For Post Falls, Idaho native Melody Kempton, her first year at Gonzaga was all about new experiences.
Kempton, who starred at Post Falls High en route to being named Idaho’s Gatorade Player of the Year and a McDonald’s All-American nominee, played in front of a much bigger crowd for Gonzaga’s exhibition game than she did at any point during her high school career. After being Miss Everything for her high school team, Kempton was asked to come off the bench and be a consistently positive force in limited minutes. Despite those adjustments Kempton was productive and proved to be a reliable depth piece—highlighted by a strong showing against then defending national champions Notre Dame where she scored a season high 14 points. Her challenge now is to use that experience to seize a bigger role as a sophomore.
As a true freshman, Kempton appeared in all 34 games off the bench and averaged 13.7 mpg, 4.3 ppg, and 3.2 rpg while shooting 49.6% from the field. She was effective working around the interior and her energy and quickness consistently put her in position to grab boards and buckets around the paint. The 6’1 forward can definitely play the greasy game, but she’s capable of more and her next objective should be to stress opposing defenses as a more complete threat while continuing to assert herself on the defensive end.
With the graduation of Zykera Rice, Kempton will be leaned on along with the Wirth twins to help fill the void. It will be exciting to see what kind of impact she can make following her promising contributions last year.