Category: maori davenport

As celebrities ask for clemency for Maori Davenport's suspension, Alabama HSAA refuses to back down

The celebrity heat on the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) continues to rise after the AHSAA’s season-long suspension of star Henderson High School (Troy, Ala.) girls basketball player Maori Davenport. But even now, with NBA All-Star DeMarcus Cousins and ESPN commentator Jay Bilas coming to Davenport’s defense, the AHSAA has refused to consider granting an exception that would allow Davenport to return for her senior season.
RELATED: USA Basketball payment could cost a top HS basketball player her season
Davenport is a five-star center for Henderson who has signed to play at Rutgers. As reported here and elsewhere, Henderson was suspended for the season after she received a payment of just less than $900 for her travel with USA Basketball this summer.

What the Alabama High School Athletic Association has done to Maori Davenport is wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to start. I know what this feels like because I was treated like shit by them too. Being a kid from Alabama, I'm with Maori Davenport. Fix this now!
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) January 5, 2019

While that payment was small enough to escape NCAA punishment, it was still a violation of the AHSAA’s amateur rule. That detail escaped the focus of USA Basketball because Davenport is one of the only members of the team that still had high school eligibility.
Of course, now she doesn’t, thanks to that $857.20 check for lost wages, even though the check was returned in full to the NCAA. And despite Cousins’ support and an op-ed written by Bilas for ESPN on her behalf, the AHSAA is refusing to reconsider it’s stance.
Part of that organizational obstinance is grounded in the circumstances surrounding Davenport herself. As reported by AL.com, Davenport’s mother is a certified Alabama basketball coach, and Henderson’s head coach is a former member of the AHSAA Central Board of Control. As the Board of Control noted in a lengthy statement to the media, “she should not only appreciate the importance of knowing and following the AHSAA bylaws and eligibility rules but also understand how imperative it is to consistently uphold the same rules.”
And while public outcry continues to demand Davenport’s return, AHSAA has also noted that its bylaws prohibit Executive Director Steve Savarese from making such a move himself. Rather, the appellate process is needed to overturn any ruling, including the one Savarese had to make regarding Davenport because her payment violated the amateur clause.

Those appeals have now been exhausted, and nothing has changed.
Anyone holding out hope for a change in heart or policy from the AHSAA Central Board of Control may also feel downtrodden after reading this section from its statement to the media:

“It should be pointed out that a high school student from Illinois also received payment from USA Basketball. However, that student called her high school once she received the check and then returned the check to USA Basketball without cashing or depositing it. Here, the student received the check, endorsed it and it was posted to her bank account. Three months later, AHSAA was notified and the monies returned to USA Basketball.
“A high school student from Missouri has also been ruled ineligible for this basketball season for accepting the lost wages payment from USA Basketball.
“USA Basketball never called Charles Henderson High School or AHSAA to ask if payment for lost wages violated AHSAA rules until November which was three months after payment was made and accepted by the student. This was not a clerical error but a complete lack of administrative oversight on the part of USA Basketball, thus possibly rendering multiple student-athletes ineligible as most states have an Amateur Rule.”
One note here: USA Basketball reached out to USA Today to report that the ineligible player in Missouri mentioned above is actually being held out because of concerns about her transfer between schools, not because of accepting any payment from USA Basketball.
The moral of the story? If anyone extends a high school athlete money, they must make sure it’s allowed, regardless of the legitimacy of the organization behind it. In the short run, that means we have almost certainly seen the last of Maori Davenport’s brilliant high school career.
Davenport averaged 18.2 points, 12 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game as a junior. With USA Basketball over summer, she started four of six games. She was also selected to the ALL-USA Preseason Girls Basketball team entering this season.

