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Judge orders reinstatement of girls prep basketball player

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama judge on Friday temporarily reinstated the eligibility of prep basketball player Maori Davenport who had been suspended over what her parents described as a mistake payment from US Basketball.

Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan issued an order stopping the Alabama High School Athletic Association from disqualifying Davenport until the court rules on a complaint filed by the teen’s parents. It is unclear when the court will rule on the complaint.

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

Davenport’s family said she will play Friday night when Charles Henderson High School takes on Carroll.

Her parents, in the injunction request filed Friday, said the payment was sent as a mistake by USA Basketball, which normally uses college players. The family said they sent the payment back within 48 hours.

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The 6-foot-4 Davenport told The Associated Press earlier this week 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.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

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