(NBC) - At Illinois' Mooseheart High School, basketball is big. For three of the Red Ramblers' starting five, it's been a fight just to be on the court.
"My goal was to get a good education, to get an education," says Makur Puor.
6-foot-9 Puor, along with two other boys, was brought to the school from the sudan more than a year ago.
All three are 6-foot-7 or taller and when they joined the school's basketball team other schools in the area cried "foul" and took their case to the Illinois High School Association.
The IHSA then banned them from playing.
"We did not ask the boys or admit them to come here to play basketball," Mooseheart Executive Director Scott Hart argued after the ban.
After weeks of waiting the three boys met face-to-face with the high school association and pleaded their case.
"Most of the boys talked about how they don't have access to as much education and this is an opportunity for them to get education," IHSA board president Dan Klett said afterward.
And it worked.
Right before game time Monday night the three heard the good news. Their ban had been lifted.
A fourth Sudanese student who came over with the others has also been reinstated to run on the high school's track team.