After a debate in which national media, state politicians and the leadership of the Alabama High School Athletic Association publicly sparred over the fate of Maori Davenport, the player at the center of the controversy, was finally allowed to play.
Davenport had been suspended by the AHSAA for mistakenly being sent a check for her participation in a USA Basketball event. After realizing the error, USA Basketball officials sought to shield Davenport from blame, and Davenport returned the money — but was still set to be suspended for her senior season. That is, until a judge intervened.
AL.com reports that Davenport’s family had filed a lawsuit, seeking to overturn the AHSAA suspension. On Friday, Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan granted an emergency motion in the case, allowing her to suit up and play immediately.
And play she did.
During pregame introductions Davenport was greeted by cheers from fans and teammates, and Davenport contributed 25 points en route to a 72-17 victory.
In all, Davenport missed 16 games during her suspension.
“She didn’t make a mistake,” Davenport’s father Mario told AL.com. “For them to take her off the court with all the information they had, I don’t think was fair.”