Maori Davenport's return to the court met with resounding applause

Maori Davenport's return to the court on Friday was met by applause both near Troy, Alabama, and far.

The Charles Henderson High School senior had been ruled ineligible by the Alabama High School Sports Association in November and had sat out every game since. But Circuit Court Judge Sonny Reagan granted an emergency motion Friday morning, clearing the path for Davenport to return.

Davenport scored 25 points in Charles Henderson's 72-17 win over Carroll High School.

AHSAA executive director Steve Savarese ruled Davenport ineligible on Nov. 30 after learning that Davenport deposited a check from USA Basketball in the amount of $857.20, which was sent to Davenport by mistake.

Davenport had led the U.S. to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship in Mexico City this past August. USA Basketball routinely sends players a stipend check for lost wages, but it admits it failed to check the AHSAA rules. The association's amateurism rules stipulate that a player can't accept more than $250.

After initially depositing the check, Davenport repaid the $857.20 when USA Basketball discovered its error in November.

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