24 Facts About Christian Laettner


Christian Donald Laettner is an American former professional basketball player.


Christian Laettner was the star player on the back-to-back Duke National Championship teams of 1991 and 1992, and the NCAA player of the year in his senior year.


Christian Laettner is particularly famous for his game-winning shot against Kentucky in the 1992 tournament and for the hatred he received from opposing fans.


Christian Laettner was drafted third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, then played 13 seasons in the National Basketball Association for six teams, being named as an All-Star in 1997.


Christian Laettner was born and raised in Angola, New York to a blue-collar Roman Catholic family.


Christian Laettner's father George, a newspaper press plant printer, was of Polish descent and his grandparents spoke Polish as their first language; his mother Bonnie was a teacher.


Christian Laettner's older brother Christopher was a strong influence, often bullying young Christian Laettner, which helped instill a stern competitive drive.

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Christian Laettner attended the private Nichols School; although he received a financial aid package that paid a substantial part of his tuition, his family had to sacrifice to send him there, and he did janitorial work at the school to defray some of the cost.


Christian Laettner was the second player from Western New York to reach 2,000 points, falling short of Curtis Aiken's total of 2,162 set five years earlier.


Christian Laettner attended Duke University and played for the basketball team from 1988 to 1992 under coach Mike Krzyzewski.


Christian Laettner scored 21.5 points per game his senior season, garnering every major national player of the year award; Duke retired his No 32 jersey later that year.


Christian Laettner's career is widely regarded as among the best in college history, and he is enshrined in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.


Christian Laettner swished the game-winning free throws against undefeated and heavily favored UNLV in the 1991 semifinal, which avenged UNLV's 30-point victory in the 1990 final.


Christian Laettner then led Duke to its first championship, defeating Kansas in the final, and was selected as the tournament's most outstanding player.


Christian Laettner then finished his college career by leading Duke to its second consecutive national title.


Christian Laettner was widely reviled by opposing fans throughout his career, to the extent that more than 20 years after graduating from Duke, he was voted the most hated college basketball player in history in an ESPN online poll.


Christian Laettner was particularly resented for stepping on the chest of Kentucky player Aminu Timberlake during the 1992 regional final, which the referees deemed a technical foul; Laettner expressed regret for his misconduct but believed that ejection would have been too harsh a consequence.


Christian Laettner was selected to the All-Rookie First Team in 1993 and the All-Star Game in 1997 while with the Atlanta Hawks, having been traded to Atlanta in 1996 alongside Sean Rooks in exchange for Spud Webb and Andrew Lang.


Christian Laettner played for six different teams, was traded six times, and never spent more than three full seasons anywhere.


Christian Laettner maintains a close friendship with Duke teammate Brian Davis.


In 2010, Christian Laettner was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the 1992 Dream Team.


Christian Laettner played one season in a semi-pro league and briefly served as an assistant coach in the NBA Development League.


Christian Laettner lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and is an avid muskellunge fisherman.


Christian Laettner has donated large sums to his alma maters.