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This article is more than 14 years old.

If Pete Maravich was not born to play basketball, he was certainly raised to do it. His father, Press Maravich, was an intense and ambitious coach who found in Pete a dedicated pupil whom he developed into a prodigy. In Maravich, Wayne Federman and Marshall Terrill suggest that sometimes as a child Pete would wonder why he was spending all his time in the gym rather than swimming or otherwise relaxing with his friends, but he never deviated from his practice regime for long. Nor did he cross Press when it came to choosing a college. L.S.U. was prepared to offer Press the head coaching job if Pete played his basketball there, and when Pete expressed some reservations about the choice, Press told him, "sign here or don't come home."

Once he reached the pros, most of the teams for which Pete played could only aspire to mediocrity. Wherever he went he was the headliner, but he never played for a champion.

Maravich's story is distinguished from the standard tale of a boy and his basketball by Pete's off-court adventures. While he was still active in the N.B.A., he became so fastidious about his nutrition that he carried his own food and water on road trips. Despondent after his retirement, early one dark morning, Pete heard a voice that called him to serve Christ. He pursued that vocation as energetically as he'd previously piled up points and assists. Then he died young as a result of a previously undetected heart abnormality, the nature of which should have made everything he accomplished impossible.
Federman and Terrill do a fine job of telling the unlikely story of Pete Maravich's life.

This program aired on January 3, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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