2018-19 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason Girls Basketball Team

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USA TODAY High School Sports is unveils the American Family Insurance ALL-USA preseason boys basketball team for the 2018-19 season with the selection of 25 players.
The team was selected by USA TODAY Sports’ Jason Jordan in consultation with the USA TODAY High School Sports staff and various recruiting analysts and high school coaches.
Statistics are from last season, except where otherwise noted. Players are listed in alphabetical order.
MORE: ALL-USA Preseason Boys Basketball Team
RELATED: Super 25 Preseason Girls Basketball Rankings
Click through the gallery to meet the players:

<p><strong>School:</strong> Rock Island (Ill.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Wing<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-0<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> South Carolina<br />
Beal became the fourth player to win back-to-back Miss Basketball awards in Illinois, according to <a href="https://247sports.com/college/louisville/Article/Top-15-Louisville-womens-target-Breanna-Beal-has-the-Cardinals-in-her-final-five-120782086/">247 Sports</a>, after averaging 21.9 points and 10.2 rebounds as a junior, per the <a href="https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/highschool/ct-spt-ms-basketball-brea-beal-rock-island-20180330-story.html">Chicago Tribune</a>. If she can win it again, she’ll join WNBA star Candace Parker as the only player to have three.</p>

<p><em>Photo: USA Basketball</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> McKinley (Canton, Ohio)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-1<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Ohio State<br />
Known to many in Ohio as “She-Bron,” per <a href="http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/25228337/a-z-guide-2018-ncaa-early-signing-period-women-basketball">ESPNW</a>, Bell averaged 33.4 points, 10 rebounds and 5.1 steals per game last season as she won the Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year award.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Scott Heckel, The Canton Repository</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Whitfield (Berkeley, Miss.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-0<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Missouri<br />
Fresh off a <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/b/blackwell-aijha.aspx">USA Basketball</a> showing over summer in which she started four games, averaged 9.3 points per game and helped the team win gold, Blackwell will try to take another leap forward after averaging 24.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and two steals per game as a junior.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Whitfield School</em></p>

<p> </p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Appomattox Regional Governor's Arts & Tech (Petersburg, Va.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Forward<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-2<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Marquette<br />
You like triple-doubles? How about triple-doubles that include blocks? Look no further than Boyd, who had <a href="https://www.richmond.com/sports/high-school/basketball/girls/all-metro-basketball-player-of-the-year-jada-boyd-commits/article_7e1a41d7-947c-5dca-b83c-73ed241edf92.html">11 triple-doubles</a> last season – three of them coming in a <a href="http://www.progress-index.com/sports/20180208/3-triple-doubles-99-total-points-this-week-for-jada-boyd">single week</a> – as she compiled season averages of 35.9 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.5 blocks per game.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Jody Demling/Cardinal Authority, 247Sports</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Worcester Academy (Mass.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Post<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-4<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Undecided<br />
Since leaving the Virgin Islands to move to Massachusetts at the age of 12, according to <a href="http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/24811694/elite-prospect-aliyah-boston-strikes-gold-usa-basketball-leaving-paradise-behind">ESPNW</a>, Boston has emerged as a star. She had led Worcester to a 42-2 record over the last two seasons and averaged 21.2 ppg and 14.0 rpg to go along with a dominant 6.2 blocks and 2.2 steals per contest, per <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/b/boston-aliyah.aspx">USA Basketball</a>.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Shannon Power Photography</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Bishop McNamara (Temple Hills, Md.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Wing<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-0<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> NC State<br />
A dominant player on the volleyball and basketball court alike, Brown-Turner averaged 19.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.9 steals per game <a href="https://usatodayhss.com/2018/2017-18-all-usa-maryland-girls-basketball-team">last season</a>. She is <a href="http://www.espn.com/high-school/girls-basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/228897">ESPN’s</a> No. 4 wing in the class of 2019.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Chris Thompkins Photography</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> William Monroe (Standardsville, Va.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Forward<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-2<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Notre Dame<br />
Brunelle averaged almost twice as many points per game last year as she did rebounds – and she averaged 15.6 boards per contest. That, to go along with her 30 ppg and 3 bpg, earned her the Virginia <a href="https://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com/winner/samantha-brunelle/36512">Gatorade Player of the Year</a> award.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Brian Mellott</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Point guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-10<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Junior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Undecided<br />
The No. 1 point guard in the 2020 class averaged a well-rounded 24.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.1 assists while swiping 3.7 steals per game last season – as a sophomore. She’s back as an upperclassman after playing with Team USA over summer.</p>

