June 1, 2016
Tiger Den Basketball
Three clues are given below for a basketball player. How many clues will you take to come up with the answer?
Pete Arrives at LSU
Pete Maravich: Magician of the Hardwood, Mike Towle (2000)
Soon after Pete Maravich arrived to join his father, Press, at LSU, the coaching dad went to academic adviser Donald Ray Kennard ... to get help in finding ways to keep Pete busy when he was away from the basketball court or classroom. Kennard's nickname - X-Ray:
After we hired Press from North Carolina State, he came to me and said, "X-Ray, you gotta get Pete a job. I don't want him sitting around doing nothing. I want him to do something other than play basketball." So I got him a job. We had a drugstore called Professional Pharmacy on campus, right behind Tiger Town. Dick Kelly was the owner of the pharmacy. He had played football at Purdue and was a football nut. He was also a basketball nut because he was from Indiana. I called Mr. Kelly and said, "Dick, they got this hotshot coming in here by the name of Pete Maravich. I don't know him, but his father is supposed to meet him this afternoon and I'll bring him over." And he said, "Okay, Poppa, send him over here, but he's going to work like everybody else." He hired a lot of students.
Back then they had home delivery, and kids would ride bikes around campus delivering prescriptions and all. I said, "Pete, you be over at Mr. Kelly's drugstore in the moring. He's going to hire you." About 4:30 that next afternoon, my phone rings and it's Mr. Kelly. He says, "Poppa, I'll tell you what, this is a unique guy you sent over here. His work habits are good, but you'll never guess. ... This morning when I got to the store to open it up, he was standing there at the door with a foot propped up on the brick wall with a basketball under his arm. So I said, "C'mon in, Pete, give me that basketball and we're going to put it back in the stockroom. You're working eight to five. You get a fifteen-minute break in the morning, an hour break for lunch, and a fifteen-minute break in the afternoon. But the rest of the time, you're going to be stocking this, stocking that, sweeping the floor, whatever." Pete says, 'Yes, sir.' At ten o'clock I tell Pete, 'Okay, you've got your break,' and he says, 'Mr. Kelly, can I have my basketball?' He came back behind my counter and got back there by the shelves with his basketball and started in on his drills. He started spinning the ball, dribbling the ball between his legs, etc.
Longtime sports media honcho Bud Johnson had two go-arounds with Pete Maravich, first when he was sports information director at LSU and later when he was the public relations director for the New Orleans Jazz of the NBA ... John son thus saw the Pistol in two different phases of his life, starting as a green freshman at Baton Rouge in 1966-67.
He was very young and immature when I first met him at LSU. He was very playful and very much wanted to hang out with his buddies and do things with them. After LSU football games, he and his friends Rich Hickman and Jeff Tribbett would go play basketball. While most fraternity boys would be out partying after football games, these guys would be hanging out together and playing pickup basketball.