Saturday, December 20, 2008


In a couple of weeks, Pete Maravich will have been dead for 21 years...hard to believe how time flies.

I had forgotten how good The Pistol really was until I stumbled across a video tribute. As a kid growing up in Louisiana, he was a real hero to me and my brothers.

Pete had a sense that few other people do. He always knew exactly where everyone was on the court. He didn't have to see them to know, he just knew. And he knew exactly what everybody was doing. He didn't have to think about who was open, or how to get them the ball, or when to take the shot was magic to watch. In fact, it was "spooky."

Pete "made" basketball at LSU. Tiger fans would pay 10 bucks to watch two kids throw a football under a street lamp, but basketball may as well have been women's lacrosse in Baton Rouge. Then along came Pete. When he entered LSU, NCAA rules didn't allow Freshmen to play varsity ball. The arena would fill up for the Freshman Game, and then empty out soon after (before the varsity game started).

Pete is still the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division 1 history with 3,667 points. That is without the benefit of a Freshman season, or a 3 point line. Coach Dale Brown later charted every game Maravich played, and calculated that Pete would have averaged 13 three-pointers a game...yep, 13, bringing his per game average to 57 (instead of the measley 44.2 that he finished his college career with).

His influence on LSU athletics can not be overstated. He never played a game at the LSU Assembly Center, but it was always known as "The House That Pete Built." Or, as Dick Vitale named it "The Deaf Dome." 6 months after his death in 1988 it was renamed "The Maravich Assembly Center."

Before his sudden death at age 40, Pete had become a committed Christian, and very active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He spent his short retirement encouraging young people on the straight road of life. Heckuva guy...heckuva talent...


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