Maori Davenport's return to the court on Friday was met by applause both near Troy, Alabama, and far.
The Charles Henderson High School senior had been ruled ineligible by the Alabama High School Sports Association in November and had sat out every game since. But Circuit Court Judge Sonny Reagan granted an emergency motion Friday morning, clearing the path for Davenport to return.
Davenport scored 25 points in Charles Henderson's 72-17 win over Carroll High School.
WON'T HE DO IT!!! Thank God!! https://t.co/I436vmgXaT
- dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) January 11, 2019
So happy & proud that you handled everything with class & dignity @maori_andreece. You are a credit to all young people who aspire to do good things. You are nothing but a class act. Good things will come your way ????????
Thank you @JayBilas @BillieJeanKing @kobebryant @CStiffESPN https://t.co/r7oPaa9Sxf
- C. Vivian Stringer (@cvivianstringer) January 12, 2019
Wonderful news! Good luck tonight, Maori! #GoForIt https://t.co/J2x4IFbLwZ - Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) January 11, 2019
- Sue Bird (@S10Bird) January 12, 2019
Happy to hear Maori Davenport is getting back on the court tonight!! The whole situation was ridiculous!! I hope she goes off tonight!!! - Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) January 11, 2019
Some great news coming out of Alabama for Maori. We'll be cheering her on tonight. https://t.co/lWHBkU1OsV - WNBA (@WNBA) January 11, 2019
The right call was made to let Maori Davenport rejoin her high school team for tonight's game after support from @BillieJeanKing, @JayBilas, @espnW and so many others! We are excited to watch her career blossom & proud of her poise despite the adversity. https://t.co/3YhIPpdYAv - Women's Sports Fdn (@WomensSportsFdn) January 11, 2019
AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese ruled Davenport ineligible on Nov. 30 after learning that Davenport deposited a check from USA Basketball in the amount of $857.20, which was sent to Davenport by mistake.
Davenport had led the U.S. to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico City this past August. USA Basketball routinely sends players a stipend check for lost wages, but it admits it failed to check the AHSAA rules. The association's amateurism rules stipulate that a player can't accept more than $250.
After initially depositing the check, Davenport repaid the $857.20 when USA Basketball discovered its error in November.