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Pistol : the life of Pete Maravich
Mark Kriegel
Adult Nonfiction GV884.M3 K75 2007

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From Publishers' Weekly:

As he did for another larger-than-life sports star whose achievements in his game were always shadowed by his demons outside of it, Kriegel (Namath) offers a rounded, insightful look at one of basketball's enigmatic icons. Kriegel presents Pete Maravich (1947-1988) as a "child prodigy, prodigal son, his father's ransom in a Faustian bargain." His father, Press Maravich, was the poor son of Serbian immigrants to Pennsylvania, a man obsessed with basketball as a means of personal and financial redemption. His rise as a coach loomed over Pete, who described himself as a boy as "a basketball android." A veteran sportswriter, Kriegel is more than up to the task of eliciting Pete's on-court greatness and describing basketball action in a fluid, dramatic fashion (Pete's deadeye shot earned him the nickname "Pistol"). But the book is more notable for how Kriegel evokes Press's support turning into suffocation, and the effect of the impossible expectations on Pete (he played for Louisiana State, then later for the New Orleans Jazz). In the end, Kriegel's portrait is a sad celebration of a gifted player whose collegiate legend never quite blossomed into professional greatness as he battled alcoholism, sought solace in religion and left a troubled legacy that's still felt by his children and those who knew him. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This reviewer was a young child when "Pistol" Pete Maravich (1947-88) was performing his awe-inspiring exploits on the college hardwood. Reading Pistol will surely bring back memories among his fans and, for younger readers who know too little of this man who predated rampant TV sports programming, this is also an essential read. His amazing 44.2 points per game-before the three-point era-at Louisiana State University is still an NCAA record. His nickname was owing to his unerring aim at the basket as well as in passing. Maravich's professional career (1970-80) with the Hawks, Jazz, and Celtics included five All-Star appearances and was followed by induction into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1987. Kriegel (former sports columnist, New York Daily News; Namath) not only provides a wonderful evocation of the basketball life of Maravich, but he also gives readers a delightfully written biography. Included are important stories about Maravich's relationship with his driven father, "Press" Maravich, a Serbian immigrant to the United States who lived to coach basketball (including his son at LSU), and the sad story of the athlete's decline. Readers of all ages, sports fans or not, will thoroughly appreciate this book. Highly recommended for all libraries.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Pete Maravich
Age: 1947-1988
Father was a poor son of Serbian immigrants; father was obsessed with basketball and became a coach; nicknamed Pistol for his deadeye shot; played for Louisiana State and New Orleans; battled with alcoholism; sought comfort in religion.
Basketball player

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