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Pete Maravich

Born: 1947-06-22 - Died: 1988-01-05
Cause of Death:
Heart Attack


Death Summary: Maravich died during a pick-up game at a gym inside a church in Pasadena, California. He had flown out to tape a segment of a show for James Dobson. Maravich's heart attack occurred due to a rare congenital defect. This caused him to be born without a left coronary artery, which causes the right artery to be enlarged and worked harder to compensate.

Who was Pete Maravich : Peter "Pistol Pete" Maravich is considered one of the greatest players in the history of college basketball. He owns the scoring record, scoring avg per game for a career, all before the 3pt line was introduced to the sport. Maravich also enjoyed a great NBA career, which was cut short due to a leg injury.

Pete Maravich was born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, which is a small steel town in the Pittsburgh area. At an early age, Maravich showed great basketball ability. This ability was allowed to bloom by his father, who was a former professional basketball player. Even at an early age, Maravich is said to have spent hours practicing all sorts of basketball skill sets.

During his time playing high school basketball, Maravich received his legendary nickname "Pistol", given to him for shooting the ball from his side. From then on, he became known as "Pistol" Pete Maravich.

In 1966, Maravich followed his father to LSU and played directly under him. The rules during this era of basketball stated freshman couldn't play with the varsity team so Maravich played with an all freshman squad. His first ever game playing on the freshmen team saw him put up a triple-double: 50 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists. His remarkable start would lead to what is considered one of the greatest collegiate careers in the history of the game.

Even taking into consideration that Maravich only technically played three years of NCAA basketball, he still holds the points record with 3,667 points. That's 400 more points than the player in second place. He also holds the record for avg points per game with 44.2 pts/game. Both accolades were achieved before the 3pt line was introduced. Dale Brown, who would coach LSU later on conducted research to adjust Maravich's point totals if the 3pt line had been around. Maravich would have averaged 13 three pointers per game, and his career average would have ballooned to 57 pts/game. Due to his outstanding play, Maravich was a three-time NCAA All-American, and won the Naismith Award in 1970.

Upon leaving LSU, he was drafted into the NBA by the Atlanta Hawks with the third selection. He signed a $1.9 million contract, which was one of the highest salaries at the time. Maravich enjoyed a great NBA career, though he never played for a team which had a good enough surrounding cast to make a serious championship run. Like his college career, he racked up a large amount of points and ended with a high points per game total. Unfortunately, his NBA career was cut short by a leg injury which would force him to retire. Later in the 80's, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame at the age of 39. One of the youngest inductees ever.

After his basketball career, Maravich is reported to have done a lot of soul searching. Trying different religious practices, and even studied UFOs.

Maravich died at the age of 40 of a heart attack. He was taping a segment for James Dobson, who's famous for his show "Focus on the Family". He was survived by his wife, Jackie, and two sons, Jaeson and Josh.
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2 Signatures in Pete Maravich's guestbook

  1. choy lu Says:

    Dear Pistol, even if i was not there at your memorial service i just want to let you know since you passed away i have always mourned for you and this coming year 2012 i will get the chance of a lifetime to visit your grave and pay my respects tou.. you have been an inspiration to me in living for Jesus … sincerely yours..Choy Lu

  2. David Hamilton Says:

    Pistol, Say Hi to Libby.


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