Feb. 15, 2016
Over the last seven games entering play on Feb. 12, Alex Welsh has averaged 28 points per game for the men’s basketball team.
Around the same time the streak started, Welsh started to eat mini Reese’s cups every morning, five or six of them.
Coincidence? Welsh doesn’t think so.
“I’ve been eating candy when I wake up, and it’s been working for me,” Welsh said. “I’m kind of superstitious, so I don’t want to mess it up.”
The senior forward has served as an unshakable presence for the men’s basketball team, setting the career UCCS rebounding record in a loss against CSU-Pueblo on Feb. 5.
The toughness that led to the rebounding record also helped him deal with a dislocated pinky finger, which he suffered in a game the summer before his senior year of high school, after Welsh received a pass from a teammate.
“My pinky was facing the complete opposite way,” Welsh said. “My coach was yelling at me, he was like ‘get back Welsh, get back,’ and I just walked toward the bench and put my hand up, and he was like ‘oh, shit.’”
He said it didn’t hurt, most likely due to shock.
“But it was crazy to look down and see my finger facing the wrong way.”
According to Welsh, on the long RMAC bus rides that can mean heading to New Mexico or Nebraska, who has control of the movies can be important. The men’s and women’s team share the bus, so this has meant films such as “Pitch Perfect” and “Frozen.”
Coaches can have their say, too.
“One time, Coach Culver took over the movies and made us watch like three Rocky’s,” Welsh said.
Welsh started playing basketball when he was five years old.
“That was from day one, as soon as I could I started playing,” he said.
He also got pretty good at soccer, but his passion laid with basketball, even with pressures to play football in high school.
“(My dad) would always ask me, ‘would you want to miss basketball season because you got hurt in football,’ and I would say, you know, ‘no.’”
After coming to UCCS and spending four years here, the people at UCCS is what Welsh considers the best trait of the school.
“I could count on one hand the people I don’t like that I have met here over four years,” he said.
Welsh graduates in May, an event he has mixed feelings about.
“The mixture of being excited to be done with school, and also mixed with being terrified of the real world,” Welsh said.
“It’s a weird feeling man, like I’m so ready to be done with school and class, but then I’m like, what am I going to do?”
The plan is to stay in shape and practice, as he hopes to continue playing basketball overseas after graduation. To do this will require an agent, among other plans, something Culver will help him with, Welsh said.
“And then yea, just try to finish strong, get my degree, graduate college and then hopefully continue to play basketball as long as my body and mind let me.”