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Providence's Zaccheus Darko-Kelly becomes 1st to 3-peat as NAIA national player of the week

Posted: 12:53 PM, Feb 25, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-25 14:53:37-05
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(Editor's note: University of Providence media release)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third straight week, University of Providence star Zaccheus Darko-Kelly was named the NAIA Division I men's basketball national layer of the week.

Since stats were digitized in the 2011 season, no player has ever won the player of the week award three times in a row. The last player to win it three times in a season was Corday Sims of Peru State in the 2015-16 season.

"What an amazing accomplishment," head coach Steve Keller said. "I'm not sure that this has ever happened. I'm going to assume that it hasn't happened at the national level. It hasn't happened since I've been coaching. He's earned it. I'm a little bit speechless."

In Friday's win against Montana Western, the junior from Great Falls scored a career-high 40 points while shooting 62.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. He also grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out seven assists. The 40 points are tied for the second-most points scored in a game in program history. Argo Hall of Famer Mike Geniesse did it during the 1971-72 season.

Darko-Kelly followed up his 40-point performance with his second career triple-double in a win over Rocky Mountain College, finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Just as impressive was the fact that in both games this past weekend, Darko-Kelly didn't commit a single turnover.

"Scoring 40 one game and then getting a triple-double the next shows what kind of player he is," Keller said. "The great part about it is everybody else on our team, their numbers are up, as well. He makes everyone else on the floor better. The stuff he's doing is helping our team win and that's what most important to him."

The award comes a day after Darko-Kelly became the first men's basketball player to be the named the Frontier Conference player of the week three times in a row. He's won the award a total of six times this season.

Over the three-week period, he's been averaging 30.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game while shooting 59.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc.

The Argos take on Carroll College on Thursday in Helena. Both teams are tied for second place in conference with an 11-5 record. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m.