HUNTINGTON - New Marshall women's basketball guard Dazha Congleton looked right at home during an open gym at the Cam Henderson Center.

Perhaps that is with good reason, too.

After all, Congleton grew up less than a mile from where her new collegiate basketball home will be.

The former Huntington High product said that something head coach Tony Kemper resonated in her recruitment back home.

"He said one thing that really stuck with me," Congleton said. "I could go somewhere that had a name for itself or I could come here and really make a name for Marshall. That's what really made my decision to come here."

Congleton comes back to Huntington after spending two years at Wabash Valley College where she helped turn the program into a national powerhouse during her two seasons there.

During those seasons, Wabash Valley went a combined 62-4, which included a 32-1 record last season with the lone loss coming in the junior college national championship.

Congleton averaged 12.6 points per game while adding 6.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.2 steals, which landed her accolades as the 25th-best JUCO sophomore prospect in the nation for the Class of 2019.

Kemper has seen plenty of Congleton, dating back to her days with the successful Huntington High teams, but he said what stood out about the 5-foot-7 guard this time around was the growth she had shown on and off the floor.

"Her game has matured and then, when you talk to her, she has matured in every phase of her life," Kemper said when announcing the addition in May.

Part of that leadership involves being a floor general on the floor, which Congleton said has grown within her game since her time with the Highlanders.

"I don't think I'm afraid to say something to my teammates to give them encouragement or get them going," Congleton said. "It used to be that I would not say anything, but now I'm not scared to say something for my teammates."

The one constant that Congleton has always possessed is a quickness with the basketball that makes her a matchup problem.

Congleton's speed allows Kemper to push the tempo and get into a better transition game for the 2019-20 season.

Such was evident in an open gym this week when Congleton would get the ball off a rebound and go the length of the court while getting to the rim with ease.

"It's going to be something where we probably haven't had that open-ended speed and play-making ability," Kemper said. "We've had very good players, but she can get where she wants to go on the basketball floor."

While the addition of Congleton is an advantage for the Herd women, Congleton added that being home is also a big bonus for her.

"To know that my family can make it to every game, it's a good feeling," Congleton said. "I didn't see my family much, but now I see them every day."


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