hasa (SBL) agreed terms with 33-year old American guard Dontell Jefferson (196-83, college: Arkansas). He played last season at Qatar in Qatari D1 league. In 9 games he had very impressive stats: 23.7ppg, 7.7rpg, 5.9apg and 2.2spg. The previous (14-15) season Jefferson played at Al Ahli (also in D1). In 2006 he was drafted by Dakota Wizards (D-League) in fifth round (53rd overall). Jefferson attended University of Arkansas and it will be his eleventh (!!!) season in pro basket... [read more]
Al Fateh Al Hasa (SBL) agreed terms with 33-year old American guard Dontell Jefferson (196-83, college: Arkansas). He played last season at Qatar in Qatari D1 league. In 9 games he had very impressive stats: 23.7ppg, 7.7rpg, 5.9apg and 2.2spg. The previous (14-15) season Jefferson played at Al Ahli (also in D1). In 2006 he was drafted by Dakota Wizards (D-League) in fifth round (53rd overall). Jefferson attended University of Arkansas and it will be his eleventh (!!!) season in pro basketball. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he won Latvian League championship title in 2008. Jefferson was selected to D-League All-Star Game back in 2010. He is quite experienced player. Jefferson's career allowed him to visit four different continents, while he played in five different countries. Jefferson tasted the life as pro basketball player in Europe, Asia, Africa and of course North America. He has played previously professionally in Canada (Kebs de Laval), D-League (Sioux Falls Skyforce, Salt Lake City Stars, Santa Cruz Warriors, Austin Spurs and Utah F.), NBA (LA Clippers and Charlotte Hornets), Latvia (Barons Riga) and Libya (Hilal). On Jefferson:
A long, athletic point guard with good shooting skills. Dontell can play offense & defense with the best.
Al Wakrah (D1) strengthened their roster with addition of 30-year old American forward Lawrence Gilbert (200-86, college: La-Monroe). He played most recently at CSU Sibiu in Romania Liga Nationala. In 36 games he recorded 11.5ppg, 4.4rpg and 1.4apg last season. The previous (14-15) season Gilbert played at Al Nahda (Premier League) in Saudi Arabia and was one of imports there. He played in the final of Colombian DPB in 2013, he averaged in that year 18.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.2%, 3P... [read more]
Al Wakrah (D1) strengthened their roster with addition of 30-year old American forward Lawrence Gilbert (200-86, college: La-Monroe). He played most recently at CSU Sibiu in Romania Liga Nationala. In 36 games he recorded 11.5ppg, 4.4rpg and 1.4apg last season. The previous (14-15) season Gilbert played at Al Nahda (Premier League) in Saudi Arabia and was one of imports there. He played in the final of Colombian DPB in 2013, he averaged in that year 18.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.6apg, FGP: 47.2%, 3PT-2 (42.3%), FT-2 (81.5%) in 57 games !! Gilbert is a very experienced player. Thanks to his pro career he managed to play on three different continents (Asia, Latin America and of course North America) in four different countries. Gilbert has played previously professionally in Dominican Rep., Colombia (Piratas, Barrancabermeja Ciudad Futuro and Sabios), Dominican Republic (Siglo) and Saudi Arabia (Al Salam). He attended University of Louisiana at Monroe until 2011 and it will be his sixth season in pro basketball.
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