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Cal basketball walk-on Cole Welle earns a scholarship

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Congrats are in order!

NCAA Basketball: Alcorn State at California
Welle celebrating a December victory over Alcorn State.
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Cole Welle was already expected to provide leadership on a young Cal basketball team in 2017-18, but now he’ll do so on a full athletic scholarship. Here’s coach Wyking Jones delivering the news to Cole and his teammates:

The 6’8” forward from Aptos, CA has an interesting Cal connection: his grandfather James Black helped Pete Newell and the Golden Bears win the NCAA Championship in 1959. As a junior, Welle enjoyed his best collegiate performances to date. In a December 10 win against UC Davis, he tallied 10 points on 5-8 shooting. That came just a week after what had been a career-high 6 points scored in a victory over Alcorn State. With the team depleted during its NIT matchup with Cal State Bakersfield, Welle responded with 6 points and 7 rebounds in just 12 minutes of play.

Given the inexperience of the current roster, as a senior Welle is in great position to increase his 2016-17 averages of 1.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per contest. Jones would be glad to reward him with more playing time, saying: “In all my years of coaching, I haven’t had a kid that’s more dedicated, more committed to a program than Cole.” All in all, it’s a great story for a player who walked onto the squad in 2014.