Photo story: Maori Davenport's return full of smiles and celebration

Nicole Craine for ESPN

Maori Davenport waited weeks for this night, these 32 minutes that make up one game. After sitting out since Nov. 29 due to a widely criticized suspension by the Alabama High School Association, the Charles Henderson senior basketball star returned to the basketball court Friday night.

Buoyed by teammates, T-shirts, coaches, signs and fans, Davenport said it was a night she will never forget. She scored 25 points in Charles Henderson High's 72-17 win over Carroll High (Ozark, Alabama). Here are some of the lasting images:

Nicole Craine for ESPN

Maori Davenport's Charles Henderson teammates wore No. 23 warm-up jerseys to show their support.

Nicole Craine for ESPN

Senior Maori Davenport was greeted by a gym full of cheers when she took the court Friday at Charles Henderson High School.

Nicole Craine for ESPN

Maori Davenport did much more than score in her return to the Charles Henderson lineup.

Nicole Craine for ESPN

The Charles Henderson gym was packed with both people and signs showing their support for Maori Davenport.

Nicole Craine for ESPN

Maori Davenport continued to practice during her suspension, and her game remained top-notch when she returned to the spotlight.

Nicole Craine for ESPN

After the game, Maori Davenport credited her teammates for lifting her up during her time away from the court.

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