EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSAspiring Players Say They Were Victims Of Alleged Basketball Scam
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported: Jan. 3, 2014 8:36 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 3, 2014 9:10 PM EST
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown) -- Aspiring basketball players came to West Virginia under the premise they would follow their hoop dreams.
"I did not expect it. I was caught off guard. I wasn't ready for this at all."
Up and coming basketball players find themselves in the middle of an alleged scam.
Bak Bak from California and Chris Bland from Mississippi signed contracts with the West Virginia Angels, a premier basketball league team. In the contracts, players were promised things they never received.
"We never saw a house. No house. No meals," said Brand. "We've been spending our own money since we got here. No shower. No food. No nothing."
Brand and Bak's agents were contacted by Daniel Hicks -- the owner of the so-called team.
The players said they knew something was wrong from the very beginning. Besides not receiving the spending money, housing, or meals, Brand and Bak said Hicks was hard to get ahold of and was never around.
But the team tried to stay positive.
"We're going to stick it out for a couple days," Brand said. "We got a hotel. They're going to come around because they're a new team. And nothing ever came around."
And the players weren't the only ones who were let down.
The coach of the team, Steve Merglesberg, said his experience with Hicks is by far the worst in all his years of coaching.
"This is abandonment. We just can't bring these kids in here," Merglesberg said. "And not only that, the moral thing is you're ruining kids dreams. They want to be professional basketball players."
Regardless of the unfortunate experience, Brand and Bak both plan to continue pursuing their basketball dreams.
Bak said he just hopes we can get back home to California.
And this is not the first time Hicks has been accused of running a fraudulent scheme.
Back in 2011, South Charleston Police arrested Hicks after his so-called prep school, West Virginia Academy, came under fire when more than a dozen students were found all living in one apartment.
The students said Hicks lured them to the area from all over the country with promises that didn't pan out.
As of right now, Hicks has not been charged.
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