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Christian Laettner on Coming to Sioux Falls this Summer

Former Duke star Christian Laettner joined Jeff Thurn on Friday’s edition of Overtime on ESPN 99.1.Laettner is a head coach currently with Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Developmental League. He played for Duke from 1988 to 1992, where he is famously known for his game-winning shot against Kentucky. In the NBA, Laettner was drafted by Minnesota, and played 13 seasons in the league.

Laettner discusses his favorite college memory (HINT: it’s not his game-winning shot against Kentucky): 

“Well, it might be the most well-known moment, but in my heart it’s not my favorite moment because you do not play basketball or any sport to hit last second shots or bottom of the ninth home run. You don’t play for that purpose; you play sports to win championships. So, my favorite moment in my heart is winning my first championship my junior year, and my second championship my senior year. Those are things I treasure the most. The championships.”

Laettner stayed all four years, and he discusses the one and done rule: 

“I like the one year rule. I think they should increase it to two years. I think it’s better for the college and NBA game for the youngsters to stay in at least two years. I really like the one year, and think they should increase it two years, and the reason is there is so few players in college that you can count on hand that enter the NBA at 18 or 19, and play a lot of minutes and have a impact on the team, you know right away their first year in the league. I can think of LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant, but even Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, some of the greatest players in the history of the game, they weren’t starting and having a huge impact, you know the first month they were in the league. It even took Garnett, and Bryant a half a year, or a whole year to get everything under their belt, and then have an impact on the court. So, I think it’s a good idea to keep them one. I would like to see stay two years.”

Laettner on coming to Sioux Falls this summer:

“I have been to Sioux Falls plenty of times, South Dakota plenty of times. I love the upper Midwest and that’s why I am coming up there. This will be my first time involved with the Legend’s event, and I got to know some people from Sanford Health a few years ago, especially a guy named Mike Begeman and he put me in touch some people. They ran the idea by me, and like I said, I spent a lot time in that area, Minnesota, upper Midwest, been in Sioux Falls a few times. One time as a assistant coach in the NBADL. I was with Fort Wayne, and I love it up there, and that’s why I am coming up there to have a good weekend, and a good event with you guys at the Legend’s event, and I can’t wait to see Winfield, Davis and all those guys. I used to look up to Winfield when he was a baseball player and when I was playing back in 1983, 1984, and 1985.”

Laettner will be in Sioux Falls this summer for the annual Hy-Vee/Sanford Legend’s event.

To hear more of Laettner’s interview with Thurn, listen below:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Catch Thurn weekday’s on ESPN 99.1 in Sioux Falls from 3 to 6 p.m.

**For story ideas, or comments, email Sam at and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.**


Rick Stewart/Getty Images

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