All five of WKU’s outgoing seniors from the 2016-17 season are set to play professionally overseas this year.
Que Johnson’s recent signing with the Brazilian basketball club Joinville Basketball made that official Wednesday. Johnson was a graduate senior guard who started all 32 games in his senior season at WKU, averaging 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds. He joined the 1,000-point club in his senior season as well.
Three of last year’s seniors, Ben Lawson, Anton Waters and Junior Lomomba will all three be playing in Cyprus this year. Lawson will play for Lefke Avrupa Üniversitesi, while Lomomba and Waters will both play for APOP Paphou Basketball Club.
Lawson a 7-1 forward, finished fourth on WKU’s all-time blocks list with 185. He averaged 3.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in his senior season. He was the only senior on the team to play all four years of his eligibility at WKU.
Waters, a 6-7 forward, averaged 6.7 points and 4.2 rebounds as a senior. He played in all 32 games last season. He transferred from Gulf Coast State College to play his final two years at WKU under Ray Harper in 2015-2016 and Rick Stansbury in 2016-2017.
Lomomba, like Johnson, started all 32 games last year. The 6-5 guard was a graduate senior for WKU, averaging 6.1 PPG and putting up four 7-assist games.
Pancake Thomas, also a senior last year, is currently playing for Pallacanestro Cantù’s practice squad in Italy. The 6-4 guard started the summer off as a member of the Mitteldeutscher Basketball Club in Germany.
Thomas joined WKU as a graduate transfer who previously played for New Mexico and Hartford. Thomas averaged 13.8 points and 3.3 rebounds his senior year while starting in all 32 games, like Lomomba and Johnson.
These five will make up a good percentage of nearly 20 former Hilltoppers playing professionally this year. That includes WKU’s only current NBA player, Courtney Lee, a 6-5 shooting guard. Lee was a star at WKU and now plays for the New York Knicks.
Lee is tied with the late Jim McDaniels for the all-time scoring record at WKU with 2,238 points. He set, and still holds, the freshman scoring record with 461 points. Lee led WKU to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2008. His jersey was retired by the school in 2015. He was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2008, and has played for seven different NBA teams.
Another former Hilltopper with prior NBA experience, T.J. Price, is set to play for Amici Pallacanestro Udine overseas. The 6-4 guard played in the NBA Developmental League (now the NBA G League) last year. In 49 games with the Erie Bayhawks, Price averaged 4.3 PPG and 1.3 RPG. He also played for the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic summer teams.
Price averaged 14.26 PPG and 4.63 RPG over the course of his four year career at WKU.
Reporter Jeremy Chisenhall can be reached at 859-760-0198 and [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @JSChisenhall.