<p><em>Photo: John Sherman, Sun Newspapers</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, Iowa)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Point guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-foot-11<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Junior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Undecided<br />
An excellent shooter, dribbler and playmaker, Caitlin Clark averaged 27.1 points per game as a sophomore, according to the <a href="http://www.amestrib.com/sports/20180728/attack-point-guard-coveted-by-entire-nation—including-isu">Ames Tribune</a>. She’s the No. 4 overall player in the class of 2020, according to <a href="http://www.espn.com/high-school/girls-basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/225153">ESPN</a>.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Rodney White/The Register</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Rogers (Toledo, Ohio)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-foot-9<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> South Carolina<br />
Cooke doubled her assists average last year, posting 24 points and six assists and rebounds apiece as Rogers won its second straight championship. Cooke, <a href="http://www.espn.com/high-school/girls-basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/212669">ESPN’s</a> No. 2 point guard in her class, was part of the <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/c/cooke-zia.aspx">USA Basketball</a> U16 and U17 teams.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Albert "Mick" Earl</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Henderson (Troy, Ala.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Post<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-4<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Rutgers<br />
Davenport has established herself as a fierce inside presence on both sides of the court nationally and abroad. As a junior, she averaged 18.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 5.1 blocks per game. On the U18 <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/d/davenport-maori.aspx">USA Basketball</a> national team, she averaged 7.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 2.7 bpg.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Joey Meredith/Charles Henderson HS</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-10<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Sophomore<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Undecided<br />
As a freshman, Fudd averaged 24.0 points per game while contributing 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists. The No. 1 player in the class of 2021 won a gold medal with the FIBA U17 World Cup team over summer.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Larry French/St. John s College</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Allen (Texas)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-2<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Louisville<br />
Green uses her height to create mismatches and grab boards, as she averaged 18.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.1 assist per game as a junior, according to <a href="https://247sports.com/college/louisville/Article/Louisville-womens-basketball-coach-Jeff-Walz-announced-the-signing-of-Nyah-Green-and-Ramani-Parker-124792048/">247 Sports</a>. She is the No. 12 player in the class of 2019, per <a href="http://www.espn.com/high-school/girls-basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/196850">ESPN</a>.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Allen HS</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Wing<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-1<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Undecided<br />
The No. 1 player in the class of 2019 from the No. 1 school in the country returns with a vengeance after losing last year’s championship game in triple-overtime. Jones averaged 21.8 points, 10 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game to go along with 2.5 blocks and 2.0 steals.</p>

<p><em>Photo: D. Ross Cameron, USA TODAY Sports Images</em></p>

<p> </p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Africentric (Columbus, Ohio)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-1<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Tennessee<br />
Five-star Jordan Horston, the No. 2 player in her class, averaged 18.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.1 assist, and was a fiend on defense with 5.1 steals and 1.7 blocks last year. She averaged 10.1 points, seven rebounds, 5.1 assists and 3.4 steals with Team USA over summer, according to <a href="http://www.espn.com/espnw/sports/article/24884091/tennessee-lady-vols-get-verbal-commitment-no-2-prospect-jordan-horston">ESPN</a>.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Nicc Jackson/Blue Star</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Detroit Edison Public Academy (Detroit)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Wing<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-2<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Mississippi State<br />
Since going 9-6 in Jackson’s freshman year, Edison High School has taken massive strides behind her, winning state titles in years two and three. Jackson averaged 21.9 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.9 combined blocks and steals, per <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/j/jackson-rickea.aspx">USA Basketball</a>, as Edison only had one loss.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Brandon Folsom/Special to the Detroit Free Press</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Schlarman (Danville, Ill.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Point guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-foot-10<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Notre Dame<br />
Peoples showed off her vision and passing skills by averaging 3.0 assists on U18 <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/p/peoples-anaya.aspx">USA Basketball</a>, which was tied for the team-high. As a junior, she averaged a 16.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 steals per game to lead her team to championship.</p>

