SUPPORT MAORI: Trojans travel to Mobile to support Davenport in college opener

Published 6:04 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Southern Coach seats were at a premium Tuesday afternoon as a mixed bag of basketball fans boarded the bus bound for Mobile. Their ages spanned decades, their allegiance was to the Trojans or the Dawgs, and they came from different corners of the county, but the one thing they had in common was “Maori!”

The group was traveling to Mobile to see their favorite college basketball player, Maori Davenport, in action against the University of South Alabama Jaguars. Davenport, a standout player for Charles Henderson High School, is now playing for the Rutgers University Scarlett Knights.

As luck would have it, or perhaps it was by fate, the Knights and the Jags were going to tip off in Mobile Tuesday night and Maori’s fans and family would have an opportunity to see her play “college ball.”

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Maori chose to play college in New Jersey and most of her fans knew they probably would never have a chance to see her play…. until now.

“I didn’t ever think I would see Maori play again,” said Cynthia Bailey of Brundidge. “I wouldn’t miss the bus ride for anything.”

Maori’s connection to Brundidge is that her grandparents, Moses and Margaret Davenport, are from Brundidge and dad is a graduate of Pike County High School in Brundidge.

Moses Davenport and his wife were not riding the bus to Mobile. They didn’t want to have to adhere to any schedule.

“We’re going to see Maori,” Davenport said. “We’ll stay as long as she’s there.”

Davenport said he’s wearing his CHHS shirt to the game but he’ll be “Yelling for the Yankees!”

“We’re so excited to see Maori,” Davenport said. “We hope she gets to play.  Today is her grandmother’s birthday. That would be the greatest present Margaret could get.”

And, if Maori doesn’t get on the court, Davenport said just seeing her will be enough for him and her grandmother.

“She’s a freshman and this is their first regular season game,” he said. “They played an exhibition game last week and she played good. She’s got time and she’ll get her chances to play.

Chris Jordan was also wearing the orange and blue of CHHS. He plays basketball for the Trojans and said Maori taught him everything he knows about the game.

“She always told me not to get nervous, to play hard and never give up,” Jordan said. “That’s the way she plays and that’s how I want to play the game, how I try to play the game.

“Maori has been a big influence in my life. She’s like a sister; we’re really close. It will be good to see her. I didn’t think I would have this chance to see her play.”

Maori’s fans said, to a one, they hoped to see her on the court but, if she doesn’t get in the game, they won’t be disappointed.

“We’re just going to support her,” said Shelia Deveridge. “Troy is behind her all the way and we want to show her that she has her hometown’s support.”