Basketball Hall of Famer Visits Tiftarea Academy

CHULA, GA—Olympic Gold Medalist, former NBA star, and NCAA Basketball Hall of Famer, Christian Laettner paid a visit to Tiftarea Academy last Thursday night. Laettner was the guest speaker at the school’s dinner and fundraiser.

Laettner explained he had an urge to speak to members of the school after meeting Tiftarea Academy alumnus (and current TA parent) Reid Jones on a hunting trip. Laettner stated that the school reminded him of the school he grew up attending in New York. Laettner said his alma mater and Tiftarea Academy were a lot alike with a family atmosphere and the ways in which the administration, faculty, staff, parents and students work together to keep the school moving forward. He also urged the students to find something they love and incorporate it into their future careers. After encouraging the students and parents to remain involved and to push for the very best for the school, he held a question and answer session. Before beginning he stated “I am 6’ 11” and wear a size 17 shoe, so let’s get down to the real questions.” Some of the over 450 attendees were then able to ask the superstar personal questions. Among some of the answers, “winning championships,” was the personal highlight of Laettner’s career.

Laettner attended Duke University, a choice he said he made because he wanted to challenge himself both academically and athletically. He was a two time NCAA National Champion (’91 & ’92). Laettner also landed a spot on the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team,” winning a gold medal. His NBA career lasted 13 years, (1992-2005). He was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

Laettner will hold a basketball camp at Tiftarea Academy in May. The camp is open to the public for registration. For more information on the Christian Laettner Basketball Camp visit

Christian Laettner and Tiftarea Academy Headmaster, Diane Womack.

Christian Laettner and Tiftarea Academy Headmaster, Diane Womack.