Rutgers women's basketball signee Maori Davenport ruled ineligible for senior season in high school


Rutgers women's signee Maori Davenport, a top-20 player in the Class of 2019 according to ESPN, has been controversially ruled ineligible for her senior season by the Alabama High School Association.

The ruling comes as a result of a mix-up after Davenport played for Team USA in the FIBA Americas U18 Tournament last August. Following her participation, Davenport received a check in the amount of $857.20 -- to cover some costs incurred for playing with Team USA and any lost wages -- but the amount exceeded the $250 limit the Alabama High School Athletic Association allows. Davenport was ruled ineligible as a result. (Checks are typically issued to players who have exhausted their high school eligibility; Davenport was one of only two underclassmen on the team.)

According to ESPN, Team USA typically confers with high school federations before issuing checks, but it did not in this case. After Team USA realized its mistake, it contacted Charles Henderson High School in Troy -- where Davenport plays -- but even after she returned the money, the AHSAA stood by its ruling. 

Davenport has appealed the decision twice -- once to an AHSAA district board, and later to a central board -- but both attempts have not been successful. Barring something unexpected, the next time she'll play basketball will be in college, the result of what appears to be an honest mix-up with bogus consequence.

"Maybe if they asked me some questions, things would've changed," Davenport told ESPN in a profile of her story. "But nobody in authority has asked me anything.

"I never imagined I would be training a whole season without playing a game, but that seems like what's happening," she added. "It's been hard, but I still have hope. Maybe something good can come out of this. Maybe the rule gets changed. It may not help me, but I don't want this to happen to any other athlete."

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