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« on: February 11, 2006, 07:17:48 AM »

Filmmakers Hope Re-Released 'Pistol Pete' Biopic Will Inspire Faith

by Allie Martin
February 10, 2006

(AgapePress) - - A Christian entertainment company is re-releasing a movie about a star basketball player who came to Christ after his career in the National Basketball Association. The film about "Pistol Pete" Maravich, one of the most successful NCAA and NBA Basketball players of the 1970s, was released in 1991, just a few years after his sudden death at age 40.

Maravich died in 1988, collapsing during a pickup game and succumbing to heart failure. An autopsy revealed that he had a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect. But during his life, the athlete was known for demonstrating greatness of heart on and off the court. In 1996, a panel of NBA historians, coaches, and former players named him one of the 50 greatest NBA players in history.

Recently, Campbell/Stone Media announced the release of an "inspirational edition" of the made-for-television movie known as The Pistol. The new DVD version of the film on the life of Pete Maravich includes added features such as a personal testimony from the basketball star and interviews with others who knew him and helped "disciple" him after he became a Christian.

Writer-producer Darrel Campbell says this new edition of The Pistol will tell a whole new audience about the NBA giant who realized later in life, after a stellar career in sports, what truly mattered. "People know him as a superstar in basketball," Campbell says, "but we want them to know what he really wanted them to know, and that was that Jesus Christ had changed his life."

Maravich once confided that happiness had eluded him in his pre-Christian life; that he had "looked everywhere" and still couldn't find "it," Campbell recalls. But he says once "Pistol Pete" found Jesus Christ, the sports legend declared "happiness found me."

The Campbell/Stone Media spokesman says this DVD release is the first in what the company hopes will be a long line of movies meant to witness to lost people. 'We're trying to dedicate what's left of our lives to developing good family-oriented movies," he says.

"We want to take that culture that's so easy to condemn and [from which it's] so easy to say 'Hey, I'll never go buy anything.'" Campbell says, "and we want to turn that on its ear and say 'No, we want to entertain and reach people through the most powerful medium there is,' and that's television and visual arts.'

Maravich died January 5, 1988, while playing a pickup basketball game with a group that included Focus on the Family's James Dobson, on whose radio show he was to scheduled to be a guest later that day.
Allie Martin, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a reporter for American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.

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