Tag Archives: LSU

Maravich, Peter Press

“Pistol Pete,” born: June 22, 1947 in Aliquippa, Pa. died: January 5, 1988 (40 years old). Elected to NBA Hall of Fame in 1987 – until he hit the court, few had played the game with such flare, quickness of a pull-up jumper & ball-handling ability.
Maravich, the 6-5 guard, scored more points in college than any other player in history. In only three years playing (freshman could not play varsity) for his father Press at LSU, Maravich scored 3,667 points – 1,138 points in 1968, 1,148 points in 1969 & 1,381 points in 1970 while averaging 43.8, 44.2 & 44.5 ppg (without the benefit of a three-point line). Named a 3-time All-American, led the NCAA in scoring three times. He also set an NCAA record by scoring more than 50 points 28 times. The 1970 College Player of the Year was selected third overall in the NBA draft by the Atlanta Hawks, [in 1970 Bob Lanier, a 6-11 former All-American from St. Bonaventure, was chosen with Detroit’s No. 1 pick, San Diego Rockets drafted Rudy Tomjanovich out of Michigan]. He averaged 23.2 ppg his rookie season. After spending four seasons in Atlanta, Maravich was traded to the New Orleans Jazz. He made the All-NBA First Team in 1976 & ’77 & the All-NBA Second Team in 1973 & ’78. He led the NBA in scoring in 1977 with a personal high 31.1 ppg. Maravich finished his career with the Utah Jazz & the Boston Celtics in 1980. In ten NBA seasons, Maravich scored 15,948 points in 658 games for a 24.2 ppg average. His NBA single game high, 68-points, came against the New York Knicks on February 25, 1977.
[from Wikipedia] A leg injury during the 1977-78 NBA season started the downward spiral into alcoholism, & signaled the decline of his career. After the injury forced him to leave basketball in the fall of 1980, Maravich became a recluse for two years. Through it all, Maravich said he was searching “for life.”…In 1982, he became a Christian & began traveling the country sharing his new found faith.
On January 5, 1988, Maravich collapsed & died, at age 40, of a heart attack just after playing in a pickup basketball game in the gym at the First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena with a group that included Focus on the Family head James Dobson. (Maravich had flown out from his home in Louisiana to tape a segment for Dobson’s radio show later that day.) An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a rare congenital defect; he had been born with a missing left coronary artery, a vessel which supplies blood to the muscle fibers of the heart. His right coronary artery was grossly enlarged and had been compensating for the defect.

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