GREAT FALLS — Keanna Salave’a has made an immediate impact for the No. 13-ranked Providence women's basketball team, which currently sits at second place in the Frontier Conference.
Salave’a ranks among the top 10 in the conference for both points and assists per game, but she also ranks in the top three for rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage. Despite being one of the top players in the conference, she knows she has a lot more potential.
“I’m still young, I still want more,” said Salave’a. “I’m not satisfied.”
In just her second career game, she recorded her first double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She proceeded to record six consecutive double-doubles and break the program's single-game rebounding record with 28 boards against Lindsey Wilson College. Up to this point in the season, she has recorded 10 double-doubles.
“During that stretch, I wasn’t really focused on getting those double-doubles. I’m really competitive, like every board that goes up I want it to be mine,” Salave’a said. “And when I have a girl on my back, I want to score.”
That type of mentality comes from her favorite player, the late Kobe Bryant. Salave’a told MTN Sports that it was always Bryant’s mindset that made her love his game so much, and she began to adapt that mindset for herself.
“He woke up at 6 in the morning and got his teammates involved, he got them in the gym," she said. "That’s kind of like me and my best friends on the team (Monique Carter and Taliah Lee). After games, we’ll come and get shots up. It’s kind of like that dog in him that I really liked about his game.”
Head coach Bill Himmelberg has recognized her growth in the short time that she’s spent with the Argos. He added that he believes she can be more than just a standout player in the Frontier Conference.
“The ceiling for her is unlimited. She can be a first-team All-American kid, one of the best players in the country at our level,” said Himmelberg. “She’s definitely that caliber of player. She’s going to be top 10 in every category for our team, she’ll be top five or six for every conference category, but I think nationally she’s going to have some numbers that are just phenomenal.”
Salave’a and the Argos will be back in action against Montana Western on Thursday in Dillon and back at home against MSU-Northern on Saturday.