Born on June 22, 1948 in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Pete seemed to marvel his family and friends with his basketball ability since he was little. His father, former player turned coach, showed Pete the fundamentals starting at age 7. Pete would spend hours practicing ball control tricks, passes, head fakes, and long range shots. He decided on the guard position, the only position he would ever play.
During his years at those schools, he wowed college scouts with his ability to play his favorite sport. And so, in 1966, Pete decided to attend Louisiana State University, where his father was head basketball coach. This is where he, along with his trademark floppy gray socks, became legendary.
He averaged a record 44.2 points per game for his career there which lasted from 1967-1970), and was named The Sporting News player of the year in 1970. He scored a personal record of 69 points versus Alabama during a game that year. He garnered numerous other awards and college records. After Maravich's death, the Governor of Lousiana would sign a proclamation officially naming the LSU home court the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. He graduated from LSU in 1970, but the respect he garnered among many of Louisiana's basketball fans would bring him back to that state soon.
In November of 1970, Maravich started his NBA career with the Atlanta Hawks. After four years there, he was back in New Orleans, traded to the New Orleans Jazz. Many say that he had his best years in the NBA as a player while in New Orleans with the Jazz. In the 1979-1980 season the Jazz became the Utah Jazz, and Maravich was soon traded to the Boston Celtics, where he played for one season alongside Larry Bird and then retired.
In 1982, Pete Maravich "found religion" and became a motivational speaker, incorporating Christian faith into his message. He enjoyed the life of a retired basketball player.
On January 5, 1988, while playing a pickup basketball game with a group that included Focus on the Family head James Dobson (Maravich was scheduled to appear on Dobson's radio show later that day), he collapsed and died of a heart attack. An autopsy revealed that his death was due to a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect; he had been born with only one coronary artery instead of the normal two.
Maravich was a 24.4 points per game scorer in his NBA career, scoring 15,948 points in 688 games. He scored 68 points in one game versus the New York Knicks and shares the record for most free throws made in a quarter with 14. He was a 5 time all star and led the league in points in 1977 when he scored 31.1 points a game. In 1996, he was named one of the 50 greatest NBA players in history by a panel made up of NBA historians, former players and coaches.