Pete Maravich Predicted His Future In 1974

Frank Bryan - The Sporting News Collection

Frank Bryan – The Sporting News Collection

Pete Maravich Predicted His Future In 1974


In an interview with the Beaver County Times in 1974, Pete Maravich said:


“I don’t want to play 10 years in the NBA and die of a heart attack at age 40.”


As some of you may know, Pistol Pete played in the NBA for exactly 10 years and later died at age 40. Andy Nuzzo, the journalist who interviewed Maravich in 1974 stated:


“That’s a little scary. The story was laying on my desk when I got to work. I read it, and read it and read it. I couldn’t believe it. Everything matched.”


Maravich had only been playing basketball for four years and he was saying he didn’t need basketball, that he could do something else. Maravich collapsed and died while playing a pickup game in Pasadena. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office reported that Maravich died from an undetermined kind of heart disease. An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be a rare congenital defect; he had been born with a missing left coronary artery, a vessel that supplies blood to the muscle fibers of the heart. His right coronary artery was grossly enlarged and had been compensating for the defect. It mainly was a ticking time-bomb, but Maravich didn’t know that. He didn’t know it before he died (His last words supposedly had been: ‘I feel great’), and he didn’t know it 14 years prior to his death, when giving the interview.


Pete Maravich is still the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points scored and an average of 44.2 points per game. All of his accomplishments were achieved before the three-point line and shot clock were introduced to NCAA basketball and despite being unable to play varsity as a freshman under then-NCAA rules. He became one of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Maravich was cited by the Hall as “perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history”.


Rest in peace, Pete.


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