Q&A | Holy Cross’ Morabito lifts team on, off court

Q&A | Holy Cross’ Morabito lifts team on, off court

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Q&A | Holy Cross’ Morabito lifts team on, off court

Senior guard brings 'even-keel to the game'

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Senior guard brings 'even-keel to the game'

Whether it’s a much-needed basket or laugh, Olivia Morabito usually delivers for the Holy Cross girls basketball team.

So far this season the 5-foot-8 senior guard is averaging a team-high 18.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game for the Cougars (8-6) and first-year coach Chris Jefferson.

“She’s worked extremely hard for me, which is a blessing, because the seniors have bought into what we are trying to do and the other kids have followed that,” Jefferson said. “She, and all the seniors, have made my transition fairly smooth.”

Morabito’s smooth shooting stroke – she leads the team in field-goal percentage (45.2) and is second in free-throw percentage (77.8) – may be second only to her comic-timing.

“She’s really a light-hearted kid,” Jefferson said. “She gets a little silly in practice sometimes, but I think we need that … It’s almost like she balances me out, because I get pretty intense and then she’ll make an off-the-wall comment and everyone will laugh. She brings an even-keel to the game too.”

The Courier-Journal: When did you start playing basketball?

I was in kindergarten at St. Paul (School) and they had intramural basketball.

Were you and your older sister (Sydney) pretty competitive growing up?

Yes. With my sister we compete in a lot of stuff, everything from grades to basketball stats. I’m always trying to beat her in something.

Did she always beat you in basketball when you were younger?

Yes. She was always taller and bigger than me. We were always competitive but I always lost. If we played now I think it would be really competitive.

How’s this season going?

Pretty good. We got a new coach, so it’s been hard kind of adjusting since I’ve been doing the same thing for the last three years and having my last year change. It’s been difficult, but I’ve been trying hard. Our team’s coming together. We’re figuring out things we can do and things we need to work on.

What have been some of the highlights of your career?

There’s a few: scoring my 1,000th point junior year against Pres, it was the last regular-season game; scoring 40 against PRP, because that was a district game and PRP is our rival; and then sophomore year when we played Pres in All ‘A’ Region, we beat them 91-74. It was an awesome game.

Do you want to play basketball in college?

Yes, but I’m not sure where.

What schools are you looking at?

St. Catharine, Kentucky Wesleyan. I’ve talked to IUS a couple of times. University of Cumberlands, I’ve talked to them.

Would you like to go to Kentucky Wesleyan and play with your sister again?

Yeah, that would be nice. I love playing with my sister. It was fun freshman year when I got to play with her. It was different because I’d never really got to play with her (growing up).

What will you study in college?

I want to do something with radiation therapy.

Why?

I’ve always had an interest in cancer. I hate the thought of cancer. My senior service project is based on pediatric cancer.

What’s the goal for this season?

To win districts and win All ‘A’ Region and get to All ‘A’ State and possibly win All ‘A’ State, we’ve got to work hard, though, for that one. And to get further in the region than we have before.

What did you get for Christmas?

I got two concert tickets. One for Kenny Chesney and one for Janet Jackson. (Also) some Beats (headphones), some shoes and gift cards and flannels. Flannels are my favorite. I don’t know why, but they’re so comfortable. I love flannels. I got like five of them for Christmas.

OLIVIA MORABITO UP CLOSE

School: Holy Cross.

Year: Senior.

Sports: Soccer, basketball.

Student-athlete: Olivia, whose favorite subject is math, has a 3.8 GPA. She is a four-year member of the varsity basketball team and a three-year starter. She was also a four-year member of the soccer team (last season she had a team-high 17 goals and 11 assists).

Family: Olivia, 17, lives with her mom, Lisa, and dad, Fran. Her older sister, Sydney, 20, is a junior and member of the basketball team at Kentucky Wesleyan College.

Holy Cross coach Chris Jefferson says: “She’s been a lot of fun to coach. … She’s worked extremely hard at her game and it shows. She has a very good basketball IQ about her. I think it’s because she’s been around the game so long with her sister playing.”

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