Throwback Thursday: The recruitment of former Fargo Shanley star Angie Welle

Fargo Shanley graduate Angie Welle was a standout women's basketball player for Iowa State from 1998-2002. The 6-foot-4 Welle finished her career with 2,149 points and 1,209 rebounds. Iowa State Athletics photo

(Editor's note: This article on former Fargo Shanley standout Angie (Welle) Edinger's recruitment originally ran on Nov. 12, 1997, in The Forum. She went on to have an All-American career at Iowa State, finishing her career with 2,149 points and 1,209 rebounds. Edinger was inducted into the Iowa State Cylcones Hall of Fame in 2017.)


If Angie Welle has one more person ask her if she's seen the movie "Fargo," she'll go crazy. Welle said an inquiry about the movie was inevitable when she talked to college coaches recruiting her to play basketball.

"That's the first thing everybody talked about," Welle said. "I guarantee every coach I talked to asked about that."

The Fargo Shanley High School girls basketball standout put an end to all the questions two weeks ago, verbally committing to Iowa State. She'll officially sign with the Cyclones today.


NOTE: Edinger recently shared a photo (below) on her Twitter account with Bismarck Century senior Lauren Ware, who recently verbally committed to Arizona for women's basketball and volleyball. The 6-foot-5 Ware received recruiting interest similar to Edinger.

Welle's signing capped a hectic few months, filled with campus visits, home visits by coaches and hours upon hours of phone conversations.

"I'm just so proud of the fact Angie handled all of this stuff herself," said Jean Welle, Angie's mom. "It's been stressful, but she hasn't really shown it."

Early in the recruiting process, Angie said it became apparent she needed to narrow her choices as phone calls flooded her home.

"It took a little prodding on our part to get her to do that, she didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings," said Wayne Welle, Angie's father. "But I told her if you're truly disinterested in a school, you should tell them so they can go after someone else."

One of the more exotic places Welle heard from was the University of Hawaii in August.

"He asked me what the weather was like," Welle said. "I told him it was 90 degrees out. He said ‘Oh my gosh.’ He couldn't believe it. He thought it was snowing here all year long."


Welle said by late August she limited her choices to Iowa State, Iowa, Penn State, Georgia and Creighton.

"I'm trying to enjoy every bit of it," Welle said in September. "It only happens once. It's fun if you don't let it overwhelm you."

Competing on an AAU national title team in July helped Welle prepare for her recruitment. She was the only non-senior on a team dominated by NCAA Division I signees. The biggest names were Coco and Kelly Miller, Rochester Mayo (Minn.) High School graduates who are playing at Georgia this season.

"The girls I played with this summer on the AAU team helped me a lot," Welle said. "They told me what to expect. They were really understanding."

Welle's sister, Carrie, also proved to be a good advisor. She plays basketball at Division I Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

Angie Welle received home visits from the coaches of the teams on her final list: Andy Landers of Georgia, Rene Portland of Penn State, Bill Fennelly of Iowa State, Connie Yori of Creighton and Angie Lee of Iowa.

Landers showed up for one of Shanley's games against Fargo South in early September. The visit caught Welle by surprise because the only person Landers notified was Shanley coach Rick Fletcher.

"When they were here, it didn't even dawn on me," Welle said. "It's going to be fun to watch college basketball this year and know they were in my living room. When the college basketball season starts, it's really going to hit me."


Welle said Penn State employed a unique approach during its home visit. The Nittany Lion coaches brought a laptop computer with a CD-ROM. It contained a message from the current Penn State players, who greeted Welle and encouraged her to sign with the Nittany Lions. The presentation was capped off with the players spelling Angie's name on their home gymnasium's floor, one letter at a time.

"I thought 'Wow, that's kind of funny,'" Welle said. "Everyone has their own little way to recruit. I was very impressed."

As part of Welle's campus visit to Penn State, her father watched the Penn State-Ohio State football game.

"He was on a high that whole week," Welle said.

But Welle said she was careful when she visited a campus with big events taking place.

"You have to realize every weekend isn't like that," Welle said. "It's a lot of fun when you go there, but I think you have to look beyond that."

Wayne said he thought Angie finally decided on Iowa State because of the little things the school did. On her trip to the campus in Ames, Angie and her parents met privately with the football coach and the university president. Plus, the Fennellys invited the Welle family into their home and treated them to a home-cooked meal.

The Cyclones had a representative from their program watch Angie at last year's North Dakota Class A state tournament. And while most coaches from other colleges left before the end of last summer's AAU national tournament, Fennelly stayed until the end.


"Everybody said they wanted Angie," Wayne said. "(Iowa State) showed that they really wanted her. ... (Fennelly) told me he hasn't recruited anyone in his life as hard as Angie Welle."

With her decision behind her, Welle only has one pressing need before she heads to Iowa State next fall — viewing the movie "Fargo."

"I haven't seen it yet," she said. “I suppose I better.”

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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