Thomas Welsh (basketball)

Last updated

Thomas Welsh
Thomas Welsh at McDonalds ASG.JPG
No. 54Greensboro Swarm
Position Center
League NBA G League
Personal information
Born (1996-02-03) February 3, 1996 (age 23)
Torrance, California
NationalityAmerican
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school Loyola (Los Angeles, California)
College UCLA (2014–2018)
NBA draft 2018 / Round: 2 / Pick: 58th overall
Selected by the Denver Nuggets
Playing career2018–present
Career history
2018–2019 Denver Nuggets
2018Capital City Go-Go
2019Iowa Wolves
2019–present Greensboro Swarm
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Thomas Clark Welsh (born February 3, 1996) is an American professional basketball player for the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA G League. He played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins. As a senior in 2017–18, Welsh earned second-team all-conference honors in the Pac-12. He was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the 2018 NBA draft with the 58th overall pick.

Basketball Team sport

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

Greensboro Swarm American professional basketball team of the NBA G League

The Greensboro Swarm are an American basketball team of the NBA G League and an affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association. Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, the team plays their home games at the Greensboro Coliseum Fieldhouse. The team became the eleventh G League team to be owned by an NBA team.

The NBA G League, or simply the G League, is the National Basketball Association's (NBA) official minor league basketball organization. The league was known as the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) from 2001 to 2005, and the NBA Development League from 2005 until 2017. The league started with eight teams until NBA commissioner David Stern announced a plan to expand the NBA D-League to fifteen teams and develop it into a true minor league farm system, with each NBA D-League team affiliated with one or more NBA teams in March 2005. At the conclusion of the 2013–14 NBA season, 33% of NBA players had spent time in the NBA D-League, up from 23% in 2011. As of the 2018–19 season, the league consists of 27 teams, all of which are either single-affiliated or owned by an NBA team.

Contents

Welsh was a McDonald's All-American in high school. After leading UCLA in blocks as a freshman reserve, he was a member of the United States national team that won the gold medal at the FIBA Under-19 World Championship in 2015. He started for the Bruins as a sophomore and junior, leading the team in rebounds while also continuing to be their top shot blocker. As an NBA rookie, he played with Denver on a two-way contract.

Block (basketball) in basketball, the action of a defensive player legally deflecting a field goal attempt from an offensive player to prevent a score

In basketball, a block or blocked shot occurs when a defensive player legally deflects a field goal attempt from an offensive player to prevent a score. The defender is not allowed to make contact with the offensive player's hand or a foul is called. In order to be legal, the block must occur while the shot is traveling upward or at its apex. A deflected field goal that is made does not count as a blocked shot and simply counts as a successful field goal attempt for shooter plus the points awarded to the shooting team. For the shooter, a blocked shot is counted as a missed field goal attempt. Also, on a shooting foul, a blocked shot cannot be awarded or counted, even if the player who deflected the field goal attempt is different from the player who committed the foul. If the ball is heading downward when the defender hits it, it is ruled as goaltending and counts as a made basket. Goaltending is also called if the block is made after the ball bounces on the backboard.

In team sports, substitution is replacing one player with another during a match. Substitute players that are not in the starting lineup reside on the bench and are available to substitute for a starter. Later in the match, that substitute may be substituted for by another substitute or by a starter who is currently on the bench.

United States mens national basketball team National sports team

The USA Basketball Men's National Team, commonly known as the United States men's national basketball team, is the most successful team in international competition, winning medals in all eighteen Olympic tournaments it has entered, coming away with fifteen golds. In the professional era, the team won the Olympic gold medal in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012, and 2016. Two of its gold medal-winning teams were inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in August 2010 – the 1960 team, which featured six Hall of Famers, and the 1992 "Dream Team", featuring 14 Hall of Famers. The team is currently ranked first in the FIBA World Rankings.

