Women's Basketball Announces Incoming Freshman Class For 2018-2019 Season

Holy Cross Athletics   05-23-2018

WORCESTER, Mass. – Holy Cross head women’s basketball coach Bill Gibbons announced today that four incoming freshmen will be joining the Crusaders for the 2018-2019 season. Maddie Demski (Erie, Pa.), Oluchi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.), Avery LaBarbera (Harrison, N.Y.) and Kelly Petro (Hillsdale, N.J.) are set to join the program this coming fall.

“We are excited to welcome these four outstanding young women to our Holy Cross women’s basketball family,” said Gibbons. “Maddie, Oluchi, Avery and Kelly are all talented players who have excelled on the court, in the classroom and in their respective communities. They all come to us from successful programs and we will look for them to make an immediate impact on our program in the fall.”

Demski is a 6-foot-3 forward who played four varsity seasons at Villa Maria Academy in Erie, Pa. under head coach Doug Chuzie. She served as team captain during her senior year, and helped lead the program to three district championships and a pair of state runner-up finishes. She was named District 10 Player of the Year, Varsity Cup Player of the Year and first team all-state in 2016-2017. In her career, Demski averaged 12.5 points per game, and registered a game-high in scoring of 25 points. She was forced to miss her senior season due to an injury. In the classroom, Demski earned First Honors three-straight years (2015-2017) and was a member of the National Honors Society. She also competed with the Erie Saints under coach Doug Chuzie.

Ezemma is a 5-foot-11 forward from Hope Valley, R.I., who competed for four varsity seasons at Moses Brown under head coach Laurie Center. She served as a captain for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons. In 2015-2016 she helped the program win a DII State Championship, and led the team to a DI State Championship in 2017-2018. The team posted an undefeated season in 2015-2016, prompting the program’s elevation to the DI level. Ezemma was the first student-athlete in program history to win All-State honors three years in a row, and win the Gatorade Player of the Year award in back-to-back years. She finished her career with over 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds, holding the school records in both categories. She also competed with the Rhode Island Breakers under coaches Steve Nyzio and Pam Matson.

LaBarbera is a 5-foot-6 guard who played five varsity seasons at Harrison under head coach Louis Kail. She led the team as a captain in her junior and senior seasons, helping the program win its first league title in 2017-2018. LaBarbera earned all-league honors all four years, all-section three-straight years and Second Team All-State honors as a junior. She holds the school records for career points (1,457), single season points (421) and single game points (40). In the classroom, LaBarbera earned High Honors as a sophomore and a senior. She also competed with Empire State Basketball Club under head coach Nick Volchok, where she helped lead the team to a national title in 2013.

Petro is a 6-foot-1 guard who competed in four varsity seasons at Pascack Valley under head coach Jeff Jasper, where she served as team captain her senior year. Team won its league title three-straight years from 2015-2016 to 2017-2018, and won the Group 2 New Jersey State Championship in 2016-2017. Petro was a first team all-league selection all four years, first team all-county three times and a McDonald’s All-American nominee in 2017-2018. She was selected for the North-South New Jersey All-Star Game as a senior. Team also earned The Bergen Record Team of the Year honors in 2017. She also competed in two seasons of varsity soccer under head coach Amy Lombardo. In the classroom, Petro was a member of the National Honors Society from 2016-2018, and the Italian National Honors Society in 2017-2018. She also competed with Hudson Valley Elite under head coach John Reilly.


Name Pos. Ht. Hometown/High School
Maddie Demski F 6-3 Erie, Pa./Villa Maria Academy
Oluchi Ezemma F 5-11 Hope Valley, R.I./Moses Brown
Avery LaBarbera G 5-6 Harrison, N.Y./Harrison
Kelly Petro G 6-1 Hillsdale, N.J./Pascack Valley

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