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Rutgers Women’s Basketball Commit Maori Davenport Ruled Ineligible In H.S. Due To Mistake By USA Basketball

USA Basketball Senior Men’s Team Media Tour USA Basketball Senior Men’s Team Media Tour Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

UPDATE: A Judge issued a motion to let Davenport play on 1/11/19. Story here.

Original Story:

Per a report from ESPNW and an additional one from James Kratch of NJ Advance Media, Rutgers women’s basketball commit Maori Davenport has been ruled ineligible by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for her senior season. The reason is due to the fact that when Davenport played Team USA last summer, she received a stipend of $857.20.

As the ESPNW report details, “USA Basketball routinely pays players small amounts during its summer programs to help them recover costs, including lost wages and employment opportunities.” However, Team USA incorrectly failed to notify the AHSAA, which only allows for payments up to $250. Despite the fact that Davenport has since returned the money after finding out it would make her ineligible, the AHSAA has denied two appeals for her to play this season.

The good news long term is this issue will not affect Davenport’s eligibility at Rutgers, where she will enroll for the fall 2019 semester. However, it seems extremely unfair that she will miss out on her senior high school season due to an issue that was not her own.

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. She joined 3-star Joiya Maddox who also signed in November.