Amar'e Stoudemire and Alexis Welch
Courtesy of Amar'e Stoudemire
06/03/2012 at 03:40 PM EDT
New York Knicks captain and six-time NBA All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire
proposed to Alexis Welch, the mother of Stoudemire's three children, in Paris Saturday night.
Stoudemire asked Welch for her hand in marriage while overlooking the Eiffel Tower lights outside of their penthouse at Le Meurice Hotel Belle Etoile Royal Suite at 11 p.m. local time. He surprised her with a dinner after they spent the day taking a private historical tour of Paris that included stops at the Louvre and other landmarks.
"I have been planning my proposal for a while and overlooking the entire Paris skyline seemed like a perfect place. I am so happy she said 'yes,' and now we can continue to build our life together as husband and wife," Stoudemire told PEOPLE from Paris.
Stoudemire designed the 8.5-carat radiant-cut ring, worth more than $1 million, with Los Angeles-based celebrity jeweler Shayan Afshar. The setting has 3.50 carats of flawless diamonds set in 18-carat white gold.
The couple met in 2002 after Stoudemire was drafted with the Phoenix Suns. They plan to wed in 2013.