Chicago basketball players are accusing their semi-pro team, The Chicago Steam, of not following through on promises and are demanding their money back.
The team’s owner says the team is well regarded with some players eventually going overseas for larger contracts. The team has hosted youth camps to help Chicago neighborhoods and is affiliated with the American Basketball Association.
But the league doesn’t oversee the team’s finances. Some players say they were cheated and paid hundreds of dollars for trips that never happened.
Andrea Bankhead, who was on the women’s team, filed a civil suit and is waiting for a hearing. For two years, she’s been owed about a thousand dollars for a trip to Spain she paid for but never happened. Joanna Ortiz says she’s still owed $500 dollars. At one point, she was given this check. She says she tried to cash it but no funds. Nichole Silmon paid at least $250 dollars for a scout camp. She says scouts were never there.
Owner Ron Hicks the players criticizing him are disgruntled over being cut from the Steam. Through a spokesperson, he sent WGN a statement that reads ” Competitive basketball in the ABA requires talent and perseverance. The Chicago Steam is open and eager to talk with any player or coach that feels he or she has received unfair treatment.”
The ABA says it didn’t know about any of these issues. They were aware though of one other complaint a few years back. A player, again, owed money for a trip that never happened. They plan to look into all of the allegations and say although the team “appears” to run well and Hicks should be held accountable.