Charles Henderson basketball star Maori Davenport returns to the court

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TROY, Ala. (WTVY) - It was standing room only at the Charles Henderson gym Friday night, with fans excited to see Maori Davenport make her return to the court.

She got to play after her family filed a lawsuit requesting to invalidate the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s suspension.
"Well tonight was very special,” said Davenport. “I think it marked a career high."

It was a special night for Maori Davenport, taking on Carroll High after having missed the last 16 games of her senior season.

Davenport was suspended after receiving a check from USA Basketball for her time playing over the summer.

She was never supposed to receive the check in the first place, and even though USA Basketball made the mistake, Davenport paid the price - a one season suspension for breaking the athletic association’s amateurism rule.

"I just wanted this process to impact the world in some kind of positive way, so I got what I wanted," said Davenport.

Davenport's story has certainly impacted the world - going so far as causing the Alabama House of Representatives to draft a bill that would place oversight on the athletic association from the state school board.

She's also been the center of national attention, with the hashtag 'let her play' circulating on twitter - to the point of Laker’s star Kobe Bryant getting involved and calling her suspension 'ridiculous'.

"I knew she'd come back,” said one of Davenport’s teammates. “With their support, anybody could come back."

Despite all the support, the athletic association has been unwavering in its decision to suspend Davenport.

It took her parents filing a lawsuit to get her back on the court, albeit temporarily.

Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan has granted Davenport an emergency motion to give her a chance to play against Carroll, but the restraining order on the athletic association's punishment will expire when the judge holds a full hearing, allowing both sides to state their cases.

So Maori’s left taking it one game at a time, but she says it's all worth it if it means she gets to share the court with her teammates.

"If it wasn't for these girls right here, I probably wouldn't be the person I am today - on and off the court,” said Davenport. “It's an honor to have them as my teammates."

Davenport scored 25 points and led the Lady Trojans to a 72-17 victory.

No date for a hearing has been set.



 
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