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March 30, 2001|LARRY STEWART

What: "Pistol Pete: the Life and Times

of Pete Maravich"

Where: CBS, Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

Black Canyon, which produced the "When It Was a Game" series for HBO and has won three Peabody Awards and three Sports Emmys, produced this 1 1/2-hour special for CBS in partnership with SFX. Black Canyon will need to make room for more awards.

This documentary is a winner because of the incredible footage, the extensive interviews and the fascinating story it tells of Pete Maravich, a troubled and talented player who amazed those who saw him.

Maravich, whom Denver Nugget Coach Dan Issel calls "the best passer and ball handler I have ever seen," averaged 44.2 points a game in three years of varsity ball at Louisiana State in the late 1960s. And that was before there was such a thing as a three-point shot.

Raised by a domineering father, Press, who was Pete's coach at LSU, and a mother who had mental problems and committed suicide in 1974, Maravich had a difficult life until finding religion.

A superstar in college, he had trouble adapting to the pro game. His Atlanta Hawk teammates thought of him as a ball hog and a showboat. Lou Hudson says he finally got fed up with it. Hawk Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons talks about his troubles with Maravich as well.

Maravich died at 40 during a pickup game at a Pasadena church in 1987, two months after he was inducted into basketball's Hall of Fame.

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