Originally published March 16, 2009.
College basketball fans will never forget it. Neither will Christian Laettner. His Duke team trailed Kentucky, 103-102, with 2.1 seconds remaining in overtime in the 1992 NCAA East Region final when Laettner caught an 80-foot inbounds pass from Grant Hill. Laettner dribbled, faked, turned and hit a 17-foot jumper as time expired to give the Blue Devils the win. For Laettner, the moment remains vivid to this day. He spoke toSporting Newsabout the shot that propelled the Blue Devils to their second consecutive national title.
"I remember it was a play that we practiced. It was called Home Run. Coach K was a good enough coach to realize you have to practice stuff like that. I remember that we tried to run it one time against Wake Forest and Grant’s pass was like a curveball. It took me out of bounds, and I wasn’t able to shoot it. We went back to the drawing board and practiced it few more times when, lo and behold, we needed to use it two or three weeks later in the Kentucky game.
"At the time I was thinking that there were twoseconds left, which meant I had time to make a fake if I wanted to. It was not a desperation heave. I had time to stay calm and be relaxed and take a nice, easy shot at the bucket. I had time to not rush, and that is very important.
"Then the last thing I remember thinking is that I had to catch the ball. It was critical to get the ball in the first place because a lot of the time on a play like that, the defense knocks or tips the ball away. Then I just made a post move. I knew the defenders would be behind me. I faked one way and shot a turnaround jumper, and the rest is history. I was lucky enough for it to go in, and we celebrated like we never celebrated before."
—As told to Sporting News