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"Pistol" Pete Maravich  

Basketball ∙ Aliquippa

 

 

 

 

Pete Maravich was a native son of Beaver County who didnít play any of his basketball here and never reached his goal of playing in a championship game, but whose dynamic style earned him his nickname. Pete was born in Aliquippa on June 22, 1947, while his father Press Maravich was coaching at Aliquippa High School. The family left Beaver County when Pete was nine years old. Pete later played three years at Louisiana State under his father, setting an NCAA scoring record of 3667 points for a 44.2 points per game average. Pete averaged 24.2 points per game in his pro career and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987. Pete played in the NBA All Star Game five times and won a scoring title. Pete unluckily retired from the Celtics one year before they won the NBA championship. Pistol Pete ironically predicted his own fate in an interview with Beaver County Times sportswriter Andy Nuzzo while playing for the Atlanta Hawks in 1974: "I donít want to play ten years in the NBA and die of a heart attack at 40. Iíve got other things to do. Who needs basketball?Ē But that was exactly what happened. Pete retired from his ten year pro basketball career in 1980 after stints with the Hawks, the New Orleans and Utah Jazz, and the Boston Celtics and was serving as a traveling lecturer for youth groups when he died of a massive heart attack on January 5, 1988, after playing a half court game at a California church.