Throwback Thursday - Peter "Pistol Pete" Maravich
Peter "Pistol Pete" Press Maravich was born June 22 1947. He was raised in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Maravich starred in college at Louisiana State University (LSU), where his dad was the varsity coach.
He played for three NBA teams, Hawks, Jazz and Celtics until injuries forced his retirement in 1980. He is still the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points scored and an average of 44.2 points per game. All of his accomplishments were achieved before the three-point line was introduced to NCAA basketball and despite being unable to play varsity as a freshman under then-NCAA rules.
One of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Maravich was cited by the Hall as "perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history". In an April 2010 interview, Hall of Fame player John Havlicek said "the best ball-handler of all time was (Pete) Maravich."
On January 5, 1988, Pete Maravich collapsed and died at age 40 of heart failure while playing in a pickup basketball game in the gym at a church in Pasadena, California, with a group that included James Dobson of Focus on the Family fame. Maravich had flown out from his home in Louisiana to tape a segment for Dobson's radio show that aired later that day. Dobson has said that Maravich's last words, less than a minute before he died, were "I feel great."