Coast to coast in four dribbles is tough to match. That’s the kind of speed that Daniel Sackey will be bringing to the Valparaiso University Crusaders at the point guard position. The Winnipeg, Manitoba product has consistently produced at the highest levels, including the Canadian National Team, and is now set for the next stage in the NCAA.
Valpo will be graduating Montreal guards Max Joseph and Tevaunn Walker who collectively put up 23 point, 9 rebounds and 3 assists per game; meaning there will be a big chunk of minutes for Sackey to come in and run the point. The fit was right because this was one of the pieces that factored into his college decision; being able to come in and be instant impact.
“I’m filling in Tevaunn’s big shoes and I’m ready for it. I’ve been waiting to get through with this process and it feels good to make a confident decision, to know that I’m somewhere where I’m wanted and I’m needed,” stated Sackey in a phone interview.
There was often calls of curiosity as the phone rang with college coaches on the other end of the line wondering if Sackey’s size would be an issue at the collegiate level. The NPH scouting team often reassured them that it wasn’t something to be concerned with. One coach that looked past the 5’10 stature was Associate Head Coach at Valpo, Luke Gore.
“It started back in April when I first met Coach Luke, and since then we’ve been talking every week, he got to know me away from the court and he’s the only coach that did that.”
When one learns about the type of person Sackey is away from basketball they can add his excellent intangibles to the equation.
“Every team I’ve been on I’ve been a leader whether on or off the court or behind the scenes in the locker room. Whatever is needed from me as a leader, I’m going to do. My mom and my grandmother always told me to do everything low key when it came to training and building myself. When people say I’m too small, that motivates me to get in the gym and master everything that I can control.”
During his senior season at Thornlea Prep, Sackey is averaging over 25 points per game while also dishing out 8 assissts.
Sackey is equipped with many tools that transfer immediately to the college level. A drastically improved three ball makes him a threat at all times, whether off a swing in the half-court or creating space for himself. Tagging in his strength and athleticism, he is able to climb against the trees and finish over length.
Now bring in the intangibles; anyone that has coached him will say the same, you don’t need to ask him to put in work since he holds himself to a high standard and demands that of those around him.
There’s always chatter about fit being so important in a college decision. In this case, Sackey can confidently say he made a wise decision when he looks at the minutes available, the need for the position and a conference and team that suits his style of play.