Christian Laettner: Wikis


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Christian Laettner
Center/Power forward
Born August 17, 1969 (1969-08-17) (age 40)
Angola, New York
Nationality USA
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
College Duke
Draft 3rd overall, 1992
Minnesota Timberwolves
Pro career 1992–2005
Former teams Minnesota Timberwolves 1992-96
Atlanta Hawks 1996-98
Detroit Pistons 1999-2000
Dallas Mavericks 2000-01
Washington Wizards 2001-04
Miami Heat 2004-05
Awards 1992 USBWA College Player of the Year
John R. Wooden Award 1992

Naismith College Player of the Year 1992
NABC National Player of the Year 1992
The Sporting News National Player of the Year 1992
AP National Player of the Year 1992
Scripps-Howard National Player of the Year 1992
ACC Male Athlete of the Year 1991, 92
ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year 1992
ACC Tournament MVP 1992
NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player 1991
NCAA East Regional Most Outstanding Player 1990, 92
Swett Memorial Trophy (Duke MVP) 1990, 91, 92

Medal record
Men's Basketball
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1992 Barcelona Team Competition
World Championship
Bronze 1990 Argentina Team Competition
Pan American Games
Bronze 1991 Havana Team Competition

Christian Donald Laettner (born August 17, 1969 in Angola, New York) is a retired American professional basketball player and entrepreneur who played 13 seasons in the NBA. He starred for the 1991 and 1992 NCAA champion Duke University Blue Devils,[1] was a member of the 1992 gold medal Dream Team.




High school

Laettner attended Nichols School, where he had played high school basketball. He set the school record for most points as a Nichols Viking, scoring over 2000 points in his career.[citation needed]

College career

Laettner's #32 jersey was retired in 1992, making him the sixth of thirteen players so honored by Duke.[2] He averaged 16.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game at Duke and is the all-time three-point shooting percentage leader at Duke with 48.5%.

Laettner is one of only four players (including teammates Greg Koubek and Brian Davis) to play in four consecutive Final Fours, and the only one to ever start in all four Final Fours. He owns the record for most tournament games played, with 23, out of a maximum possible of 24 in 4 years (excluding the play-in game for the lowest seeds in one bracket).

NCAA Tournament Records Held:

  • Most points scored: 407[3]
  • Most free throws made: 142
  • Most free throw attempts: 167
  • Most games played: 23

1992 East regional final game

Laettner is especially known for his game-winning last-second jump shot on March 28 in Duke's dramatic 104-103 victory over Kentucky in the East regional final of the 1992 NCAA Tournament, acclaimed by many[4] as the "greatest college basketball game ever played." Footage of Laettner's buzzer beater shot is frequently included in televised montages depicting college basketball and the NCAA tournament, and in 2003 it was used in a nationally televised commercial by Allstate. In 2009, Laettner appeared in a commercial for Vitamin Water, again replaying "the shot" with a Vitamin Water bottle; the ad also features then Kentucky coach Rick Pitino. It is often now referred to simply as "the shot." In the game as a whole, Laettner made ten of ten shots from the field and ten of ten from the free throw line. His performance in the game as a whole earned him a 1993 ESPY Award for "Outstanding Performance Under Pressure," and the shot in particular received the 1993 ESPY for "College Basketball Play of the Year." Laettner also received the 1993 ESPY for "Outstanding College Basketball Performer of the Year."[5] The shot was also named the most memorable basketball shot of all-time (including the NBA, college, and high school) by The Best Damn Sports Show Period in 2007[6] and the fifth most unforgettable sports moment of all-time across all sports in 2006.[7]

International career

He played for the US national team in the 1990 FIBA World Championship, winning the bronze medal.[8]

Laettner was the only college player on the original "Dream Team," which won the Olympic Gold medal in 1992 and is considered to be the greatest basketball team ever assembled.[9]


Laettner was drafted third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves after Shaquille O'Neal (1st overall) and Alonzo Mourning (2nd overall) in the 1992 NBA Draft, all three would later play together on the 2004-05 Miami Heat. During his 13-year NBA career Laettner was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Atlanta Hawks, the Detroit Pistons, the Dallas Mavericks, the Washington Wizards, the Golden State Warriors (though he never played a game for them), and the Miami Heat. Though Laettner never became the superstar some expected, he was voted onto the All-Rookie First Team in 1992-93 and was an All-Star reserve in 1996-97. After he missed most of the 1998-99 season due to a torn Achilles tendon, his playing time and numbers saw a decline.

Laettner was suspended five games without pay in 2003-04 after failing three drug tests. [10] The league would not identify what substance(s) Laettner tested positive for.[11]

He wrapped up his career in 2004–05 as a reserve with the Miami Heat and finished with career averages of 13.3 points per game, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. He shot 47.8% from the floor and 82.1% from the free throw line.

Post-basketball career

Laettner co-owns the community development company Blue Devil Ventures (BDV) with former Duke teammate Brian Davis and Duke alumnus Tom Niemann. Since 1995, BDV has been developing a community in downtown Durham, North Carolina named "West Village." BDV's website describes West Village as a "mixed-use, upscale community consisting of the adaptive-reuse of historic tobacco warehouses built between 1899 and 1926 and located in the Brightleaf District."[12]

In 2001, Laettner donated $1 million to his high school, Nichols School in Buffalo, New York to create a scholarship fund for students in financial need and to aid in the completion of a new gymnasium.[13] In 2005, Laettner and Davis donated $2 million to Duke's men's basketball program to endow an athletic scholarship and support the construction of a planned athletics center and basketball practice facility.[14] Their donation to the Duke Legacy Fund — which seeks to make the Duke basketball program financially self-sufficient — represents the largest donation by former Duke basketball players to the program since Grant Hill endowed a $1 million scholarship in 2000.

In October 2006, an investment group including Laettner and former teammate Brian Davis had agreed to purchase the 70% share of the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies from current majority owner, Michael Heisley. Laettner considered coming out of retirement to play with the team,[15] but the purchase fell through when Davis and Laettner couldn’t come up with the $252 million needed to purchase Heisley’s controlling share.[16] Laettner and Davis (as minority owners) were successful in their bid to purchase operating rights for Major League Soccer's D.C. United.[17][18] Laettner had previously joined Jason Kidd and other investors in the purchase of a AAA baseball team in Phoenix.[13]

Personal life

Laettner and his wife have two daughters and a son.[19]

See also


  1. ^ - 2005 NCAA Basketball Tournament - Wahl: Laettner had perfect timing on the postseason stage - Thursday March 31, 2005 1:15PM]].
  2. ^ Duke Legends
  3. ^ Mailbox: Christian Laettner
  4. ^ SI on Campus: 16 Greatest Games
  5. ^ The 2002 ESPY Awards - ESPY Awards past winners
  6. ^ The Best Damn Sports Show Period - aired March 14, 2007.
  7. ^ FOX Sports on MSN - Television - Best Damn's Top 50 Unforgettable Sports Moments
  8. ^ 1990 USA Basketball
  9. ^ The Original Dream Team
  10. ^ CBC Sports. "NBA suspends Wizards' Laettner" 15 January 2004. Accessed 06 February 2008.
  11. ^ OutSports. "Laettner suspended" 14 January 2004. Accessed 28 January 2010.
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b Christian Laettner Bio
  14. ^ Laettner, Davis Give $2 Million to Legacy Fund, New Athletic Facility
  15. ^ Memphis Grizzlies, Christian Laettner, National Basketball Association -
  16. ^ "Owner sets May 1 deadline to take team off market". Retrieved 28 April 2007. 
  17. ^ Davis remains a team player : Grizzlies : Commercial Appeal
  18. ^ "MacFarlane leads group in purchase of Major League Soccer's D.C. United". Retrieved 28 April 2007. 
  19. ^ 30 Seconds with Christian Laettner NY Times, March 29, 2009

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Anderson Hunt
NCAA Basketball Tournament
Most Outstanding Player

Succeeded by
Bobby Hurley
Preceded by
Clarkston Hines
ACC Male Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Charlie Ward
Preceded by
Larry Johnson
Naismith College Player of the Year (men)
Succeeded by
Calbert Cheaney
Preceded by
Larry Johnson
John R. Wooden Award (men)
Succeeded by
Calbert Cheaney


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