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Hawks raise Maravich’s No. 44 to rafters (updated)

The Hawks raised the No. 44 of Pete Maravich to the rafters on Philips Arena in a celebration of the basketball icon Friday night.

In a halftime ceremony, the team retired the No. 44. It joined the No. 21 of Dominique Wilkins, No. 9 of Bob Pettit, No. 55 of Dikembe Mutombo and No. 23 of Lou Hudson.

Maravich’s widow and son Josh were in attendance for the event.

“Pete was not just a great ball player, he was an exceptional ball player,” said former Hawks teammate Jim Washington.

Maravich spent the first four years of his Hall of Fame career with the Hawks after he was drafted No. 3 overall in the 1970 NBA Draft. In 302 games with the Hawks, he averaged 24.3 points, 5.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He was named to the All-Rookie First Team in 1971 after his first year with the Hawks.

Maravich also played with franchises in New Orleans, Utah and Boston. His number was retired by New Orleans and Utah. He was received the honor from his alma mater Louisiana State University.

“This will be his last jersey retired and this cements his greatness,” Jackie Maravich said.

In his NBA career, Maravich averaged 24.2 points, 5.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He was a five-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA. He scored 50 or more points six times in his career.

At LSU, he averaged 44.2 points per game and totaled 3,667 points, which is still the college record despite playing only three varsity seasons. He led the NCAA in scoring three consecutive years and was a three-time AP All-American.

Maravich died on Jan. 5, 1988 of a heart attack.

“Whenever I hear his name my heart tingles,” Josh Maravich said. “As long as there is an NBA, there will be a Pistol Pete Maravich.”

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