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When Saint Louis University assistant coach Jim Platt invited Elliott Welmer to a one-day basketball camp in the Gateway to the West, the Columbus North Bull Dogs forward/center figured, “Why not?”
Welmer so impressed the Billikens coaches on that June day he was invited back for an official visit. He took that visit in September and was offered a scholarship while he was there.
Last week, Welmer ended his courtship with Saint Louis by verbally committing to play for coach Jim Crews beginning next season.
“It was the right fit academically, athletically,” Welmer said. “They have a great coaching staff.
Their offense really sets up to where I can be most successful.”
The 6-foot-9 Welmer is playing power forward and center as a senior for Class 4A No. 3 North, but also figures to play some small forward in college. He shot 48 percent from 3-point range last season, when he helped the Bull Dogs to a 23-2 record and a sectional title.
Welmer began this season by scoring 25 points and grabbing eight rebounds in a win against Hauser. He had seven points in Saturday’s victory at Martinsville.
“I’ll hopefully continue to play hard and keep working hard and play the best I can,” Welmer said. “I’ve been getting in foul trouble early, which is kind of hurting me, but we’ve been playing well together and should be on the right track.”
“He’s been very consistent in terms of his rebounding, shooting percentage and doing the things we’re asking him to do,” North coach Jason Speer said. “Elliott is very deserving of a Division I scholarship.”
Crews, a former Indiana University star and Evansville coach, took over for Rick Majerus at the beginning of the 2012-13 season as interim coach and led the Billikens to a school-record of 28 wins, Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season and tournament titles and
a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
“They have a great coaching staff,” Speer said. “They have a fantastic program there.”
Welmer also participated in one-day camps at Butler, Evansville and Eastern Illinois. He visited and had offers from Wright State, Northern Kentucky and Eastern Illinois, and also visited Eastern Kentucky and Evansville.
Welmer, who carries a 3.5 grade-point average, wants to major in business.
“(Saint Louis) will definitely be something different from here,” Welmer said. “Hopefully, I’ll have a good college experience and have fun.”
“The sky is the limit,” Speer said. “It always has been for Elliott. High school basketball is just the beginning for him.”
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