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The high school career for Maori Davenport as a playing member of the Charles Henderson girls basketball team is officially over.
Maori Davenport, a 6-foot-4 forward and the No. 15 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Top 100 for the 2019 class, has committed to Rutgers. Over the summer, she helped lead the United States to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico City.
The AHSAA Central Board of Control upheld a ruling that Davenport, a senior at CHHS, violated the AHSAA Amateur Rule regarding a check from USA Basketball during the summer that she apparently deposited, though repaid after it was discovered she couldn’t accept it.
A USA Basketball spokesman told AL.com earlier this month that the 6-foot-4 Rutgers signee was paid “less than $900,” a payment allowed by NCAA rules but impermissible according to the AHSAA’s amateur rule. The AHSAA’s punishment for breaking the rule is a one-season suspension.
Since Davenport is a senior, the suspension essentially ends her high school career. As citizens of the State of Alabama, we understand that the AHSAA's longstanding amateurism rule is in place to prevent players from intentionally trying to profit from their athletic ability while still in high school.
However, Maori Davenport was not intentionally trying to profit and she did not seek payment from USA Basketball. There's no evidence Davenport sought the payment, and USA Basketball stressed it erred in sending her the money.