BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Four former Hilltopper basketball standouts recently signed professional contracts for the 2012-13 season, with Courtney Lee and Jeremy Evans inking multi-year NBA deals and Steffphon Pettigrew and A.J. Slaughter continuing their careers outside the United States.
Lee, who lettered at WKU from 2005-08 and is the school's all-time leading scorer, signed a four-year, $21.5 million deal with the Boston Celtics. Lee averaged 11.4 points per game in 30.3 minutes per contest for the Houston Rockets last season and upped his scoring production to 14.0 points per game in 26 starts.
The four-year NBA veteran is averaging 10.0 points per game in 287 career outings. Lee was picked 22nd overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Evans, a letterwinner at WKU from 2007-10, received a three-year, $5.5 million contract from the Utah Jazz after playing in 78 games in two NBA seasons and winning the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk contest. WKU's all-time leader in field goal percentage (.639), Evans is shooting 65.6 percent from the floor in two seasons with the Jazz after being selected 55th in the 2010 NBA Draft.
Pettigrew will be playing for Abejas de Guanajuanto in Mexico in 2012-13 after averaging 19.2 points and 4.8 rebounds for Aguada in Uruguay.
Coming off a season averaging 13 points, three rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in Belgium, Slaughter signed with Cholet Basket of France in the ProA League for next season.
Pettigrew's four-year WKU career will go down as one of the finest in Hilltopper history, as he started the final 38 games of his career en route to 136 career games played, the second-most all-time, and made 97 starts, which rank seventh all-time. In those games he scored 1,544 points, which puts him in elite company in 13th place on the WKU career scoring list.
Pettigrew also won two conference championships and three NCAA Tournament games in his career.
Slaughter finished his WKU career in 2009-10 ranked 12th in all-time scoring with 1,581 points. He averaged 11.7 points per game in his four-year career, and he won two Sun Belt Conference championships and played on two NCAA Tournament teams.