After a high school eligibility fight and one season on the Rutgers women’s basketball team, former Scarlet Knights true freshman center Maori Davenport has found her home at Georgia.
With the NCAA moving the transfer signing period due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Davenport's move was made official on April 15.
Once everything became public, it appeared things moved quickly for Davenport.
“I was in the (transfer) portal for (approximately) 20 minutes,” she said, according to The Telegraph.
Davenport’s move to the SEC brings her closer to her home at Troy, Alabama. Her commute to school is now 4 hours instead of 15 hours.
The Bulldogs were certainly on Davenport’s mind, since Georgia gave the former five-star high school recruit an offer that she turned down in favor of Rutgers. After committing to the Knights, Davenport and her family needed to settle a dispute so she could play her final high school season.
After competing in a U18 tournament with Team USA, her family received a check from USA Basketball worth $857.20. Having not been informed of the Alabama High School Athletic Association's rules, it cashed it. It was only after that Davenport found out that any player who accepts payments is ineligible. The family returned the money to USA Basketball.
The dispute gained national attention and Davenport was allowed to finish her senior season. Her high school, Charles Henderson, lost in the Alabama Class 5A Southwest Regional final despite an 8 point, 18 rebound performance from the senior. Davenport ended her high school career averaging 13.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.6 blocks.
On the Knights, she no longer had to fight for eligibility, rather for playing time. One of the dominant forces for Rutgers was senior center Jordan Wallace who started every game. Additionally, redshirt freshman forward Tyia Singleton made an appearance in almost every game. Having two older players with the ability to produce rebounds and stay down low near the hoop meant Davenport couldn’t see the same minutes she did in high school.
In her lone season on the Banks, Davenport averaged 2.7 points per game and 2.3 rebounds per game. Davenport saw the floor in 29 games, averaging just less than 10 minutes per contest. The closest she came to a double-double was against Marshall. She put up 13 points and brought down 7 rebounds against the Thundering Herd. Both of those tallies remained her season highs.
In an Instagram post announcing her move, Davenport is wearing a No. 22 jersey, close to her high school number of 23. While playing for the Knights, she wore No. 15.
Transfers have to sit for a year, according to NCAA rules. This would give Davenport three years of eligibility starting in the 2021-22 season.
Davenport is the third player from Rutgers to leave this year, with sophomore guards Noga Peleg Pelc and Alexis Morris doing so earlier.