Early life

Welsh was born in Torrance, California, in Los Angeles County to Pat and Kathy Welsh being the eldest brother of Jack and Henry Welsh. [1] At age five, he started playing basketball. [2] He attended Loyola High School in Los Angeles. [3] As a 6-foot-5-inch (1.96 m) freshman, [4] Welsh played basketball on the junior varsity team, where he was ranked eighth on the team's depth chart. [3] He was promoted to the varsity team as a sophomore, moving up the depth chart to seventh. [3] He did not become a starter until his junior year, [5] by which time he had grown to 7 feet (2.1 m). [6] Still, he was only considered a prospect for mid-major colleges at the time, or perhaps a redshirt at a Pac-12 Conference school. [7]

Torrance, California City in California, United States

Torrance is a coastal U.S. city in the South Bay (southwestern) region of Los Angeles County, California, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Torrance has 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of beaches on the Pacific Ocean. Torrance has a moderate year-round climate with warm temperatures, daily sea breezes, low humidity, and an average rainfall of 12.55 inches per year. It is immediately bordered by Lomita to the east, Gardena and Lawndale to the north, Redondo Beach and the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Rolling Hills and Palos Verdes Estates to the south.

Los Angeles County, California County in California, United States

Los Angeles County, officially the County of Los Angeles, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of the U.S. state of California, is the single most populous county in the United States, with more than 10 million inhabitants as of 2018. As such, it is the largest non–state level government entity in the United States. Its population is larger than that of 41 individual U.S. states. It is the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a Nominal GDP of over $700 billion—larger than the GDPs of Belgium, Norway, and Taiwan. It has 88 incorporated cities and many unincorporated areas and, at 4,083 square miles (10,570 km2), it is larger than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically-diverse counties in the U.S. Its county seat, Los Angeles, is also California's most populous city and the second most populous city in the U.S., with about 4 million residents.

Loyola High School (Los Angeles) Private, college-preparatory high school in Los Angeles, California, United States

Loyola High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school for boys in Los Angeles, California, United States. It was established in 1865 and is part of the Society of Jesus. It is the oldest continuously run educational institution in Southern California.

The following summer, Welsh performed well with the Los Angeles Rockfish, the longest ongoing high-school all-star program in Southern California. [8] He emerged as one of the top centers in California as a senior, and was selected for the 2014 McDonald's All-American Game, [5] a rarity for a player who did not receive national recognition as a junior. [9] He was rated as a four-star (on a scale of five) recruit. [10]

Center (basketball) Position in basketball

The center (C), also known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is usually 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m) or taller and usually weighs 240 pounds (110 kg) or more. They traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five.

California State in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

2014 McDonalds All-American Boys Game

The 2014 McDonald's All-American Boys Game was an All-star basketball game that was played on April 2, 2014 at the United Center in Chicago, home of the Chicago Bulls. It was the 37th annual McDonald's All-American Game for high school boys. The game's rosters featured the best and most highly recruited blue chip boys high school basketball players graduating in 2014. Chicago, which became the first city to host the game in back-to-back years in 2012, will continue to host the game annually at least until 2015. The rosters for the game were announced at 6:00 PM ET on January 29 on ESPNU. At the time of the announcement 22 of the 24 players had committed to Division I basketball programs. Duke and Kentucky led the field with four commits each. One of the game's major storylines was that local big men Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander opposed each other.

College career

Freshman

In November 2013, Welsh committed to play at UCLA over fellow Pac-12 schools California and Stanford. [11] [12] As a freshman with the Bruins in 2014–15, he spent most of the season as a backup to junior Tony Parker. [13] Welsh played in all 36 games, starting in three, and averaged 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He led the team in blocks, averaging 1.1 per game as a reserve. [14] He became the Bruins' first 7-foot player since Ryan Hollins in 2005–06. [15] In the season opener against Montana State, Welsh scored 14 points in 13 minutes of play. [16] He had six rebounds and four blocked shots in 22 minutes in an upset victory over SMU in UCLA's opening game of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Playing the final minutes of the game in place of Parker, he made a key block with 34 seconds remaining and UCLA down by four. [4] [17] [18]

California Golden Bears mens basketball

The California Golden Bears basketball team is the college basketball team of the University of California, Berkeley. The program has seen success throughout the years, culminating in a national championship in 1959 under coach Pete Newell, and the team has reached the final four two other times, in 1946 and 1960. The current head coach is Mark Fox, who began his tenure at Cal in 2019.

The Stanford Cardinal men's basketball team represents Stanford University in Stanford, California, United States. The school's team currently competes in the Pac-12 Conference. They are coached by Jerod Haase and play their home games at Maples Pavilion.

