the Baller’s Almanac: August 17, 2012

It's the birthday of one of the all time great college basketball players. Christian Laettner, born in Angola, New York in 1969, was a high school star who settled on three potential colleges: Duke, North Carolina and Virginia. He ultimately chose Duke.

His college career contained any number of superlatives: he's the only player to start in four Final Fours, he is Duke's all-time leader in 3-point%, he won two consecutive National Titles, he was a consensus All-American and the Player of the Year, he was the only college player chosen for the original Dream Team.

But what he's most famous for is the shot. In the 1992 East Regional Final vs Kentucky, the Wildcats led 103-102 in the final seconds:

Kenny Sears was born on this date in 1933, in Watsonville, California. Sears would go on to star at Santa Clara, and he holds the distinction of being the first ever basketball player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Other birthdays include: Paul Noel 1924 (Kentucky), Cleveland Buckner 1938 (Jackson State), Larry Comley 1938 (Kansas State), Jim Kissane 1946 (Boston College), Bobby Cattage 1958 (Auburn),  Michael Brooks 1958 (La Salle), Dallas Comegys 1964 (Depaul), Dee Brown 1984 (Illinois), Tyrus Thomas 1986 (LSU), and Rudy Gay 1986 (Connecticut)