Saint Peter’s men’s basketball team had a spectacular 2016-17 season, finishing 23-13 overall, that took everyone by a pleasant surprise. These two players are two of the many key components of the team that helped keep everyone run smoothly:
No. 35 Center / Forward
For the Pennsylvania native, Jersey City has been a completely different experience compared to his Philadelphia upbringing. Being surrounded by plenty of friends and basketball created a positive, fun and worry-free childhood for Quadir Welton.
At the age of five, Welton chose basketball and the court over any other sport. All of the energy and time that was put into it made every other sport seem nonexistent. Not to mention that it runs in his family; Welton’s grandfather played the game and his uncle is former NBA player Rasheed Wallace, who won an NBA title with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.
Saint Peter’s stood out to the star center not only because it was his first scholarship offer, but because the coaching staff, players and school as a whole created a family atmosphere.
“[The team] made me feel like family. I just knew it was the right fit for me,” said Welton.
Just as the Peacocks’ spectacular season and historic postseason run has positively impacted everyone, this season has had a significant imprint on Welton.
“I became more mature and I felt as though it helped me grow as a man and a person. Having to fight through adversity all season and going through ups and downs just showed me that if you believe and sacrifice that anything is possible. No matter the outcome, as long as you know you tried your hardest, you will never look back and regret it.”
But Welton recognizes the basketball team’s winning record and first ever national title wasn’t a one man show.
“My team... I love those guys. You don't usually find a group of guys like that—who are loyal trustworthy, hardworking, ambitious and willing to sacrifice. That's who they are. They are my brothers and I will definitely miss them and the memories we had together. Over my four years here, I made a group of brothers that I will have for a lifetime and I'm glad to have that.”
The dominant forward ended his college career with 12 points, a team high of 13 rebounds, a steal, a block and walked away with the tournament MVP trophy.
“It's surreal. There’s not that many people who can say they finished their college career with a national championship and I'm blessed to say that I am one of them. To come out with the MVP trophy - it was very exciting and satisfying and it's something I will always remember. I wish I could do it again.”
When Welton isn’t winning championship for the Peacocks, he roots for his favorite teams, the Golden State Warriors and Philadelphia 76ers, and defends his vote for James Harden as NBA MVP. He argues that the Warriors are taking it all in the Finals and looks up to his role model, his uncle, Rasheed Wallace. Upon graduation, the MVP will be taking his talents into the NBA as both a player and, eventually, a coach.
Trevis Wyche Jr.
No. 3 Point Guard
Athleticism runs in the family— from his father playing basketball and his mother running track to his three older sisters being athletes. Though his hometown, Neptune, NJ, wasn’t necessarily quiet, Jersey City’s fast-paced lifestyle seemed to be a better fit.
The first time the Peacocks’ point guard picked up a ball was between the age of two or three and took care of business on his mini hoop. He easily outshined others his age, who were just learning how to walk. As a four year old, he traded in his toy basketball for a real one and mastered the skill of dribbling the next year.
Despite having experience in football, lacrosse, tennis, baseball and track, Wyche found himself more involved in basketball.
“Basketball is what I felt was the best choice for me to do, it was the most fun,” said Wyche.
As a high school player, he faced Cleveland Cavaliers’ current NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving in practice before he transferred schools. The star guard committed to Saint Peter’s before his senior year in high school, feeling it was the best place for him to grow and develop as a player.
Coach Dunne made quite an impact on his decision, making it clear to Wyche that he had to work hard and stay committed, which, in turn, helped Wyche feel comfortable to trust Dunne.
The 23-13 overall record, 14-6 conference record, 9-5 home record, 11-7 away record and four game win streak has all given Wyche a major push in his life.
“This season really helped me become a better leader. At times where the team wasn’t doing their best, Quadir and I really tried to step up and be a leader.”
The team’s winning overall record and national title wasn’t a two-man show either.
“My team… I feel strongly about them. I hope they’re successful next year and I know that winning the championship is definitely going to be a big motivator for them. They’ve been the best team that I’ve been on since I’ve been at Saint Peter’s.”
The athletic and quick guard ended the season with 11 points along with four boards, three assists, two steals and was also given the honor of being named to the All-Tournament team.
“It’s very exciting— so much joy and happiness. I’ve been here for four years and to go out as a champion, it really feels great.”
When Wyche isn’t setting up Welton to score and win a championship, he reminds himself to be the best person possible on and off the court. Aside from Wyche pursuing his dream of playing professionally, he’ll be returning to SPU to hit the books and get a Masters in Physical Education.