NEW YORK — Eerily empty grandstands. Masked jockeys. Shuttered betting windows.
ATLANTA (AP) — Maori Davenport, who drew national attention over an eligibility dispute during her senior year of high school, is transferring to Georgia after playing sparingly in her lone season at Rutgers.
Lady Bulldogs coach Joni Taylor announced Davenport’s decision Wednesday. The 6-foot-4 center from Troy, Alabama will have to sit out a season under NCAA transfer rules before she is eligible to join Georgia in 2021-22. She will have three years of eligibility remaining.
“We are extremely happy to add Maori to our team,” Taylor said in a statement. “When you look at her, the first thing that jumps out is her size and athleticism. She was a highly recruited player coming out of high school who we have known for a really long time. Maori is a terrific young lady, and I can’t wait to welcome her to Athens.”
Davenport was one of the nation’s top prep prospects when her senior season at Charles Henderson High School was thrown into turmoil over an $867.20 stipend check she received from USA Basketball for playing at a youth tournament in Mexico City in the summer of 2018.
The check was not an issue for those players who were already heading to college because the NCAA allows such payments. But USA Basketball failed to check on whether it applied to high school players such as Davenport, who couldn’t accept any money under the amateurism rules of the Alabama High School Athletic Association.