2014–15 UCLA Bruins mens basketball team

The 2014–15 UCLA Bruins men's basketball team represented the University of California, Los Angeles during the 2014–15 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The Bruins were led by second-year head coach Steve Alford and played their home games at Pauley Pavilion as members in the Pac-12 Conference. The team featured two All-Pac-12 performers in Norman Powell and Kevon Looney. Although the freshman Looney was seen as a potential NBA lottery pick, the senior Powell became the Bruins' most consistent performer. After numerous non-conference losses to start the season, UCLA finished in fourth place (11–7) in the Pac-12. They earned a No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament, and advanced to the Sweet 16, becoming the lowest-seed UCLA team to ever reach the regional semifinals. The program produced its 49th 20-win season.

Sophomore

Having played on the U.S. under-19 national team over the summer, Welsh's footwork and fundamentals improved. [10] With Kevon Looney having moved on to the National Basketball Association (NBA), Welsh was promoted to UCLA's starting lineup at center, while Parker moved to forward. [19] [20] In the 2015–16 season opener, he had his first collegiate double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high five blocks in an 84–81 overtime loss to Monmouth. The blocks were the most by a Bruin since Travis Wear's five in 2012. [21] In the following game, Welsh scored a career-high 22 on 10-for-12 shooting in an 88–83 win over Cal Poly. [22] On December 3, against No. 1 Kentucky, he registered game highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds and outplayed highly-touted Wildcats freshman Skal Labissiere in an 87–77 upset win, the Bruins' first victory over a No. 1-ranked team since 2003. [23] [24] On January 9, 2016, he had a season-high 16 rebounds in an 81–74 win over Arizona State, [25] which helped UCLA avoid falling to 1–3 in the Pac-12 for the first time in almost 20 years. [26] After UCLA lost three of four games in mid-February, Welsh became a reserve after offering to coaches that Parker could take his place in the starting lineup; the senior Parker had been benched in favor of a quicker Jonah Bolden. [27] The Bruins lost their final five games to finish with a 15–17 record. [28] Welsh ended the season with an 11.2 scoring average, and led UCLA in field goal percentage (59.0), rebounding (8.5) and blocked shots (1.0). He ranked seventh in the Pac-12 in rebounding, second in offensive rebounds per game (3.2), and third in field goal percentage. [1]

Kevon Looney American basketball player

Kevon Grant Looney is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). As a freshman playing college basketball with the UCLA Bruins, he earned second-team all-conference honors in the Pac-12 in 2014–15. After the season, he decided to forgo his college eligibility and enter the 2015 NBA draft, and was subsequently selected in the first round by Golden State with the 30th overall pick. He won consecutive NBA championships with the Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the top men's professional basketball league in North America, composed of 30 teams. It is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world.

2015–16 UCLA Bruins mens basketball team

The 2015–16 UCLA Bruins men's basketball team represented the University of California, Los Angeles, during the 2015–16 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. They finished the season with a 15–17 record, the fourth time the program finished with a losing record since 1948, when John Wooden became their coach. The Bruins were led by third-year head coach Steve Alford and played their home games at Pauley Pavilion as members in the Pac-12 Conference. Isaac Hamilton earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors, the only Bruin named to the all-conference team.

Junior

UCLA began 2016–17 ranked No. 2 after starting 13–0, the first time they were undefeated in non-conference play since they won a national championship in 1994–95. [29] Welsh was leading the Bruins in rebounding again, but had missed the last four games with a bruised right knee. [30] He returned in the conference opener, but the Bruins suffered their first defeat in an 89–87 loss to No. 21 Oregon despite Welsh's 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. [31] On February 19, 2017, he scored 16 points and had a season-high 16 rebounds in a 102–70 win over their crosstown rivals, USC, ending a four-game losing streak against the Trojans. [32] On February 25, Welsh scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half to lead No. 5 UCLA to a 77–72 win over No. 4 Arizona, which also snapped their conference rivals' 21-game home winning streak. [33] In the Bruins' regular-season finale, he had 13 points and 11 rebounds and also made his first career three-point field goal in a 77–68 win over Washington State. [34] The Bruins ended the season 31–5 after losing in the Sweet 16 of the 2017 NCAA Tournament to Kentucky. For the season, Welsh averaged 10.8 points along with team highs of 8.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, [35] [36] and he received an honorable mention for the All-Pac-12 team. [37] Although he was not listed in most mock drafts, he declared for the 2017 NBA draft. After attending the NBA Draft Combine but not hiring an agent, he withdrew his name from the draft to retain his college eligibility. [35] [38]

