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.
Tadamon Zouk (Pepsi LBL) landed 25-year old Australian-South Sudanese forward Deng Deng (203-98kg-92, college: Baylor). He played recently at Al Shamal in Qatari D1 league. In 5 games he averaged impressive 19.8ppg, 12.2rpg, 2.0apg, 2.8spg and 4.0bpg this season. Deng also played earlier that season for another team Texas Legends in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in three D1 games he had 4.3ppg and 4.0rpg. Among other achievements his team made it to the Big 12 Tournament Semifinals... [read more]
Tadamon Zouk (Pepsi LBL) landed 25-year old Australian-South Sudanese forward Deng Deng (203-98kg-92, college: Baylor). He played recently at Al Shamal in Qatari D1 league. In 5 games he averaged impressive 19.8ppg, 12.2rpg, 2.0apg, 2.8spg and 4.0bpg this season. Deng also played earlier that season for another team Texas Legends in U.S. semi-pro league D-League where in three D1 games he had 4.3ppg and 4.0rpg. Among other achievements his team made it to the Big 12 Tournament Semifinals in 2015. Deng received also NJCAA All-Region XIV 2nd Team award back in 2014 at his college time. Deng represented Australia at the World University Games in Gwangju (South Korea) two years ago. His stats at that event were 7 games: 4.6ppg, 2.1rpg. Deng graduated from Baylor University in 2015 and it is his second season in pro basketball.
For the first time Maciej Lampe (211-C/F-85) has been chosen by asia-basket.com as the Asian MVP for February. Polish international big man had a great month as his team won 7 out of 9 games and advanced to playoffs. Lampe averaged impressive 26.6ppg, 14.4rpg, 3.2apg and 1.0bpg while shooting 2FGP: 62.1%. On Feb.5 he scored 40 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, dished out 8 assists in a win over Tianjin. Second best performer of February was Andray Blatche (211-F/C-86) of Xinjiang FT. The Uni... [read more]
For the first time Maciej Lampe (211-C/F-85) has been chosen by asia-basket.com as the Asian MVP for February. Polish international big man had a great month as his team won 7 out of 9 games and advanced to playoffs. Lampe averaged impressive 26.6ppg, 14.4rpg, 3.2apg and 1.0bpg while shooting 2FGP: 62.1%. On Feb.5 he scored 40 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, dished out 8 assists in a win over Tianjin.
Second best performer of February was Andray Blatche (211-F/C-86) of Xinjiang FT. The University of Indianapolis standout had another great month and finished it with the averages of double-double (21.2ppg, 10.4rpg, 4.0apg and 2FGP: 65.9%). His team won 8 out of 9 games.
Third best performer of the month was Sammy Monroe (198-F-85, college: Newberry) of Al Gharafa (Qatar). He led his team to perfect 5-0 record and averaged 27.6ppg, 10.4rpg, 4.4apg while shooting 2FGP: 65.7%.
Macklin's 38-point game gives him Player of the Week award - 20 days ago
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30-year old power forward Vernon Macklin (208-F/C-86) had a very impressive game in the last round for league's best team El Jaysh and receives a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 30. He had the game-high 38 points adding eight rebounds for El Jaysh in his team's victory, helping them to beat Al Gharafa (#2, 16-2) 74-65. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. It allowed El Jaysh to consolidate first place in the Qatari league. They maintain a perfect rec... [read more]
30-year old power forward Vernon Macklin (208-F/C-86) had a very impressive game in the last round for league's best team El Jaysh and receives a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 30. He had the game-high 38 points adding eight rebounds for El Jaysh in his team's victory, helping them to beat Al Gharafa (#2, 16-2) 74-65. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. It allowed El Jaysh to consolidate first place in the Qatari league. They maintain a perfect record without any lost game in the league. It's already very far into the season and El Jaysh keeps a perfect 18-0 record. Macklin has many years of experience at El Jaysh, through which he has constantly improved. Vernon Macklin averages this season 24.9ppg and 9.9rpg.
Second best performed player last round was Dairese Gary (185-PG-88) of Al Khor. He is American guard in his first season at Al Khor. In the last game Gary recorded impressive double-double of 31 points and 18 rebounds. Bad luck as Al Khor lost that game 62-80 to the higher-ranked Al Arabi (#3, 12-6). Al Khor are still at the very bottom. 16 lost games are too many comparing to just two victories Al Khor managed to get this year. Gary is a newcomer at Al Khor and quickly became one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 26.1ppg (#7). His other stats are also decent: 9.8rpg and 5.8apg.
Third place about best performers goes to forward Manny Adako (203-F/C-87, agency: Court Side) of Al Arabi (#3). Adako showcased his all-around game by recording 23 points, seventeen rebounds (!!!) and seven assists in the last round. He was a key player of Al Arabi, leading his team to a 80-62 easy win against the lower-ranked Al Khor (#10, 2-16). Al Arabi needs these victories very badly if they think about getting closer to top teams. Their record at this point is 12 victories and 6 lost games. Adako has a great season in Qatar. After 18 games, he made it on the list of the league's leaders in rebounds with 11.9rpg (7th best). He also has FGP: 63.4% and 3PT: 44.4%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Adamu Saaka (198-SF-88) of Al Arabi - 26 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists 5. Aleksandar Mitrovic (201-F-90) of Al Ahli - 27 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists 6. Sammy Monroe (198-F-85) of Al Gharafa - 24 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists 7. Oumar Seck (208-C-88) of Al Sadd - 9 points, 20 rebounds and 5 assists 8. Faisal Nabil Abuissa) of Al Sadd - 19 points, 2 rebounds and 4 assists 9. Dominic James (180-PG-86) of El Jaysh - 13 points and 8 rebounds 10. AJ West (206-F-91) of Al Sadd - 16 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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