Top prep gets reinstated after she was suspended over a clerical error – Daily News
Top,high,school,basketball,recruit,gets,reinstated,suspended,clerical,error Suspended prep basketball player Maori Davenport has been reinstated by the Alabama High School Athletic Association after receiving an outpouring of support from celebrities like Kobe Bryant and Billie Jean King when she was ruled ineligible for mistakenly violating the state’s rules on amateurism.
Davenport, a senior at Charles Henderson in Troy, Alabama had been ruled ineligible by of Steve Savarese, the executive director of the AHSAA, after she mistakenly received an $857.20 check from USA Basketball, which has since been repaid. The check was sent mistakenly, and USA Basketball had attempted to correct the clerical error.
A Pike County Circuit Judge granted an emergency motion, allowing Davenport to play in tonight’s home game.
‘Maori is BACK!!!!!’ read the Charles Henderson High School Facebook page on Friday morning.
‘Thank you, God,’ Tara Davenport, Maori’s mother, wrote in a text message to AL.com. ‘Our baby girls is back on the court! Her happy place.’
Earlier on Friday, Davenport’s parents filed a lawsuit against the AHSAA and its director in hopes of clearing her return to the hardwood.
USA Basketball gave Davenport the check for ‘lost wages’ after she played for its Under-18 team in a tournament last summer, inadvertently running afoul of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s amateur rule. According to ESPN, the AHSAA prohibits payments over $250.
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USA Basketball contacted the relevant parties to explain the error after Davenport had cashed the check. She has since returned the money and appealed the decision, which was upheld twice before apparently being overturned on Friday.
Davenport addressed Alabama’s Republican and Democratic caucuses Tuesday about her situation and several lawmakers urged state high school officials to reinstate her.
The 6-foot-4 Davenport told The Associated Press while she and her parents visited the Alabama Statehouse that she didn’t believe she did anything wrong.
‘I hope to play again this year, but if I don’t get to play again, I just want them to help this not happen to any other student-athlete in Alabama,’ said Davenport, who has signed to play college basketball at Rutgers.
She received an outpouring of support from around the country, including tennis legend Billie Jean King, Kobe Bryant, the WNBA, Golden State Warriors center Demarcus Cousins, and Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer.
‘This is maddening,’ King tweeted. ‘To force Maori Davenport to miss her senior year of high school basketball because of a mistake that wasn’t even her fault is nonsensical. Do the right thing, @AHSAA_hoops, and let her play.’
: ‘The WNBA urges the Alabama High School Athletic Association to reinstate Maori Davenport. Let her play the rest of her senior season instead of being penalized for an honest mistake made by others.’
Bryant amade Davenport’s case on Twitter: ‘This #MaoriDavenport situation is just about the most ridiculous th