<p><em>Photo: USA Basketball</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Franklin (Somerset, N.J.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-1<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Maryland<br />
Miller, the No. 6 guard in the class of 2019, per <a href="http://www.espn.com/high-school/girls-basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/225172">ESPN</a>, broke out for a 23.7 point-per-game average, besting her sophomore year effort by five points, according to <a href="http://highschoolsports.nj.com/news/article/-4375204923106010293/girls-basketball-franklins-diamond-miller-makes-non-binding-college-commitment/">NJ.com</a>. She played for the 2017 U16 Team <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/m/miller-diamond.aspx">USA Basketball</a> squad.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Peter Ackerman</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Windward School (Inglewood, Calif.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Point guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-foot-9<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> UCLA<br />
A strong shooter and playmaker, Osborne averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and 5.3 assists per game while averaging 3.5 steals per contest on the defensive side, per <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/o/osborne-charisma.aspx">USA Basketball</a>. She’ll try to lead Windward to its third straight championship.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Joe Lester</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Paul VI (Woodbridge, Va.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Point guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-foot-9<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Maryland<br />
McDonald’s All-American Game. USA Basketball. Owusu has done it all. Her strong defense and 19.2 points-per-game average earned <a href="http://www.espn.com/high-school/girls-basketball/recruiting/player/_/id/212826/ashley-owusu">ESPN’s</a> top point guard in 2019 a spot on the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/recruiting-insider/wp/2018/03/21/2018-winter-all-met-girls-basketball-first-team-second-team-honorable-mentions/">Washington Post’s</a> All-Met first team.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports Images</em></p>

<p> </p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Plano West (Texas)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Point guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-foot-6<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> UCLA<br />
A confident shooter who can pull the trigger <a href="https://usatodayhss.com/2018/ucla-commit-jaden-owens-create-more-for-everyone-shooting-passing">off the dribble or on a step-back</a>, Owens broke out her junior year by averaging 20.4 points, 4.4 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 3.9 steals per game.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Triple Threat Training</em></p>

<p> </p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> St. Frances Academy (Baltimore)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Wing<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 6-foot-3<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Junior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Undecided<br />
After averaging <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/r/reese-angel.aspx">17.6 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists</a> per game as a sophomore to lead St. Frances Academy to its second straight championship, the five-star guard will be looking for a three-peat.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports </em>Images</p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Junipero Serra (Gardena, Calif.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Wing<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-foot-11<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Maryland<br />
Tucker uses her athleticism to grab every board in sight. Despite being 5-foot-11, she averaged a whopping 13.2 rebounds per game last season to go along with 16.9 points and 1.8 steals per game.</p>

<p><em>Photo: USA Basketball</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> Cashmere (Wenatcee, Wash.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Point guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-foot-8<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Junior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Undecided<br />
Van Lith averaged 32.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 6.4 steals per game last season, according to <a href="https://www.usab.com/basketball/players/womens/v/van-lith-hailey.aspx">USA Basketball</a>. There has yet to be a Washington Class A state championship game without her since she started high school.</p>

<p><em>Photo: Don Seabrook/Wenatchee World</em></p>

<p><strong>School:</strong> University School of Milwaukee (Wis.)<br />
<strong>Position:</strong> Point guard<br />
<strong>Ht:</strong> 5-foot-7<br />
<strong>Year:</strong> Senior<br />
<strong>College:</strong> Marquette<br />
Williams somehow one-upped her sophomore year averages (31.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 5.0 spg) by averaging 39.9 points, 7.2 assists, 11.8 rebounds and 5.2 steals per game as a junior. Can she hit the 40 point-per-game mark in her final season?</p>

<p><em>Photo: Antony McHenry</em></p>

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IN REVIEW: 2017-18 ALL-USA Girls Basketball Teams
BY STATE: 2017-18 ALL-USA State Boys Basketball Teams