Basketball, football and supervillains: looking at three notable WKU alumni

Cameron Coyle

Each year, Homecoming presents an opportunity to reminisce on the past and remember famous, impactful alumni.

Courtney Lee is currently a shooting guard for the New York Knicks, but from 2005 to 2008, he played basketball for WKU.

Lee averaged more than 14 points per game all four of his years at WKU, and by his senior year he was averaging over 20 points per game. Lee was also awarded the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year Award at the end of the 2008 season.

In January of 2015, Lee had his jersey retired at a WKU basketball home game against the University of Texas El Paso. WKU sold some tickets to the game for only 32 cents to commemorate the retirement of Lee’s number, 32.

George Fant is another former WKU basketball player now playing professional sports.

Fant, born in Bowling Green, played basketball his entire time at WKU while also playing some football for the school too. After Fant averaged double digits in points all four of his years at WKU, he signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2016 to play left tackle.

The majority of NFL teams were struggling to find offensive linemen and teams began to start to look outside of traditional football players. According to SBNation, Fant’s initial start as left tackle was his first time starting in a football game since he played youth league.

Fant showed early promise at the position and during a press conference in 2016, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “I’m really excited to watch him continue to develop.”

Fant tore his ACL in his right knee during the NFL preseason this year and is ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Michael Rosenbaum graduated from WKU in the mid 1990s and has gone on to act in such films as “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Hit and Run,” but he is most famous for his role in the television show “Smallville” as Superman’s arch nemesis, Lex Luthor.

According to IMDb, Rosenbaum won multiple awards for his portrayal of Lex Luthor, including the Golden Satellite Award for best actor in a supporting role in a drama, the Teen Choice Award for best villain and the Cinecape Genre Face of the Future Award.

Rosenbaum has also been a voice actor for such animated shows as “Justice League Unlimited” and “Batman: the Brave and the Bold.”

Rosenbaum voiced The Flash in the 2013 animated film “Justice League: Doom,” in which the cast won Behind the Voice Acting Award for best vocal ensemble in a movie meant for TV or direct-to-DVD release.

Rosenbaum has a role in the upcoming film “The Neighbor,” which is set to release at the end of 2017.

“I truly believe that Western Kentucky University had a huge influence in the outcome of my career,” Rosenbaum said in a WKU alumni profile. “I was a frightened child when I entered college with very little direction … The possibilities were endless and I took advantage of all of them. I’m very grateful that I not only made the wise decision to go to college, but that I chose Western Kentucky University.”

Reporter Cameron Coyle can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected].