Christain Laettner

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Duke All-American and NBA All-Star

‘The Shot’ seen around the world of college basketball in the East regional final of the 1992 NCAA tournament was the product of a native Western New Yorker. Christian Laettner of Angola, New York honed his skills on the courts of Nichols School where he won two state championships and was the all-time leading scorer with 2006 points. Along the way, he appeared in the Empire State Games three years, was All Western New York Player of the Year his junior and senior years, named Gatorade Player of the Year in New York State, voted a member of the National High School Athletic Coaches Association All American Team, and participated in the McDonald’s All American Games in New Mexico and Washington DC, two prestigious all-star games for graduating seniors.

Laettner’s college career at Duke University was movie-making material, winning back-to-back NCAA titles in 1991 and 1992. He averaged 16.6 points per game and 7.7 rebounds and is the all-time three-point shooting percentage leader at Duke with 48.5%. He is one of only four players to play in four consecutive Final Fours, and the only player to ever start in all four Final Fours. He holds several NCAA tournament records including most games played with 23, a record which quite possibly may never be broken. But it was his game-winning last second buzzer beater against Kentucky in 1992 – a game in which he went 10 for 10 from the field and 10 of 10 free throws – that catapulted the Laettner legend. The game – considered by many as the greatest college basketball game ever played – earned Laettner the 1993 ESPY Award for College Basketball Play of the Year and Outstanding College Basketball Performer of the Year.

In addition, he was awarded the 1992 USBWA College Player of the Year, the John Wooden Award, Naismith College Player of the Year, NABC National Player of the Year, Sporting News and AP National Player of the Year, ACC Men’s Player of the Year and All Tournament MVP the NCAA East Regional Most Outstanding Player award and Duke’s Swett Memorial Trophy as that school’s MVP in three of his four years.

He also was the only college player named to the original ‘Dream Team’ that won the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona Spain – considered to be the greatest basketball team ever assembled.

Drafted 3rd overall by Minnesota in the 1992 NBA draft, he played 13 seasons for six different teams, voted to the All Rookie Team in 1993 and was voted to the All Star game in 1997.