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Kirkland author’s new book to launch on 25th anniversary of Pete Maravich’s death
Norm Vener has been collecting Pete Maravich memorabilia for 15 years. His dog’s name was Pistol Pete and he’s written a children’s book titled “Floppy socks and Moppy Hair: The Legend of Pistol Pete Maravich.”
Vener agrees Peter Press Maravich was more than a mentor - a hero - as he grew up playing sports, which is why Vener compiled 300 photos of Maravich’s basketball career and created “Pistol Pete in Pictures - A Pete Maravich Pictorial.”
“I think anybody who is a sports/basketball fan will appreciate it,” Vener said. “It brings you back to a time pre-steroids where people more or less played for the love of the game.”
Maravich was an NBA basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks and the New Orleans Jazz in the 1970s.
But Vener’s book is special in more ways than one.
Although people can pre-order the 150 page coffee-table read, its release date is Jan. 5, which is the 25th anniversary of Pete Maravich’s death. And when people open the first few pages they will notice the book has been dedicated to Vener’s father and his dog, who both recently passed away.
Ironically, Vener says Pistol Pete (his dog) died of a heart problem in a similar way Maravich died.
“They both had heart problems and he just literally dropped on a walk,” Vener said of his dog who died at age 11.
Maravich’s death was also sudden as he suffered arrhythmia on the basketball court at age 40 because he had a heart condition that provided him with only one coronary artery. Pistol Pete’s heart had a large mass.
“It’s kind of interesting that he was named after the basketball player and both died a little before their time,” said Vener.
Vener plans on traveling to Raleigh, N.C. and Clemson, S.C. for book signings Jan. 24-28. Maravich spent his junior and senior years in high school at Raleigh where he became a high school All American. Clemson marks Maravich’s childhood, where he would often go to its movie theater and dribble the basketball during intermission.
The movie theater has since turned into the Tiger Shop, which is where Vener will have the book signing. Vener hopes to have a book signing in Kirkland or Redmond after his travels in the East but hasn’t secured a location quite yet.
On top of publishing his Pistol Pete books, Vener owns a sports marketing memorabilia company, Yes I Can, which specializes in Maravich memorabilia and Seattle sports teams as well as his website dedicated to everything “Pistol” at ThePistol.net.
“Pete broke just about every NCAA scoring record that existed and still holds most of them,” reads Vener’s website. “At 44.2 points per game and 3,667 career points in three seasons, these records are not likely to be broken in our lifetime.”
Vener played track, tennis and basketball in high school and tennis at Oregan State University. During his time in Seattle, he’s worked as a teacher and coach for high schoolers and created his Tennis One Tennis Camp. Now, he referees basketball at the Boys and Girls Club in Kirkland when he’s not tending to his company, website or creating pictorial books on Pistol Pete.
“As far as (Maravich) as a person, you know what, I just admire him - that he changed his life after being an alcoholic,” Vener told the Reporter in an earlier publication. “He left a legacy that was different than just the average, selfish, superstar athlete, where he gave back.”