University of Washington basketball legend Christian Welp has passed away at the age of 51 after reportedly suffering a heart attack.
Eldridge Recasner, a fellow Husky legend and former teammate of Welp's for one season, announced the news on Twitter Sunday afternoon:
The school confirmed his passing:
Welp, a German-born center, played for Washington from 1984 through 1987. Although many stars have passed through Montlake since then, he remains the school's all-time career leader in points scored (2,073), field goals made (820) and blocked shots (186). He is fourth in rebounds (995).
His individual success helped put Washington basketball on the map in the mid-'80s. Teaming up with future Seattle SuperSonics star Detlef Schrempf, Welp helped the Huskies to Pac-10 titles in his first two years on campus. Washington, which went to the NCAA tournament just once in the 30 years before Welp, went to the Big Dance three times during his career.
Recasner, former teammate Paul Fortier and Seattle radio host Dave "Softy" Mahler provided their thoughts on his passing:
Welp was a first-round pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1987 NBA draft. He played just three seasons with the Sixers, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors before enjoying a successful career overseas in Germany and Greece.
He was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 2001.