MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – The Oakwood Adventist Academy Boys Basketball team visited with Alabama Governor Kay Ivey in her office Tuesday afternoon.
Gov. Ivey invited the team and their coaches to visit Montgomery after they were forced to forfeit a sub-regional playoff game because it was scheduled for Saturday, February 19th at 4:30 p.m. Oakwood is a Seventh-day Adventist school, students observe the Sabbath from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. Their game was scheduled to take place before sundown.
When Ivey heard about the situation she wrote a letter to the Alabama High School Athletic Association demanding answers. She also wrote a letter to the team saying that she was proud of the team members and coaches sticking to their beliefs and inviting them to the Capitol to meet with her.
The team accepted her invitation. During their meeting, Ivey discussed conversations she had with constituents and lawmakers about what the boys had been through as well as telling them what an inspiration they were to so many.
“Alabamians and even folks around the country have been in total admiration of the young men on the Oakwood Adventist Academy basketball team,” Governor Ivey said. “These boys stuck by their convictions, pointing out that sometimes it hurts to obey God. No doubt, these boys are reminding us all that when we work together and do what is right, we will be better off. As one player noted, God challenged them, and they passed the test.”
AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs explained in a letter to Gov. Ivey that Oakwood agreed to the rules of the AHSAA in writing, including participating in playoff games on Fridays and Saturdays without petition or forfeit and the AHSAA was simply following that agreement.