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Shooting The Pistol

Courtside Photos of Pete Maravich at LSU

120 pages / 8.00 x 10.00 inches / 86 Halftones

Sports History

  Hardcover / 9780807133279 / March 2008

Every basketball team has its star player. From 1967 to 1970, Louisiana State University saw the rise of a legend: "Pistol Pete" Maravich, one of the greatest basketball players in LSU history and arguably the greatest to ever play college basketball. Known for his dazzling ball handling, creative passing, and extraordinary shooting, he averaged 44.2 points per game at LSU—without the benefit of a three-point line—and remains the NCAA's all-time leading scorer.

Danny Brown, a journalism student at LSU during most of Pete's college years, took hundreds of photographs at LSU basketball games as part of his course work. In Shooting The Pistol, Brown offers more than eighty photographs—most never before published—of Pete in action, along with game statistics and personal recollections, to form the single most complete portrait ever made of Maravich at LSU.

Danny first met Pete not on the basketball court, but during Air Force ROTC training, where Danny was Pete's squadron sergeant. Upon learning that the tall, scrawny guy with the shaved head and the purple-and-gold beanie cap was scoring 40 points a game on the freshman team, Danny replied, "That kid can play basketball?" Danny eventually became friends with Pete and his father, Coach "Press" Maravich, and his images pay tribute to an amazing athlete and a magical time in LSU sports history.

Brown's photographs provide intimate courtside views of Pete's gravity-defying, play-making skills. Many capture Pete in midair, where he seemingly floats, his off-balance body positions resembling moves in an athletic ballet. Famous for his ability to stop on a dime, Pete—as Brown's pictures demonstrate—often caught opponents flat-footed as he quickly maneuvered for an opening to the basket or sent a sudden "no-look" pass to a teammate. The volume culminates in Brown's near-perfect photographs of Pete's shot that broke the NCAA scoring record during the 1970 Ole Miss game and of the ensuing game-stopping victory celebration.

While the majority of the images here show number 23 in motion, several reveal the personal side of the shy star, including a rare game attendance by his mother and quieter off-court moments with his father. Throughout, Brown weaves a rich conversational commentary—anecdotes about Pete, circumstances surrounding the more notable photographs, and descriptions of the games and Pete's performance.

Seeing LSU's basketball phenomenon Pete Maravich through Danny Brown's lens will transport fans back in time, under the goal, to witness firsthand the making of college sports history. 

As a news reporter and photographer, Danny Brown covered Apollo moon missions 12, 14, 16, and 17 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. As a career journalist and photographer for the state of Louisiana, he was a primary photographer for Louisiana governors Edwin Edwards and Dave Treen. A retired communications director for the Louisiana Department of Revenue, he lives in Baton Rouge.

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