Christian Laettner

Christian Laettner
Christian Laettner
Center/Power forward
Personal information
Date of birth August 17, 1969 (1969-08-17) (age 42)
Place of birth Angola, New York
Nationality USA
Listed height 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
College Duke
NBA Draft 1992 / 3rd overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Pro career 1992–2005
Career history
19921996 Minnesota Timberwolves
19961998 Atlanta Hawks
19992000 Detroit Pistons
2000–2001 Dallas Mavericks
20012004 Washington Wizards
2004–2005 Miami Heat
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Medal record
Men's Basketball
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1992 Barcelona Team Competition
World Championship
Bronze 1990 Argentina Team Competition
FIBA Americas Championship
Silver 1989 Mexico City Team Competition
Pan American Games
Bronze 1991 Havana Team Competition
Goodwill Games
Silver 1990 Seattle Team Competition

Christian Donald Laettner (born August 17, 1969) is a retired American professional basketball player and entrepreneur. He had a distinguished college and national career, and played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for thirteen seasons, from 1992–2005. He is presently a minority holder for the Major League Soccer (MLS) club D.C. United.

Laettner played college basketball for the Duke University Blue Devils, starring on the 1991 and 1992 NCAA champion teams.[1] He was the only college player selected for the 1992 United States men's Olympic team, nicknamed the "Dream Team". Sometimes considered the greatest team ever assembled in any sport, the Dream Team went on to win the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics.[2] Laettner was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1992 NBA draft, and went on to play 13 seasons in the NBA.


Early life

Laettner was born in Angola, New York, and attended Nichols School, where he played high school basketball. In his freshman year Laettner once scored 67 points in a game.[citation needed] He set the school record for most points at Nichols by scoring over 2000 points in his career.


College career

Laettner attended Duke University, and played for the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team. He 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 (23) out of a maximum possible of 24 in four years at that time. Laettner's #32 jersey was retired in 1992, making him the sixth of thirteen players so honored by Duke.[3] 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%.

NCAA Tournament Records Held:

  • Most points scored: 407[4]
  • Most free throws made: 142
  • Most free throw attempts: 167
  • Most games played: 23

Laettner is especially known for his last-second, back-to-the-basket, turn-around, game-winning jump shot on March 28 in Duke's dramatic 104–103 victory over Kentucky in the East regional final, played at The Spectrum in Philadelphia, of the 1992 NCAA Tournament, acclaimed by many[5] 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; 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 former Kentucky coach Rick Pitino. 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."[6] 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[7] and the fifth most unforgettable sports moment of all-time across all sports in 2006.[8]

International career

He played for the US national team in the 1990 FIBA World Championship, winning the bronze medal.[9][dead link]

In 1992 he was selected for the men's Olympic basketball team, which became known as the "Dream Team". He was the only college player selected to the roster, beating out Shaquille O'Neal for the final spot. The team went on to win the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics, and has been called the greatest sports team ever assembled.[2]


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 where he was teamed up with college rival Shaq 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 could not 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 one son.[19]

See also

  • List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 145 games played
  • List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 2000 points and 1000 rebounds
  • List of NCAA Division I men's basketball career free throw scoring leaders


  1. ^ "Christian Laettner". CNN. 2005-03-31. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  2. ^ a b "The Original Dream Team". 1992-08-08. Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  3. ^ "Duke Legends". Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  4. ^ " Mailbox: Christian Laettner". Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  5. ^ "SI on Campus: 16 Greatest Games". Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  6. ^ "The 2002 ESPY Awards - ESPY Awards past winners". Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  7. ^ The Best Damn Sports Show Period - aired March 14, 2007.
  8. ^ FOX Sports on MSN - Television - Best Damn's Top 50 Unforgettable Sports Moments
  9. ^ 1990 USA Basketball[dead link]
  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". Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  14. ^ "Laettner, Davis Give $2 Million to Legacy Fund, New Athletic Facility". 2005-07-28. Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  15. ^ "Memphis Grizzlies, Christian Laettner, National Basketball Association -". 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2011-04-07. 
  16. ^ "Owner sets May 1 deadline to take team off market". Retrieved 28 April 2007. 
  17. ^ Davis remains a team player : Grizzlies : Commercial Appeal[dead link]
  18. ^ "MacFarlane leads group in purchase of Major League Soccer's D.C. United". Archived from the original on 18 March 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2007. 
  19. ^ 30 Seconds with Christian Laettner NY Times, March 29, 2009

External links

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  • Christian Donald Laettner — (* 17. August 1969 in Angola, New York,) ist ein US amerikanischer Basketballspieler. Laettner besuchte bis 1992 die Duke University. 1991 und 1992 führte er sein Basketball College Team, dem auch der spätere Star Grant Hill angehörte, zur… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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