AHSAA rules CHHS player Maori Davenport will remain ineligible

Published 2:05 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Charles Henderson Trojan Maori Davenport and principal Brock Kelley did not get the news they were hoping for when the District 2 Council gave their verdict on Wednesday morning.

Davenport was deemed ineligible earlier this month by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for receiving payment by USA Basketball for her time on the Team USA U18 basketball team this summer.

Charles Henderson and Davenport appealed the decision Tuesday based on the fact that Davenport returned the check back to USA basketball.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Kelley presented to the District 2 Council for about an hour on Tuesday. After waiting 24 hours, the council decided to uphold the decision.

“From conversations, I know this was not an easy decision,” Kelley said. “I believe the committee struggled to come to this conclusion. I respect each and every one of the committee members and their decision, but this goes beyond the basketball court.”

According to Kelley, Davenport’s mother Tara Davenport alerted the AHSAA about receiving the check. She wanted to be transparent and told the AHSAA that Team USA inadvertently and mistakenly sent a check.

“Two days later after that conversation, she was ruled ineligible,” Kelley said. “And for what? I’m not sure. We teach our kids to be honest. We teach our kids to walk with integrity. However, in this case, it seems being deceitful would have kept her eligibility.”

After the decision was made, members contacted Kelley and recommended that he appeal to the Central Board.

“I’m disappointed beyond measure but we are going to continue to fight for what we feel is right,” Kelley said. “We will be appealing to the central board and, at this point, we will be reaching out to other resources for assistance with this matter.”

Davenport recently signed a scholarship to play basketball at Rutgers University. Kelley believes that in no way will this affect her plans to attend Rutgers.

Davenport began the season as candidate for the Miss Basketball award after finishing runner-up a season ago. Davenport entered the season ranked as the 15th best recruit in the 2019 class by ESPN as a 5-star recruit.

She finished last season scoring 18 points per game with 12 rebounds and 5.5 blocks. Davenport and the Trojans have advanced to the state championship in each of the last two years. They won their first ever championship last season.

Davenport has missed the last four games. The Trojans have gone 4-0 without their senior in the lineup. The Trojans will be back in action again on Friday when they travel to take on Eufuala.