Pete Maravich is one of the known names in American basketball history. His nickname is “Pistol Pete,” which he earned for his unique playing style. Pete’s special skills were accurate in long-range shooting and ball handling. He played for Atlanta Hawks (1970-1974), New Orleans Jazz (1974-1979), Utah Jazz (1979-1980), and the Boston Celtics (1979-1980). In his entire ten years of NBA career in the NBA, he appeared for ten seasons. Pete played 658 games with an average of 24.2 points and 5.4 assists per contest.
Pete started his basketball basics in childhood, as his father, Peter Maravich, was a player and later a coach for the basketball team. In 1963, Pete started participating in school-level competitions and from 1967 to 1970, he appeared in three seasons of varsity at LSU. In these seasons, his average was 44.2 points per game. Later Pete was picked third for NBA in the first round and started playing under Coach Richie.
Pete earned NBA All-Rookie Team honors in his initial NBA years. In 1987, he was enlisted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, making history. He was the youngest player ever inducted. Pete has earned more than seven Collegiate awards and 16 NBA awards. He also earned one league scoring title and five trips to the NBA All-Star Game.
Pete Maravich Early Life:
Pete was born on 22nd June 1947. His birthplace is Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and he was raised in the Carolinas. His ancestors were Serbian immigrants. Pete took his last breath on 5th January 1988 at 40.
At an early age, Pete surprised his family and friends with his basketball skills. Pete’s father was a professional player turned coach and though him basic starts when he was seven. Pete spent hours practicing passes, ball control tricks and long-range shots.
Pete Maravich Family Background:
Peter Maravich was Pete’s father, and he was the Basketball team’s head coach at Louisiana State University and Clemson University. At North Carolina State University, he was on the coaching staff. Peter died due to prostate cancer in 1988.
Pete’s mother, Helen Graver Maravich, committed suicide with a voluntary gunshot in 1974. He had a sister named Diana Marie Maravich.
Pete Maravich Education:
Pete studied at Daniel High school (Central, South Carolina) from 1961-63. He played in the first-ever high school varsity ball game during this time. Later, the family shifted to Raleigh, North Carolina, and Pete attended Needham B. Broughton High School. In this school, people started knowing him as “Pistol” Pete Maravich because of his art of hitting the ball from his side as if he were holding a revolver.
In 1965, Pete graduated from Needham B. Broughton High School and was a student at Edwards Military Institute. He averaged 33 points per game during this time. He then went to Louisiana State University. Pete played on the Tiger’s basketball team (1967 to 1970). Pete’s LSU years averaged 44.2 points per game in his three-season varsity career. In the 1970 National Invitation Tournament, Pete finished his college career.
Pete Maravich Physical stats:
Pete was 6 feet 5 inches and weighed approximately 89 kg. He had Black color hair, and his eyes were dark brown. Pete’s physis was athletic, and he was a gym freak.
Pete Maravich Birth Signs:
Pete’s Sun and star sign is Cancer, whereas the Moon is Leo and the rising sign is Virgo.
Pete’s birth flower is a Rose or Honeysuckle, and his opposite sign is Capricorn.
Pete Maravich Net worth:
Pete’s primary source of income was basketball. His estimated Networth at the time of his death was $5,00,000.
Pete Maravich Relationship Status:
Pete married Jackie, and the couple had two sons. When he died, Jaeson was eight, and Josh was five. Later both sons were players in high school and collegiate basketball.
Pete Maravich Career:
Pete’s basketball base started when he was a child. In college (1966-67), Pete got an opportunity to play in ‘The Tigers basketball team’ under the guidance of his father as team coach. He scored 50 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists against Southeastern Louisiana College. In these three years of college playing, he scored 3,667 points; his average points per game were 44.2 in 83 contests.
In 1970, in the NBA draft, The Atlanta Hawks selected Pete in the third pick of the first round. Under Coach Richie Guerin he started his play. Pete appeared in 81 games, with an average of 23.2 points per contest, and earned NBA All-Rookie Team honors. During the second season, Pete could not give his best, and his average scoring dipped to 19.3 points. However, the team could survive, with other players’ good scores, resulting in Pete’s average of 27.7 points in the series.
In the third season, Pete exploded and became 5th in the NBA, averaging 26.1 points. Along with Hudson (another player), Pete scored 2,063 points, and they became the second set of teammates in league history to score 2,000 plus points in a single season individually. The Hawks did not win the season, but Pete’s first appearance in the NBA All-Star Game was impressive, and he earned All-NBA Second Team honors.
