Maori Davenport scores 25 points for Charles Henderson in triumphant return to court

Maori Davenport scores 25 points for Charles Henderson in triumphant return to court

Maori Davenport scores 25 in first game action since Nov. 29By D’Arcy Maine | Jan 11, 2019ESPN TROY, ALABAMA — After weeks of speculation and scrutiny, embattled high school basketball star Maori Davenport made her eagerly-anticipated return to the court on Friday night in Charles Henderson High’s 72-17 win over Carroll High (Ozark, Alabama). More…


Maori Davenport scores 25 in first game action since Nov. 29

TROY, ALABAMA — After weeks of speculation and scrutiny, embattled high school basketball star Maori Davenport made her eagerly-anticipated return to the court on Friday night in Charles Henderson High’s 72-17 win over Carroll High (Ozark, Alabama).

It was her first game in 43 days, but the senior needed just 19 seconds to get on the board. She finished with 25 points and — per the scorer’s table — had too many rebounds and assists to keep track of. The game will be reviewed via video for official statistics.

The 6-foot-4 forward/center was deemed ineligible by the Alabama High School Athletic Association in November for depositing an $857.20 stipend check mistakenly sent from USA Basketball after playing for the U-18 team in August. The AHSAA claimed Davenport violated the state’s amateurism rules when she deposited the check.

Davenport repaid USA Basketball in full as soon as she was made aware of the error, but the AHSAA suspended her after the fourth game of the season and upheld that ruling on appeal twice. However, Davenport’s parents filed a lawsuit on Thursday afternoon against the AHSAA and its director, Steve Savarese. 

A judge granted an emergency motion on Friday morning, allowing Davenport to play in Friday’s game.

In front of a standing-room only crowd — most of whom were wearing “23” shirts or holding “We love MD” signs in her honor — and a slew of local and national reporters, Davenport and her team routed the opposition from the opening tip and took a 43-5 lead at the halftime break.

Davenport scored 18 of her 25 points in the first two quarters. Each basket, and touch of the ball, was met by an excited ovation from the zealous crowd. She called her performance “OK” after the game, but said she was thrilled to be back on the court with her teammates.

The Trojans next play Tuesday at Greenville High School, and Davenport is expected to play. A date for the next hearing in her case has not been set.

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