Justice has finally been served for 5-star recruit and Rutgers women’s basketball signee Maori Davenport. After being ruled ineligible to play by the Alabama High School Athletic Association in November for a mistake made by USA Basketball, Davenport’s situation has gained national attention in the past week. ESPN’s Jay Bilas led a major charge among others for Davenport to be allowed to play the rest of her senior season but the AHSAA held firm in their decision.
Maori Davenport should be reinstated immediately. The Alabama High School Athletic Association, specifically Steve Savarese, ruled Maori ineligible for a clerical error. It’s heartless, mindless, and wrong. Savarese has the authority to fix this. He needs to fix it. Now. pic.twitter.com/hG7sktVe5d— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) January 6, 2019
On Friday, Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan granted an emergency motion that will allow Davenport to play in tonight’s home game for her team Charles Henderson high school.
Per the article, the ASHAA seems prepared to fight the emergency motion made by the Judge, which seems incredibly dumb considering USA Basketball said the mistake was on their end regarding a payment and Davenport already returned the money. ASHAA Executive Director Steve Savarese has taken well deserved criticism on social media from many prominent basketball people, including Kobe Bryant. Davenport’s situation was featured on Good Morning America as well. The 77 Republicans in the Alabama House of Representatives publicly called for her reinstatement as well earlier this week.
Thankfully, Davenport can play beginning tonight and hopefully she is fully reinstated for the rest of her senior season very soon.
Davenport was named to the FIBA Americas all-tournament team after averaging 7.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in helping to lead Team USA to a gold medal in the U18 Championship. As a junior last season for Charles Henderson high school, she led her team to its first state title in program history. Davenport averaged 18.2 points, 12.0 rebounds, 5.1 blocks and 1.7 assists per game. She also won MVP honors in the state championship game, as she produced 17 points, 13 rebounds, 9 blocks and 4 steals.
ESPN ranks Davenport, a five-star recruit, the 2nd best post player in the 2019 recruiting class and 15th best prospect overall. She committed in October and signed her letter of intent with Rutgers in November.