For the past couple of issues, I have been raving about the 2017-2018 Cougar Women’s Basketball team. Well, I am going to keep on going with this trend because this team is going places. This team has a 19-2 record with having a 14-0 record in the CCAC. They are officially the number one team in the conference and they stay at the number four spot in the NAIA polls.
Right around the corner is the start of post season play, and there’s no doubt in my mind that this team is going thrive during the postseason. One member of the team that will help them get the team to the top is sophomore guard Maddie Welter.
Welter comes from Arlington Heights, Illinois and attended Buffalo Grove High School. This power player is a true freshman at Saint Xavier University. Last season, Maddie started in thirty-six out of the thirty-seven games and played in all of them. As a freshman, she had a forty-eight percent shooting range from the field and scored 468 points.
She also set the 3-point record for freshmen at 47.8% from beyond the arch. Maddie was named the CCAC Freshman of the Year and the SXU Student-Athlete Silver Medal winner. This key player knows what it takes to get to the top during the postseason since she was on the 2016 NAIA Running-Up team last year.
When I sat down with Maddie, we talked about how she started to play basketball along with her most memorable game she’s ever played in. Take a look and see what this Cougar had to say!
When did you start playing basketball and why?
I started playing basketball in first grade and initially was interested because of my dad. He played basketball his whole life so naturally he signed me up to play right away. I loved it from the beginning so decided to stick to it.
Growing up, who was your role model?
My biggest role model was my dad. I looked up to him and always wanted to make him proud. He also gave me a lot of basketball tips and was really involved with my training and practice.
Did you always know you wanted to play basketball?
I’d say around fifth grade is when I decided I wanted to exclusively focus on basketball. Before that, I tried different sports like softball and soccer, but I knew basketball was my favorite pretty early on.
Why did you come to Saint Xavier University?
I came to St. X because I thought the campus was nice, especially the gym, and I loved the team chemistry I experienced just from my short visit. It was a place I could see myself fitting in the best.
What is it like being a student athlete? Walk me through your day if you had a practice or a game.
Well my day goes by pretty normally on game or practices days. I have class the first half of the day and then at around 3:10 I leave for practice at 3:30. Practice lasts about 2 hours so I eat dinner around 5:30 with the team.
Then from about 6:30 on I do whatever needs to be done and that could be relaxing and watching tv or catching up on some homework. On Wednesday game days; however, my day is usually a lot more congested. My class ends at 2:00 on Wednesdays so that gives me about an hour and a half to relax until I leave for the game.
The game goes from 5:30 to around 7:00 and then afterwards I’ll go out to eat with my parents. All in all on game days I usually get back to my room at 8:30 and that’s when I’ll have time to do what I need.
Any pregame rituals?
I don’t have any specific rituals before a game, but I do have specific socks and spandex I like to wear for games, it’s partly for luck and partly for comfort
What was the most memorable game you’ve played?
One of the most memorable games I’ve played in would have to be the semi-final Concordia game last year. Being down seventeen after the first quarter and then coming back to win was one of my favorite moments ever. It was so exciting and so many people following that game talk to me about it and share how excited they were while watching.
How do you stay motivated throughout a game if your team is losing?
To keep myself motivated I just keep reminding myself that our team is strong and being behind means nothing in the course of a 40-minute game. It also helps that our team has played through a deficit before, so the confidence is there that we can come back and win.
Do you think the team has what it takes to make it back to Sioux City?
I think our team definitely has what it takes to make it back to Sioux City. We’ve played a lot of tough teams this year, and I think those experiences has made us better and more confident as a team. We’ve also been playing well this past month so we have good momentum going into playoffs.
Who is your favorite professor at SXU?
My favorite professor is definitely Professor Nehmeh. She’s really passionate about her work and is really funny. She makes class enjoyable.
I really like to draw and play my ukulele
What is your spirit animal?
Probably some type of dog like a golden retriever
Thanks for the awesome interview Maddie! Always great talking to you! You and your team are going places. Find out which Cougar I sit down next week on Athlete Profile.