Tuesday November 24th, 2020 3:47PM

Alabama lawmakers urge prep officials to reinstate player

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Suspended prep basketball player Maori Davenport addressed Alabama's Republican and Democratic caucuses Tuesday about her situation and several lawmakers have urged state high school officials to reinstate her.

Davenport, a senior at Charles Henderson High School in Troy, Alabama has been ruled ineligible by state high school officials after receiving an $857.20 check from USA Basketball, which has been repaid.

The 6-foot-4 Davenport told The Associated Press while she and her parents visited the Alabama Statehouse that she doesn'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.

USA Basketball gave Davenport the check for "lost wages" after she played for the team in a tournament last summer, inadvertently running afoul of the Alabama High School Athletic Association's amateur rule.

She has received an outpouring of support from around the country, including from Golden State Warriors center Demarcus Cousins and Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer.

"It just makes me feel like the world has my back in this situation, so I'm not wrong," Davenport said.

USA Basketball reported the payment a few months later and Davenport's family repaid the money.

Her mother, Tara Davenport, is a middle school coach who also assists with the high school team. Tara Davenport said "the sad part about it" is that adults made the mistake and her daughter is the one being punished for it.

"I thought because it was USA that it wouldn't have gotten to this point because USA admitted their mistake," Tara Davenport said. "Her dad and I sent the money back ASAP, but unfortunately that didn't matter either."

The Davenports were notified of the error on Nov. 26, reported it to the AHSAA on Nov. 27 and repaid the money the following day, according to Charles Henderson Principal Brock Kelley.

"My school has respectfully proceeded through the steps of the appeal process, but we have been met with a 'rules are rules mindset' throughout," Kelley said in a statement Tuesday. "I understand rules and believe in the fundamental aspects of rules. However, in this case, this is beyond the basketball court, beyond the rule book, and beyond this basketball season.

"This case is about character. It's about integrity. It's about doing the right thing and correcting a mistake when it's is realized. The AHSAA never knew anything about the check until the Davenports reported it to them. The Davenports reported it to AHSAA and sent the money back within 48 hours of realizing Maori could not accept the check."

Two other high school players from other states also received checks from USA Basketball.

Notre Dame recruit Anaya Peoples of Illinois remained eligible after repaying the money at about the same time as Davenport, USA Basketball spokesman Craig Miller said.

Aijha Blackwell of Missouri has left her private school. Miller said state high school athletic officials have indicated to USA Basketball that the University of Missouri signee will be able to play once she is ruled eligible at another school under transfer rules and repays the money.

A spokesman for the Missouri State High School Activities Association said he could not comment on students' eligibility, but said the organization has a similar amateur rule to Alabama.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pompeo starts Middle East visit to ramp up pressure on Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Trump administration is doubling down on commercial and diplomatic efforts in the coming weeks to "put real pressure on Iran"
2:02PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Russian lawyer who met Trump Jr. charged in unrelated case
A Russian lawyer who became a focal point of the investigation into whether there was collusion between Russian and the campaign to elect Donald Trump president has been criminally charged in an unrelated case
1:59PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Alabama lawmakers urge prep officials to reinstate player
Suspended girls prep basketball star Maori Davenport visits Alabama Statehouse, several lawmakers urge the Alabama High School Athletic Association to reinstate the player
1:54PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Shiffrin leads WCup slalom, closes in on 8th straight win
Mikaela Shiffrin has posted the fastest time in the opening run of a women's World Cup night slalom Tuesday, positioning herself for a record-equaling eighth consecutive win in the discipline
1:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
Truck driver in crash of hockey team's bus pleads guilty
Guilty plea by truck driver involved in deadly crash with bus of junior hockey team in Canada
1:00PM ( 1 hour ago )
We love LA: Could two LA teams meet in the Super Bowl?
Some playoff misfires, and the chances two LA teams could meet in the Super Bowl on PodcastOne Sports Now
12:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Spurs beat Pistons 119-107; Popovich ties Sloan
DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, and Gregg Popovich moved into a tie for third on the NBA's career wins list when the San Antonio Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 119-107
10:52PM ( 15 hours ago )
Girls basketball player remains benched for $857.20 check
Alabama girls high school player remains sidelined for $857.20 check from USA Basketball
7:28PM ( 18 hours ago )
"New captain" Saunders has Wolves' trust in interim role
Ryan Saunders has the Timberwolves' trust in interim coaching role; "He's our new captain" says Karl-Anthony Towns
5:57PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online Basketball
Pompeo starts Middle East visit to ramp up pressure on Iran
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Trump administration is doubling down on commercial and diplomatic efforts in the coming weeks to "put real pressure on Iran"
2:02PM ( 7 minutes ago )
What air travelers should know about the government shutdown
A sign of the widening effect of the partial government shutdown is becoming visible at the nation's airports, where security checkpoints are experiencing longer lines and safety inspections are reduced
1:51PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Genealogy database, gum help convict DJ in '92 killing
A popular DJ has pleaded guilty to raping and strangling a schoolteacher in 1992 after being identified as a suspect as a result of DNA a relative had submitted to a genealogy database
1:46PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Cuaron, Cooper, Spike Lee are among Directors Guild nominees
Bradley Cooper, Alfonso Cuaron and Spike Lee are among the nominees for the Director's Guild award for outstanding directorial achievement
1:31PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Trump, Democrats taking border wall fight to prime-time TV
President Donald Trump plans to use his first Oval Office address to argue that a "crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border requires the wall he's demanding before ending the partial government shutdown
1:17PM ( 52 minutes ago )