Seasons between 1973 to 74 were Pete’s best, as individual terms. He scored 27.7 points per game and became second highest in the League. Pete earned his second All-Star Game appearance. However, the team had a disappointing score and was out in the post-season entirely.
In mid-1974, a new expanding franchise, ‘The New Orleans Jazz,’ was preparing for its first season of competition in the NBA. The New Orleans Jazz was searching for players who were famous among the new basketball fans. Pete was a perfect match as he had an exciting style of playing. In addition, he was known for his accomplishments at LSU.
With a new team and many new members, Pete scored 21.5 points per game, and their career-worst was 41.9 percent from the floor. That game was terrible in the NBA with the Jazz’s 23–59 record. Later the Jazz management gave him the best support. And in the 1975–76 season, the team posted 38–44. During this time, he played only 62 games for the season with some injuries. He averaged 25.9 points per contest and became third highest on the team. In the same year, Pete was also elected to All-NBA First Team.
The 1976-77 season was Pete’s most productive in the NBA. He led the League by scoring an average of 31.1 points per game. In 13 games, he scored more than 40 points and in 4 games, more than 50 points. Pete earned an achievement against the Knicks by scoring 68 points as a guard in a single game. Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor are the only two players who ever scored more at any position. At that time, Jazz’s head coach was Baylor. Pete earned his third All-Star game appearance and was honored as All-NBA First Team for the second consecutive season.
During the 1977–78 season, he missed 32 games due to knee injuries. His one knee had surgery, and the other one had a bacterial infection and tendinitis. Despite his health issue, he scored 27.0 points per game and per contest, he added 6.7 assists, making his highest average as The Jazz member. Pete’s knee problem was for the rest of his career. In the 1978–79 season, he played 49 games. His score was 22.6 points per game for that season. For the season, he earned his fifth and final All-Star appearance.
The Jazz team faced serious financial trouble, and the management made some changes. In 1979, Sam Battistone (team owner) moved the Jazz to Salt Lake City, including Pete. His knee problem was worse at that time. In the early season, he played only 17 games, and on top of it, he was not able to attend practice sessions. His new coach Tom Nissalke ruled that the players not attending practices won’t be allowed to play in the games. Thus Pete was on the bench for 24 straight games. In 1980, a new player was introduced to the team; due to this change, Pete was given a new part-time contributor, and he helped the team to score a 61–21 record in the regular season. It was the best in the League, and Pete could participate in the NBA playoffs after a long time. He played nine games during the rest of the season. This last season, Pete got a chance to shoot three-pointers and scored 10-for-15. Further, he realized that his knee problems would be forever, so he decided to retire at the end of that season.
Pete’s No. 44 jersey was retired by the Atlanta Hawks, and the No. 7 jersey by the Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Pete Maravich’s later life and death:
Pete’s knee injuries forced him to retire in 1980. For two years, he became a recluse. He tried to practice and read many other cultures, religions and books. Further, a few years before his death, Pete became a born-again Christian.
On 5th January 1988, due to heart failure at 40, he collapsed in the gym at First Church of the Nazarene while playing a basketball game. Pete was out from his home in Louisiana to tape a segment for Dobson’s radio show that aired on the same day. Dobson said Pete’s last words were, “I feel great.” Later it was revealed that Pete was born with no left coronary artery, and his right artery was extremely enlarged, causing heart problems.
Pete has been buried at Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Mausoleum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Pete Maravich’s Honours and Achievements:
In 2014, Governor Bobby Jindal proposed that LSU should erect a statue of Pete outside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, which already has his name. The status erection failed as his credits in graduation were short and fell against the policy set for monuments to student-athletes. In 2016, the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame Committee installed its status on the campus by revising the policies.
A street is named in Belgrade, Serbia, after Pete’s name. Many Books, music and film have been made based on Pete’s Basketball career. Some of them are video series like Pistol Pete’s Homework Basketball (1987), a biographical film The Pistol: The Birth of a Legend (1991), A documentary film, Pistol Pete: The Life and Times of Pete Maravich (2001) and a song “Pistol Pete” by a band from Southern California.
Pete Maravich was born athletic, and his father just polished his skills. Pete worked hard and practiced regularly. In his ten years of a professional basketball career, he achieved lots of love from his fans. Though Pete’s health issue bound him to retire early, he is still remembered as “Pistol Pete” for his unique way of playing basketball. Our wishes are always with the Maravich family.