Alexis Welch might not be the most well-known of the Basketball Wives, but this little lady has scored herself a $100-million man.
That's right. Last week, Welch got engaged to New York Knicks superstar Amar'e Stoudemire. The engagement had many fans scratching their heads, as Stoudemire's love life is relatively concealed from the limelight. Yes, he has been linked to the likes of Ciara and other young beauties, but it seems Stoudemire has had only one woman in his life since 2002 and he decided to make it official.
When she said yes, it was surreal. I'm still floating. #engaged, the basketball king tweeted from Paris, where he proposed to Welch.
Welch recently sat down with the New York Post to talk about her engagement to Stoudemire and their life together.
The Paris Proposal
It's been a whirlwind. I'm so overjoyed, Welch says in her first interview. Everyone is calling, wanting to know all of the details. I'm marrying my best friend.
Stoudemire showed his sentimental side when proposing to his long-time girlfriend and the mother of his three children. So he decided to go all out with a big surprise.
I'm usually on top of everything, but he got me. We were going to France to visit Cognac [area]. We went back [to the room], and there were rose petals leading to a balcony with a 365-degree view of Paris. We walked out to the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. He had an acoustic-guitar player. He had a saxophonist. This is another side of Amar'e that people don't get to see. I'm just getting teary-eyed talking about it.
How They Met
Welch met Stoudemire in 2002 at a nightclub after a Nelly concert, the bride-to-be tells the Post. At the time, both were just 19-years-old and Stoudemire was playing for the Phoenix Suns.
Since we were both 19, they put us in a private room in the back of the club. He was wearing a Kansas City Chiefs Joe Montana jersey, says Welch. I'm originally from there, so we started talking about Montana when he played there. I've always liked guys who were taller than me when I wear heels.
We were both really young, so we went to a lot of movies. I would make him dinner, and we would just spend time together. We would talk all the time. We're a cooking family. We had some good old-fashioned mac and cheese and greens. [And] he put sugar on his greens. It was his Southern roots shining through.
Their Life Together
The two have been dating since 2002 and have three children together.
Our oldest daughter dances competitively and cheers for our son's football team. Our son plays football and basketball. Our youngest is still figuring out her sports. They are young, so they still enjoy being with us. So I'm going to enjoy every minute. I'll take my time and only do things that make sense for our family.
Fame and Fortune
In 2010, Stoudemire signed a major contract with the Knicks. He and his family packed up their things and moved East. Although he is one of the most famous names in the NBA right now, Welch has not yet gotten used to the spotlight. When she and her beau attended the Met gala, she relied on him to calm her nerves.
Thank goodness, Amar'e is used to these events, so he makes me feel more comfortable, says Welch. The couple was seated with big-name attendees, actress Cameron Diaz and designer Stella McCartney.
And she was starstruck.
We were standing close to Beyoncé, but I was too nervous to introduce myself. Everyone has a wish list of celebrities [to meet]. She's on there. But now, her husband is the owner of the Nets, so there's a little bit of a rivalry going on, Welch tells the Post.
Her Fashion Sense
Although Welch's mindset might still be down-to-earth, her wardrobe has certainly been amped up. These days, she favors the threads of Alexander McQueen and Calvin Klein.
I like classic pieces that can be worn with more trendy or vintage jewelry, she says. Next season she plans on bringing her style courtside, showing off skinny jeans, blazers and heels.
Fellow Basketball Wives
Welch is friends with the wives and girlfriends of other Knicks' players, referring to them as a nice group of women. She finds herself having the most in common with Kimberly Chandler, wife of Tyson Chandler.
[Kimberly] has three small children as well, so I know we'll probably hang out more when we get to the city, she says.
Welch says that she still has the Montana jersey that brought her and Stoudemire together on that fateful night back in 2002. We actually still have that jersey. And I'm getting it framed for our house.