Even though Buffalo and Western New York do not have an NBA team anymore, that does not mean that we do not have a rich history of basketball in the area. There are all sorts of notable players who have come from the 716.

There is little doubt that the people of Western New York love basketball.

One of the great things about having this connection to basketball is that, from time to time, famous Buffalonians return home to the 716. That exact thing is happening this week at Nichols School in North Buffalo, as Buffalo-born basketball great Christian Laettner is back in town to lead his signature basketball camp at his alma mater.

Who Is Christian Laettner

Christian Donald Laettner is considered the best college basketball player ever to play the game, a former US Olympic Gold Medalist, NCAA Champion, NBA All-Star, and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member from Western New York.

Laettner grew up in Angola, New York, a suburb just south of the City of Buffalo, and played high school basketball just north of Delaware Park in Buffalo. While at Nichols, he set the school record for most points in a career while leading the team to two state championship titles, a record he held for 36 years until Jakye Rainey broke that record earlier this year.

Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media
Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media
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After high school, Laettner continued his basketball career at Duke University in North Carolina. While at Duke, Laettner won several awards and honors as a player before leading the Blue Devils to two consecutive NCAA titles in 1991 and 1992.

In addition, he was the only college player to be a member of The Dream Team, aka the US Men's National Basketball Team, which won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics.

NBAE via Getty Images
NBAE via Getty Images
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Laettner then spent 13 years as an NBA Star, playing for Minnesota, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Washington, and Miami.

What Brings Laettner Back To Buffalo

Although Laettner maintains his residence in Florida, he has never forgotten his love and dedication to Western New York and his alma mater, Nichols. That affection hasn't diminished at all as he routinely supports causes in the Buffalo area and donates large sums of money to them.

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Getty Images
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One way he shows this is by hosting his annual Basketball Camp at Nichols School, where boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 18 learn from one of the best people to ever play the game.

The Christian Laettner Basketball Academy is running all this week, and it was great to see him on the court with several dozen kids ready to learn from this Buffalo-born NBA All-Star.

Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media
Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media
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Christian Laettner Over The Years

Considered by most to be the best college basketball player to ever play the game, Christian Donald Laettner is a former US Olympic Gold Medalist, NCAA Champion, NBA All-Star, and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member who's from Western New York. Laettner grew up in Angola, New York, a suburb of Buffalo, and played his high school basketball which is just north of Delaware Park in Buffalo. While at Nichols he set, and still holds, the school records for most points in a career while leading the team to two state championship titles. 

Gallery Credit: Ed Nice

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Gallery Credit: Ed Nice