The Bakersfield Christian boys basketball team will be without standout senior guard Kadar Waller for at least the immediate future.
According to Central Section commissioner Jim Crichlow, Waller’s “eligibility has been denied pending appeal.”
Crichlow was unable to expand on Waller’s sudden ineligibility, but did say that BCHS has been cooperative throughout the process.
Waller has been one of the top scorers in the Central Section this year as the Eagles have been the best team in Division IV with just two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Waller was a two-year starter for Liberty before transferring to BCHS before the 2018-19 school year began. His eligibility was granted immediately before the basketball season by the section office.
“Bakersfield Christian has done no wrong here,” Crichlow said. “They have been up front about everything.”
Waller did not play in Friday's home game against Tehachapi. The Eagles won, 63-53, to move to 19-5 overall and 6-1 in South Yosemite League play.
While Crichlow stated that no wins have been vacated to this point, he and BCHS athletic director Blake Van Der Schaaf said victories could be in jeopardy depending on the the findings of the appeals process. A final determination will likely not come before Feb. 4, according to Crichlow.
Waller’s mother, Arleana Frink Waller, said the section office and the Waller family were sent an anonymous letter stating that Kadar Waller was illegally recruited by BCHS. Frink Waller called the letter "a lie", and said it was intentionally sent to "harm her son."
Frink Waller also said Kadar's ineligibility has nothing with academics and feels that through the appeals process, the family will be vindicated.
“Based on the reports that we received, the (section office) did not do their due diligence and it was not complete,” Frink Waller said. “We are prepared to fight for Kadar and all of the kids on the team.”
Van Der Schaaf wrote in a prepared statement to The Californian that Bakersfield Christian will continue to cooperate with the CIF and follow all procedures and protocols.
“BCHS also trusts the appeal process that the CIF has put into place which was explained to us by Jim Crichlow," Van Der Schaaf wrote. "The BCHS basketball team looks forward to the remainder of its regular and postseason.”
Bakersfield Christian is set to play Ridgeview on Wednesday and Independence on Friday. The Eagles and Falcons are tied atop the SYL standings with 6-1 league records.
The games will likely be played, however, likely without Kadar Waller on the court.