Gonzaga added more versatility for the future with the signing of forward Melody Kempton of Post Falls to a National Letter of Intent.
“As a kid, I grew up watching the Gonzaga women play basketball and never thought I could be playing for them,” said Kempton, a 6-foot-1 with speed around the paint.
“Melody is going to be a great Zag,” GU coach Lisa Fortier said Monday from Fort Collins, Colorado, where the Bulldogs opened their season at Colorado State. “She has one of the best motors I have seen in a long time.”
“She is both explosive and skilled around the basket, and able to step out to the three, which makes her a prototypical forward for us,” Fortier said.
Kempton joins forward Kylee Griffen, a forward from Lake Stevens, Washington, as an early signee.
Last year as a junior, Kempton led Post Falls to a 21-4 record. She was the 5A Inland Empire League Player of the Year for the third straight year after averaging 15 points and 8.2 rebounds. She also shot 60 percent from the field.
Kempton showed her versatility with 3.2 steals, 2.3 assists and 2.1 blocks per game last year.
Her biggest adjustment at GU will be playing as a “stretch 4,” facing the basket. Most of her Post Falls career has been spent with her back to the hoop.
ESPN ranks her 96th overall in her class and the 20th best forward in the country.
Added Fortier: “She is both explosive and skilled around the basket, and able to step out to the three, which makes her a prototypical forward for us. She is going to be able to guard any position and fits into our up-tempo style.”
Kempton also had offers from Washington State, Idaho, Boise State, Montana, Montana State, University of San Diego and other schools, but said she liked the Gonzaga’s “hometown, community atmosphere.”
“The coaches and players made me feel very welcome the second I stepped on campus. It is obvious the team is like a family. I am so excited to be a part of the program and can’t wait to get out there,” Kempton said.