The Real Deal Los Angeles

Don’t hate the player: How a former NBA star built a real estate fraud scheme around his basketball ties

TRD investigates how a former NBA star, Tate George, built a real estate fraud scheme around his basketball ties
By Konrad Putzier | March 14, 2017 11:00AM

Tate George went from a college basketball hero (left) to pitching get-rich-quick development schemes (right) (Credit: Getty Images)

From the New York website: The shot that made Tate George was one of those moments that make you question the laws of time and space. It was March 21, 1990. The University of Connecticut was up against Clemson University in the Sweet 16 round of March Madness. Clemson was leading, 70-69, with exactly one second remaining on the game clock. UConn’s Scott Burrell had the ball at the baseline.

To win, the 6-foot-5 guard would have to somehow get the ball past Clemson’s 6-foot-11 Elden Campbell, who stood in front of him with arms outstretched. He would have to throw it across the entire court and a UConn player would have no more than a split second to catch, aim and shoot. The odds of UConn scoring were near zero.

The referee blew the whistle. Burrell hurled the ball. It seemed to almost graze Campbell’s hands, but didn’t change course. The ball flew across the court in a high arc. Deep inside Clemson’s half, closer to the sideline than the basket, George, a guard at UConn, jumped up and caught it. He had to arch backwards, and as he landed on one leg, he briefly looked like he had lost his balance. But he didn’t fall.

George now had his back to the basket, about 15 feet away. He spun around and shot the ball over a defender. The ball went in, accompanied by the sound of the final buzzer.

“The shot’s gonna count!” the announcer yelled. “The shot by Tate George wins it!”

George, arms raised, was swallowed by a wave of teammates and cheerleaders.

“Stunning doesn’t get close to describing it,” the New York Daily News wrote the following day. “Miraculous? That might fall short, too.” [More]