Elevating their games

DePatsy, Crosby, Davis-Oakes set to take next steps in basketball careers

Three Midcoast high school standouts look to transition to college ball
By Zack Miller | May 18, 2018

It is something every student-athlete has to face: the final time doning their high school uniform in a sport they love — one they have played since early childhood.

For most, the prospect of college athletics is not on the horizon; thus, when high school athletics is over, so too is their school-sponsored sports career.

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, only 3.3 percent of high school student-athletes will play a sport in college, but three Midcoast female basketball players hope to make up a portion of that small statistic in the fall.

If all goes as planned, Medomak Valley’s Gabby DePatsy, Mount View’s Andrea Crosby and Vinalhaven’s Gilleyanne Davis-Oakes, now seniors and having completed stellar high school hoop careers, will step onto a figuratively larger court next season.

And stay in Maine to accomplish that.

Crosby looks to play at Husson University in Bangor, Davis-Oakes at Bates College in Lewiston and DePatsy at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.

DePatsy has committed to play at MMA, the school her brother — and former Panther athletic standout — Nicholas DePatsy, competes on the men's team. MMA is a Division III school which competes in the North Atlantic Conference, or NAC.

“I think it will be fun to play [at the school] with my brother,” DePatsy said. “We get along well and it will be great for our parents to watch both of us at the same school.”

“I committed to Maine Maritime because I was interested in the international business and logistics degree and the job placement upon graduation,” DePatsy said. “I liked MMA because of the small campus, hands-on learning and how everyone is very welcoming there.”

The 5-foot 11-inch guard/forward averaged 19.8 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.2 steals and a blocked shot, while she shot 49 percent from the floor and 69 percent from the foul line, this winter. DePatsy also connected on 40 3-pointers during her senior campaign.

“Gabby has been a tremendous addition to our program over her four years at Medomak Valley High School,” said Panther coach Ryan McNelly. “I have been coaching the varsity girls for two years and have seen a big improvement in Gabby in those two years. She has been a leader on the floor and someone you can count on. She knows how to be a team player and is willing to do what is needed for the team.”

The prospect of playing for the Mariners came about last year for the senior.

“Coach [Craig] Dagan contacted me in the summer of 2017 and came to a couple of my summer games,” DePatsy said. “Then we kept in touch and I visited the school in the fall and met some players, and everyone was friendly and I saw it as a place I could attend.”

“Coach Dagan is a very committed and respectable coach and made me feel confident about playing there,” DePatsy said.

“She will have adjustments to make at the college level but I think she will adjust well,” McNelly said. “Gabby is a strong, powerful athlete and will mix in well at that level. She has both an inside and outside game and will give coaches many options as to how she can be used best.”

DePatsy is not the only Midcoast player heading to the NAC to play her basketball.

Crosby has committed to play for coach Kissy Walker at Husson University in Bangor.

The 6-foot 3-inch center averaged 15.8 points, 15.3 rebounds and 5.6 blocks for the Mustangs during her senior campaign over the winter, and will morph from a Mustang into an Eagle.

“I chose Husson because they have a very good accounting program,” Crosby said. “I also liked that Husson was very close to home.”

“As the new Mount View girls varsity basketball coach this season, the transition for me and the players could not have gone smoother, and Andrea was one of the reasons why,” said Mark Cooper. “As a three-year varsity starter, captain, and leader of the program, Andrea made sure of that.  She attended all games and workouts this past summer, she made sure I had all my logistical questions answered, and she also provided valuable 'scouting' information on the players and teams we were playing against. Andrea will be missed next season.”

Crosby was first noticed not by a coach at Husson, but by a faculty member of the university.

“One of the professors came down to watch my game against Belfast my junior year,” Crosby said. “He went up [to Husson] the next day to coach Walker and told her about my game. A couple days later I received a text saying she was interested in me. Coach Walker was straight forward and had me come in as soon as possible to see the campus.”

Jumping from the Class B ranks to Division III college basketball is a daunting task, but Crosby is up for the challenge.

“My goals going into my freshman year are to stay on top of stuff, because with all the practice and homework it will be a lot,” Crosby said.

“It is great that coach Walker wants Andrea to play at Husson,” Cooper said. “I have had many conversations with Andrea since the season has ended. Andrea and I, and the other two captains, attended a Husson home basketball game after our season was over so Andrea could see first-hand what will be expected of her. Andrea is very excited to make the transition to college basketball.”

Besides school, Crosby will not be the “big fish in a little pond” anymore, with all the other players around her the same height, with equal or better skills.

“It will be a lot different because there are harder practices and scheduled workouts,” Crosby said. “There is more talent and height that will be brought to the table in college.”

“I am very excited to start college ball,” Crosby said. “I’m excited to meet my new teammates and play with very talented girls.”

Jumping out of the NAC, but staying in the Pine Tree State, islander Davis-Oakes will come ashore to attend Bates College, which competes in the New England Small College Athletic Association, or NESCAC.

“I realized I wanted to go to Bates after my first interview at a Bowdoin [College] fair,” Davis-Oakes said. “I found out that Bates offers shorter travel abroad programs, making it easier to play basketball, in between both semesters.”

“I want to major in economics,” Davis-Oakes said. “I want to gain a business degree and potentially own my own gym.”

The 5-foot 10-inch Viking standout, and 2016 state team champion, averaged 17 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.4 assists and 1.3 steals this season for the state Class D runners-up. She scored 1,363 points in her stellar court career.

“Gilleyanne did her job while she played for us [at Vinalhaven],” said Vikings coach Sandy Nelson. “She was a huge force inside and she had a nice move, where she went up and under.”

Davis-Oakes is not officially committed to play for the Bobcats, but will try out for the team.

“I started the process with calling the coach — Alison Montgomery — and asking if she was in her office while I was touring Bates,” Davis-Oakes said. “She was, and I met with her. I felt welcomed and loved the school. I then brought her my game tape and emailed her about my season and asked about hers as well.”

“I met with a couple coaches from different colleges and coach Montgomery was by far the most welcoming,” Davis-Oakes said. “Her and the assistant coaches answered any questions I had, asked about my personal life, and even offered to let me sit in on the practices to see what her coaching style was like.”

Going from a Class D high school, with fewer than 75 students, to playing for a Division III college athletic program, will be one of the most difficult things Davis-Oakes will have to get accustomed too.

“My biggest obstacle will be learning new positions,” Davis-Oakes said. “I was set with being a post player, but 5-foot 10 inches isn’t that tall in college. [Another big obstacle] will probably be developing better ballhandling skills and a better shot, but I’m excited to learn to better myself as a player.”

“She knows the game,” Nelson said. “She will need to get stronger and will probably be a forward, not a center, and will have to transition to face the basket. She’ll also have to work on her ballhandling.”

“I think she’s looking forward to the college hoop experience,” Nelson said. “She’s used to being in practice, and in college practice starts in September, and everything revolves around basketball.”

“I’m very excited to play basketball in college,” Davis-Oakes said. “I am always up for a challenge and willing to kick it up a notch. I’m excited to make new friends on my team as well as develop new skills.”

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Zack Miller
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Zack has been covering the Midcoast sports world for the past three years. He earned a bachelor's degree in Media Studies from the New England School of Communications, where he majored in Sports Journalism. Zack is a major fan of the Boston Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and of course the Patriots, as well as a die-hard Penn State Football fan. He also enjoys spending time with friends and family. He currently resides in Rockland, with his wife Meagan.

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