Senior

Over the summer, Welsh worked on his three-point shooting based on feedback from his NBA workout with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was the Bruins' lone returning starter in 2017-18. [39] [40] On December 9, 2017, he tied a career high with 22 points and added 10 rebounds in a 78–69 overtime loss to Michigan. [41] On January 4, 2018, Welsh required three stitches after being bloodied by a hit to his nose. He was forced him to wear a protective mask after halftime, which affected his shooting as UCLA lost 107–99 in double overtime. [42] He continued wearing a mask the following game, but adjusted for 19 points, 14 rebounds, and a career-high four three-pointers in a 107–84 win over Cal. [43] On February 15, he played his first game without a mask since January and logged a career-high 17 rebounds along with 15 points in a 75–68 victory over Oregon State. [44] In UCLA's Pac-12 Tournament opener, Welsh had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and tied his career-high of four three-pointers in an 88–77 win over Stanford. [45] The Bruins qualified for the 2018 NCAA Tournament, but lost 65–58 to St. Bonaventure in the First Four for the Bonnies' first tournament win in 48 years. [46] Welsh was limited to just two points, but had 15 rebounds to pass David Greenwood as the Bruins' third all-time leading rebounder, behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. [47] [48] [49]

Welsh completed the season averaging 12.6 points and 10.8 rebounds. He made 40.2 percent (45-for-112) from 3-point range after attempting just one in his first three seasons. [50] One of just two players along with Arizona's Deandre Ayton to average a double-double in the Pac-12, he earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors. [51] The United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) voted him to their All-District IX Team, [52] and he was a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, which recognizes the top center in Division I men's college basketball. [53]

Professional career

Denver Nuggets (2018–2019)

In the 2018 NBA draft, Welsh was selected in the second round with the 58th overall pick by the Denver Nuggets. [54] On July 19, 2018, Welsh was signed by the Nuggets to a two-way contract. [55] Because the Nuggets were one of only three NBA teams to not have a NBA G League affiliate, Welsh was assigned to Washington Wizards affiliate Capital City Go-Go. [56] Nuggets assistant coach Wes Unseld Jr. was impressed early by Welsh's constant talking—calling out coverages and directing teammates on the court—in spite of his youth and inexperience. [57] Welsh made his NBA debut on October 17, 2018 against the Los Angeles Clippers, seeing under one minute of game action and scoring no points. [58] On January 1, 2019, the Nuggets transferred Welsh from Capital City to the Iowa Wolves. [59] On July 30, 2019, Welsh was waived by the Nuggets. [60]

Greensboro Swarm (2019–present)

On August 9, 2019, Welsh signed with the Charlotte Hornets. [61] He was waived during training camp in October, [62] but joined their G League affililate, the Greensboro Swarm, later in the month as an affiliate player. [63]

National team career

Welsh tried out for the United States national team in the 2014 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship, but was one of the final three roster cuts. [64] The following year after his first season with UCLA, he was one of 12 players selected by the U.S. to play at the 2015 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Greece. [14] [65] He was not considered a top contender when tryouts began, but he made an impression with his rebounding and perimeter play. [66] The Americans won the gold medal after a 79–71 win over Croatia. [67] Welsh played in all seven games, averaging 2.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 8.9 minutes. [68]

Career statistics

Legend
  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage 3P%  3-point field goal percentage FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game APG  Assists per game SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high

NBA

Regular season

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2018–19 Denver 1103.3.538.429.500.4.5.0.01.6
Career1103.3.538.429.500.4.5.0.01.6

College

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2014–15 UCLA 36315.7.470.6093.8.2.41.13.8
2015–16 UCLA 312626.8.590.7568.5.5.31.011.2
2016–17 UCLA 323225.1.5851.000.8948.71.0.31.310.8
2017–18 UCLA 333333.2.485.402.82810.81.4.7.912.6
Career1329425.0.537.407.7987.8.8.41.19.5

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References

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