Let Her Hoop: Social Media rallies in support for Maori Davenport

In a time of endless frustrating news reports, a frustrating sports story stands out. Maori Davenport, a high school basketball star and Rutgers recruit, has been deemed ineligible for her senior season for what many are calling an honest mistake made by officials.

Davenport helped Team USA win the gold at the FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship last fall. In November, she was sent an $857.20 stipend for her time with the team, which was typical as USA Basketball often provides small stipends to players playing on behalf of the country. These stipends are allowed by the NCAA, but each state has their own specific rules around the money.

Alabama does not allow players to receive stipends greater than $250. Once USA Basketball realized their mistake in sending the check, the organization notified the Alabama High School Athletic Association and Davenport’s high school team. Davenport immediately repaid all of the money, but the AHSAA deemed her ineligible to play anyways and refuses to lift the suspension.

Many are rallying in support of Davenport on social media:

Davenport’s future coach at Rutgers, C. Vivian Stringer, also voiced her support, telling NJ Advance Media: “Maori hadn’t done a doggone thing except receive the check from USA Basketball. It was grown-ups’ fault. And grown-ups did not lay claim to that. Maori sent the money back the next day. She’s a great kid, great student. She tried to do the right thing. And then the Alabama association … are you kidding me? This girl was up for player of the year, All-American. How can you do that?”