Judge Rules Maori Davenport Can Play Friday After Family Sues AHSAA To Restore Eligibility

Maori Davenport's parents filed a lawsuit against AHSAA on Thursday with hopes of restoring her eligibility.
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An Alabama judge has granted an emergency motion and ruled that high school basketball player Maori Davenport can play in a game Friday night, according to AL.com.

Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan granted the motion, and Davenport is eligible to play pending a hearing, reports AL.com.

Davenport's family sued the Alabama High School Athletic Association and its director Steve Savarese on Thursday after the organization stripped her of her eligibility for depositing a check from USA Basketball. The suit was filed in Pike County Circuit Court.

Davenport, a senior at Charles Henderson High School in Troy, Ala., participated with USA Basketball in the FIBA Under-18 Women’s Americas Championship last summer and helped the United States earn a gold medal.

As a result, USA Basketball sent her stipend a check for the amount of $857.20, which was meant to cover expenses.

McCANN: Legal Implications of Maori Davenport's Eligibility to Play High School Basketball

The check was deposited, but Davenport's family found out in November it could cause an issue with her eligibility and sent the money back.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association still ruled her ineligible, prompting a swift public response, including from ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas. The AHSAA has said the moment that Davenport cashed the check, it violated the state's amateurism rules.

"Neither USA Basketball, the student’s parents, the student’s coach, nor CHHS administration reported the student had received the check until three months later, [specifically 91 days],” said AHSAA central board of control president Johnny Hardin, in their justification of ruling Davenport ineligible.

An appeal of the ruling has been rejected twice.

Davenport is rated as the No. 15 high school women's basketball player in the nation and is committed to Rutgers.