WHITEFISH -- University of Providence basketball players Zaccheus Darko-Kelly and Parker Esary were selected as the unanimous Frontier Conference preseason players of the year, the league announced on Tuesday. The 2020-21 all-conference teams were also announced in men's and women's basketball.
League coaches selected the all-conference teams and were not permitted to vote for their own players.
Darko-Kelly, a 6-foot-6 forward who grew up in Great Falls and Missoula, collected all six player of the year votes from coaches across the conference (Carroll College, Montana Tech, Montana Western, MSU-Northern, Rocky Mountain College, University of Providence). The senior averaged 22.6 points per game as a junior for the Argos last season, shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and 42.5 percent from the 3-point line. He also averaged 7.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.4 blocks per game.
Darko-Kelly ranked in the top 10 nationally in total points (701) and assists (177), as well as his points per game, assists per game and steals per game averages. He scored a career-high 40 points in a win over Montana Western in February. He was one of 10 players selected NAIA first-team all-American last season, the first such honor in program history.
Esary was also an all-American selection last season, collecting second-team honors. She was also named Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) honorable mention.
A 6-1 post from Kalama, Wash., Esary averaged 15.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game last season, leading the Frontier Conference with a 63.4 percent shooting mark from the field. That shooting percentage ranked second in the NAIA. Esary also averaged 1.9 assists and just shy of one steal per contest.
The 2020-21 preseason all-conference teams can be found below. Players are listed in alphabetical order.
2020-21 Frontier Conference basketball
Men's basketball preseason player of the year
|Zaccheus Darko-Kelly||University of Providence||6-6||Senior||Forward||Great Falls, Mont.|
Men's basketball preseason all-conference team
|Sindou Diallo||Montana Tech||6-3||Senior||Guard||Tacoma, Wash.|
|Taylor England||Montana Tech||6-7||Senior||Post/Forward||Helena, Mont.|
|Jaxson Hashley||University of Providence||6-7||Junior||Post/Forward||Kalispell, Mont.|
|Masico McCadney||MSU-Northern||6-3||Senior||Guard||Detroit, Mich.|
|Jovan Sljivancanin||Carroll College||6-5||Junior||Forward||Belgrade Serbia|
Women's basketball preseason player of the year
|Parker Esary||University of Providence||6-1||Senior||Post||Kalama, Wash.|
Women's basketball preseason all-conference team
|Christine Denny||Carroll College||5-9||Senior||Guard||Fairfield, Wash.|
|Emily Maldonado||University of Providence||5-5||Senior||Guard||Sunnyside, Wash.|
|Kloie Thatcher||Rocky Mountain College||5-7||Junior||Guard||Butte, Mont.|
|Dani Wagner||Carroll College||5-9||Senior||Guard||Havre, Mont.|
|Mesa Williams||Montana Tech||5-10||Senior||Guard/Forward||White Sulphur Springs, Mont.|