Robert E. Lee "Bob" Pettit Jr.
(born December 12, 1932, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
, U.S.) is a retired American professional basketball
player. He played 11 seasons in the NBA
, all with the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks
(1954-1965). He was the first recipient of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award
. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
in 1970. He also went by the nickname "Dutch" in college. He also won the NBA All-Star MVP award four times.
Pettit's basketball career had humble beginnings. At Baton Rouge High School
, he was cut from the varsity basketball team as both a freshman and sophomore. His father, Sheriff
of East Baton Rouge Parish
(1932-1936), pushed him to practice in the backyard of the Kemmerly house until he improved his skills. It worked: Pettit became a starter as a junior, and led Baton Rouge High to its first State Championship in over 20 years in his senior year.
Louisiana State University
After high school, Pettit accepted a scholarship
to play at Louisiana State University
. He was a three-time All-Southeastern Conference
selection and a two-time All American
as a member of the LSU men's basketball team
. (Freshmen were not allowed to play varsity basketball in those days.) During those three years, Pettit averaged 27.8 points per game. He was also a member of the Zeta Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon
Pettit made his varsity debut at LSU in 1952. He led the SEC in scoring for his... Read More