Christian Laettner reaches deal to possibly avoid bankruptcy
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) Christian Laettner could avoid bankruptcy after reaching a deal with his creditors.
Court records say the NBA player and Duke All-American and his creditors have reached a settlement, and Laettner's attorneys have filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to dismiss the involuntary bankruptcy proceedings against him.
The documents were filed Monday and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed in those fillings, and a hearing is scheduled Oct. 20 in Durham.
Laettner and some partners helped develop Durham's West Village, a mix of apartments and commercial space, and it was sold earlier this year. One of Laettner's Washington-based attorneys, Hassan Zavareei, said in a statement that some of the proceeds from that sale will be divided among his creditors.
The five creditors, who include Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart and former Detroit Lions linebacker Ernie Sims, began bankruptcy proceedings against Laettner in June, saying he owes them more than $14 million.
Laettner and former Duke teammate Brian Davis were two of the leaders of a project to turn former tobacco warehouses in Durham into the apartments and mixed-use space. To satisfy the creditors, Zavareei said, Laettner sold the majority of his interests in the project to a real estate investment company based in Washington. That company then sold the final phase in February to an Ohio-based real estate firm for $187 million.
Laettner, 47, led Duke to national championships in 1991 and '92, and the highlight of his buzzer-beating shot to beat Kentucky in the 1992 East Regional final remains an annual staple of NCAA Tournament coverage. He made one All-Star team during a 13-year NBA career with six teams.