An LSU committee that approves statues and other honorifics for former athletes has unanimously agreed to erect a statue of basketball legend Pete Maravich on campus after years of debate over the proposal.
The LSU Athletic Hall of Fame Committee was expected to take up the Maravich statue plan after the university’s Board of Supervisors recently expressed support and re-tooled the campus policy on student athlete statues.
Maravich, who died in 1988 at the age of 40, left college a few credits short of obtaining his degree to play professional ball. LSU’s old policy required that anyone honored with a statue have earned a degree.
Details about the design and construction of the Maravich statue will be announced in the coming months, according to a news release from the university.
“We are extremely pleased that the Hall of Fame Committee has chosen to honor one of the most influential players in basketball history with a statue on our campus,” LSU athletics director Joe Alleva said in a statement. “The committee acknowledged that Pete was a very gifted, unique individual whose impact transcended the game and continues to inspire those who love our university.”
Maravich is the all-time scoring leader in college basketball history with 3,667 points. He averaged 44.2 points a game during his final three seasons at LSU. The Louisiana Legislature renamed LSU’s basketball arena in his honor shortly after his death, but many continued to push for a statue.
LSU erected a statue honoring basketball star Shaquille O’Neal in 2011. A statue of former player Bob Pettit is scheduled to be unveiled later this month.
“It’s truly remarkable that three of the 50 greatest players in NBA history were LSU Tigers,” Alleva said. “Now, Pete Maravich will rightfully join fellow legends Shaquille O’Neal and Bob Pettit in receiving the highest honor we can bestow upon a student-athlete -- the installation of a statue that will be admired for generations.”