In 1973, when I was about 14 years old, I had a BIG crush on Pete Maravich. For those of you who don’t know, he was a basketball player who at that time was with The Atlanta Hawks basketball team.
He played with The Hawks for 4 years, and then he was traded to The New Orleans Jazz. When he made the move to New Orleans for the 1974-1975 season, I subscribed to the New Orleans newspaper, The Times-Picayune, in order to keep tabs on my hero (this was WAY before The Internets.)
I LOVED basketball and Pete. My family and I went to many of The Hawks’ games. I asked my Dad to put up a basketball hoop on our house above the garage. He was happy to do so, as he had always played basketball, himself.
Pete was just so darned cute. He had floppy hair and wore floppy gray socks – his good luck charm. And he was a terrific player. He was quite the showman and a joy to watch on the court. Some people called him a ball hog. He was a Superstar just a tiny bit ahead of his time.
And his hair – he even made a series of commercials for Vitalis – a mens’ hair product. Oops – he’s so cute!
Check them out, here:
Anyway, after my Dad put up the basketball hoop, I became a pretty decent basketball player, myself. I was pretty much the best player amongst my pals in the neighborhood.
Here I am, about that time:
I know, not just because my Grandmother dated the photo on the front, but also because I’m wearing my favorite pair of basketball shoes.
Green leather – I was HOT!
In high school that year, I tried out for the girls’ basketball team, and actually made the team! I was so proud! I was going to be the best! A female jock at the dawn of female jock-hood. There was no telling where this would lead me! Maybe I would be on the first team of The Women’s National Basketball Association. The WNBA league was founded in 1996, but perhaps with me, a future basketball star, I would help form the league decades earlier.
Man, I had dreams!
Until, after the first week of practice, I was told that I was being cut from the team because they didn’t have enough uniforms.
Do you think this was true?
Or, were they only being nice?
I’ll never know. But, I can proudly and accurately state: I was either the best of the worst, or I was the worst of the best.
God Bless Pete Maravich.