Sports author holds books signing in LBC
The scene in the Tulane University Bookstore on Monday included much more than frantic students making quick book and snack purchases. Instead, acclaimed author Mark Kriegel visited the store for a signing and reading of his new book, Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich.
Pete Maravich is widely recognized as one of the most influential players in basketball. “Pistol” Pete Maravich played for Louisiana State University and three NBA teams. Maravich still holds the record for most points scored by an NCAA player - even before the three point line was introduced.
Kriegel read excerpts from his book to a small but diverse audience of readers including staff, students, and even the fire marshall who keeps watch over the still-uncertified Lavin-Bernick Center. After the reading, Kriegel signed his book for the attendees.
Kriegel’s discussion rekindled many childhood memories for the older audience members. One reader told Kriegel she and her mother used to listen to Maravich on the radio together as a young girl. And another fan attributed the bond with his father to a common interest in the career of Pete Maravich.
“I think stylistically he’s [Maravich] more influential than anyone else,” Kriegel said. “Many contemporary moves come from Pete.”
But Kriegel admitted that not many younger basketball fans have even heard of Pete Maravich.
“He never won a championship,” Kriegel said. “He went to the worst possible place at the worst possible team - the Atlanta Hawks.”
Kriegel owes his early interest in Pete Maravich to his childhood growing up just four blocks from Madison Square Garden.
“I grew up a big Knicks fan and a big Will Frazier fan,” Kriegel said. “Pete changed my allegiance.”
But for Mark Kriegel, there’s more to the life of Pete Maravich than the game of basketball. Kriegel focuses on Pete’s relationship with his father, Press Maravich, for a considerable part of the book.
“My real interest here is the father-to-son relationship,” Kriegel said. “I’m not sure Pete ever made the distinction between love for basketball and love for his father.”
And for the Tulane University Bookstore, Kriegel’s visit marked an attempt to attract more customers to the store and to contribute something intellectual to the university.
“We try to bring someone in with a connection,” General Book Manager Peg Kohlepp said. “We hope to use these events as traffic builders. Students think of the store as just a grueling textbook experience.”
Some students didn’t know the book signing was evening happening, but were pleased to know that the store is holding such events.
“I didn’t even know there was a book signing going on. But had I known, I would have gone,” sophomore Jason Roth said.
The bookstore looks forward to bringing in exciting young writers and popular campus authors in the future. Signed copies are available of Pete: The Life of Pete Maravich as well as copies of Kriegel’s other book Namath: A Biography.