Former European champion Welp dead at 51

Mon Mar 2, 2015 5:11am EST
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BERLIN (Reuters) - German center Christian Welp, who won the European championship with Germany and also played in the NBA, has died of heart failure aged 51, the University of Washington said on Monday.

Welp, who holds the university's all-time scoring record, was the number 16 draft pick by the Philadelphia 76rs in 1987 and went on to play two seasons there.

He also played for the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs before returning to Europe to play in Greece, Germany and Italy, winning nine championships in as many seasons.

Welp became a household name in Germany when he scored the last three points in their 71-70 European Championship win over Russia in the 1993 final,

"This is an extremely sad loss," Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said on the Huskies website.

"Christian is one of the most outstanding student-athletes to have ever played at Washington. He was not only a great guy but he was a great role model and father and we will miss him dearly."

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by John O'Brien)