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Pistol Pete is one of basketball's greatest stories, one worthy of his own movie. Few players have influenced the modern hoops game more than Maravich. Maravich ( originally pronounced Ma-RAVE-ich )was born in central PA, a son to basketball maven and father Press Maravich. The senior Maravich had hustled his way to college on average talent and remarkable intensity and even played for Pittsburgh in both the NBL and BAA in the 1940s. Impressing the game hard on his son, the younger Maravich ate, slept and practiced the game around the clock. By age 12, Maravich had developed startling talents: he could dribble a ball while riding bike. Pulling the ball down to his hip, he was a deadly shooter from 25 feet, earning his ' Pistol ' tag. he could pass and dribble at a level five years past his age. He saw and knew the game like a high schooler. He was a prodigy. Following his obsessive coach/father around the country, the Maravichs had real family issues. Alcoholism was just one symptom. But Pete starred and kept moving up. Father Maravich demanded to coach his son at LSU, and built the entire roster and offense around him. Pistol Pete became a national figure by averaging over 40 points per game all three years. He was also an incredible fan draw. LSU fans saw unbelievable passing, ballhandling, tricks and an assortment of moves that made him legendary on the spot. The fact that the Tigers rarely contended mattered not at all. It was said that the St. Louis Hawks had moved to Atlanta just to have a place to sell Maravich. An angry Joe Caldwell was less than welcoming, jumping to the ABA. Maravich was the white superstar for the region in the late 1960s, a very tenuous thing. Atlanta did become a solid playoff team and contender, with Maravich scoring and passing among the league leaders. But mostly, he just sold huge tickets all over the league. When the league expanded in New Orleans, it was with Maravich in mind. Now wearing under the glare and coming to consider the hoops-only content of his life, Pistol Pete nonetheless was the NBA's #1 show. He led the NBA in scoring and averaged seven exciting assists per game with wild no-looks galore. But he was also the league's unhappiest millionaire, earning more money than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Bob MacAdoo. He felt a gaping hole in his life. A knee injury made him reflective, and he became a born-again Christian. Later a reserve for the champion Boston Celtics in the 1980s, his Hall Of Fame career was complete. Maravich retired and dedicated his life to ministry with basketball as the lure to preach. Pete and his father passed away four years apart to conclude a powerful family story. His two sons were presented when the NBA named it's 50 Greatest Players in 1996. Maravich remains a powerful symbol for the money-draw of sport and the incredible obsession some fall to succeed in sports. He also remains one of the all-time great offensive Showtime players, one who influenced whites and blacks alike and greatly aided the NBA's success in the 1970s.
<stats> Player=Pete Maravich Sport=NBA </stats>