Pro Bruin Rundown: Thomas Welsh wins Taiwan Basketball League’s December MVP

Sport is in full swing all year round – from the preparatory level to the professional ranks. Every Monday, Daily Bruin Sports will spotlight a few moments from former UCLA greats over the past week.

Men’s basketball: Thomas Welsh, New Taipei Kings

Years after his academic career on the West Coast, Thomas Welsh found a home in East Asia.

Center New Taipei Kings was named MVP P.LEAGUE + for the month of December Friday.

Welsh – who played for UCLA men’s basketball from 2014 to 2018 – averaged 21.7 points, 20 rebounds and 4.7 blocks per game for the Kings in December. Despite missing the team’s last two games of the month with injury, the Welshman still won the December award.

The center is one of three New Taipei imported or foreign players, a P.LEAGUE + expansion team this season. In his team’s opener against the Formosa Taishin Dreamers on December 11, Welsh scored 14 points, caught 28 rebounds, a team record and blocked six shots in the win.

Welsh’s stint with the Kings comes after a brief run in the NBA and the highest level of Belgian professional basketball after leaving Westwood. Drafted 58th overall by the Denver Nuggets out of UCLA in the 2018 NBA Draft, the P.LEAGUE + marks the center’s fourth league in the past three and a half years.

Women’s volleyball: Mac May, Volley Bergamo 1991

From winning a high school state championship to finishing third all-time in kills for UCLA women’s volleyball, Mac May has a long list of accomplishments.

[Related: Bruin volleyball player Mac May reflects on roots before final NCAA tournament run]

Now the former Bruin outside hitter can add a pro contract to her career accolades.

Volley Bergamo 1991, an Italian women’s volleyball club, announced May’s signing in a press release on Tuesday. With less than four weeks to go to her last game with the Bruins, May is expected to play for the professional club once she passes the medicals and health checks needed to train, according to a team announcement.

Bergamo is currently in 10th place in Serie A1 – the next level of professional women’s volleyball in Italy. May’s signing comes in the middle of the league’s winter break, with the team set to return to action against Savino Del Bene Scandicci on Sunday.

May ended her five-year career with the Blues and Golds with 2,065 kills and 178 aces on service – both good for third in UCLA women’s volleyball history. May was also a member of the Bruins beach volleyball team, playing on the winning teams of the 2018 and 2019 championships.

Men’s tennis: Maxime Cressy

Taking part in his first ATP circuit final, Maxime Cressy came close to the tournament championship.

Cressy faced ATP number 6 Rafael Nadal in the 2022 Melbourne Summer Set final on Sunday, losing 7-6 (8-6), 6-3. Cressy’s loss marked the former Bruin’s first tournament final after nearly three years in the pro ranks.

The 2015-2019 UCLA men’s tennis player reached the final after being absent from the tournament’s main draw. Beating back-to-back opponents in qualifying, Cressy completed four more laps, including a surprise victory over number 28 Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals.

Cressy nearly won the opener against Nadal, holding a set point in the tiebreaker before falling in straight sets. Despite the loss, the former NCAA men’s doubles champion rose to the top 100 in the ATP singles rankings after occupying 112th place before the tournament.

Back To Top