JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Christian Laettner Basketball Academy announced today that Christian Laettner, a two-time national champion at Duke University and former NBA All-Star and Olympic Dream Team gold medalist, will be the guest of honor at a meet-and-greet fundraising event at Vail Christian High School on Nov. 23.
“I’m looking forward to partnering with Vail Christian again,” said Laettner, who worked with the Saints’ basketball teams last season. “We had a great event (in January) and we hope to continue to add to what they are doing with this special event again this year.”
In addition to conducting practices with the Saints on Nov. 21-22, Laettner will attend an evening event Nov. 23 that will include dinner, a talk from the guest himself as well as a question-and-answer session, and opportunities for autographs and photos.
“Vail Christian High School is very happy to partner again with basketball legend Christian Laettner to work with and train our basketball athletes,” said the school’s varsity boys basketball coach, Sheldon Kuhns. “The opportunity to have Christian Laettner back, with his experience in playing basketball at the highest level, is an unparalleled opportunity. Last year, he really helped jump start our season, which ended in our first trip to the state tournament and a third-place finish in Class 1A, and we look forward to him helping take this year’s team to new heights.”
Nov. 23 event
Tickets for the Nov. 23 event are $25 in advance by emailing Kuhns at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him at 970-390-4643. They will be $30 on the day of the event.
There will also be Laettner memorabilia available for auction, including a Laettner Duke jersey, a Laettner NBA jersey, a signed Portland Trailblazers basketball, a Dick Vitale-autographed book and a ski day with Laettner.
Laettner was the star of Duke’s national championship teams in 1991 and 1992. During the Blue Devils’ first championship in 1991, he helped Duke record one of the more memorable upsets in NCAA Tournament history against UNLV during the Final Four. On the road to Duke’s repeat, Laettner was involved in one of college basketball’s most storied plays, taking Grant Hill’s full-court pass and whipping around at the top of the free-throw line at the buzzer to beat Kentucky, 104-103, in the East Regional Final.
After being taken No. 3 in the 1992 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, Laettner played on the original Dream Team with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and the like during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Laettner ended up playing more than 10 seasons in the NBA with the T-Wolves, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards and Miami Heat.