Brooke Queenan Wins Partial Arbitration Decision Against Hungarian Club

Brooke Queenan, a WNBA prospect who played a grand total of 12 games in the WNBA, won a partial FIBA Arbitration decision against her former club, MiZo Pecs in Hungary.  Such decisions are always interesting to read, particularly because they give insight into the salaries offered to American players by European clubs. 

Queenan - a Boston College player -  was drafted in the second round of the 2006 WNBA Draft by the New York Liberty but didn't make the roster, waived on May 10th.  The Connecticut Sun signed her two days later and then waived her again four days after that.  They would resign her on July 13th and she'd play a grand total of 10 minutes in a Sun uniform.  During the off-season, she would play for Aris Holargos in Greece.

She would be signed by the Seattle Storm before the 2007 season, but was waived before the season started.  She returned to Greece to play again for the Panionios club.  In 2008, Queenan bounced around Chicago a lot.  First, a training camp contract.  Then waived on June 28th.  Then signed to a 7-day contract three days later.  Then signed to another 7-day contract two weeks later.  Then waived again on August 14th, 2008.  Queenan played eight games for the Sky, shooting 1-for-8 in 36 minutes of play.

For the 2008-09 season, Queenan was off to Hungary, playing for MiZo Pecs, a Hungarian team that finished second in Hungary last year and participated in Euroleague.  In Hungary Queenan averaged 14.5 ppg and 4.6 rebounds per game, but only averaged 6.8 points per game in Euroleague play.

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MiZo Pecs was scheduled to pay Queenan $72,000 for the 2008-09 basketball season.  This is net salary, mind you, and not gross.  The payment is in dollars and any Hungarian national or local taxes would be paid by the club.  In addition, there were about $16,000 worth of bonuses available depending on the club's performance but Queenan was only due the $1,500 bonus when her team reached the  Euroleague quarterfinals.

So what happened? Well, the club was late in making its payments.  Furthermore, she suffered a knee injury in February 2009.  She tried to participate with the club, but the injury made that impossible and on February 25th Queenan and MiZo Pecs parted ways.  Queenan wanted the rest of her payments - at least the payments due her before injury ended her season.  MiZo Pecs pleaded poverty - they wanted to pay, and even wanted to offer a settlement but stated to Queenan's agents and FIBA that they couldn't pay at the present time.

FIBA said that the club's financial difficulties weren't Queenan's problem.  They were prepared to award Queenan $30,091 but Queenan lost the $91 since she had only asked FIBA that MiZo Pecs pay $30,000.  Furthermore, Queenan asked for late payment penalties but since she waited so long to file her claim FIBA capped the late penalties at $10,000.  In addition, the club had to pay Queenan 10,000 Euros for legal fees, expenses and other costs Queenan had to incur.

So think about this:  Brooke Queenan, a player who didn't really do much of anything in the WNBA, would have earned $73,500 for a top-flight European club if she had stayed healthy and if MiZo Pecs had been able to pay on time.  Can you imagine what Angel McCoughtry will be making with MKB Euroleasing in Hungary this year?