GREENFIELD — Someday, you can address him as Dr. Welsch.
But in the immediate future, Nodaway Valley senior Alex Welsch will be a power forward or post player for Grand View University.
Welsch said his academic and athletic goals mesh perfectly at the Des Moines school, and signed a national letter-of-intent Thursday with Vikings head coach Denis Schaefer in attendance.
“Des Moines is a good area close to my family, and it also lines up really well with my major,” said Welsch, a member of the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association Academic All-State Team. “I’m planning to major in biochemistry, pre-med route.”
Dordt College, which also has a strong pre-medicine program, also competed for the services of the 6-foot-7 Wolverine all-state center. But in the end he was sold on joining Grand View, an NAIA Division II school that is a member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference.
He will join a Vikings team that includes sophomore guard Luke Eblen of Creston.
Schaefer said his staff first saw Welsch when Nodaway Valley was playing at the Truman State summer team camp last year.
“His size sticks out, obviously, because that’s something that you just can’t teach,” Schaefer said. “The second thing is, he has a really solid skill set for a big man at his age. He could play a little at the four, because he can put the ball on the deck and get to the rim. He can also play a little 5. We have a great strength program and he will benefit from that.”
Welsch said he has a summer internship lined up at Iowa Orthopedic Center in Des Moines, and will be in Des Moines to work out with other Grand View athletes.
“As we got further along in recruiting Alex, we learned about his character, his academic background, his diversity in what he does in the school and community,” Schaefer said. “Those are great intangibles. And, he plays hard. He has a strong desire to be successful on the court, which you could see in the state tournament.”
A first-team all-state selection at utility as a senior, Welsch led the Wolverines in scoring at 16.4 points per game. He also led the team with 9.8 rebounds per game and 90 blocks. Welsch ranked ninth in Class 2A in rebounding and finished fifth in the class in blocked shots.