Recognize greatness whatever the form

By Curt Nettinga of the Plainsman
Posted 3/9/24

In this Through Rose Colored Glasses, the writer encourages honoring excellence without qualifications

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Recognize greatness whatever the form


Well, she’s gone and done it…again

I visited with you all a bit ago about the inevitability of Iowa women’s basketball player Caitlin Clark breaking the women’s career NCAA scoring record. Which she achieved with a pull-up three pointer from near the timeline on the left side of the floor.

Nothing but net. One of the purest sounds there is in sports.

Last Sunday, I watched, with millions of other basketball fans, as she hit two technical foul free throws with less than a half-second remaining in the first half. The first tied “Pistol” Pete Maravich for the most points scored in a career at the NCAA Division I level.

The second placed her alone at the top of the heap.

Before you all start with the “Yeah, but…” goofiness, just stop, OK?

Clark has scored more career points than any other NCAA Division I player in the history of the game.


Yes, she accumulated those points over a four-year scoring spree.

She has poured in a total of 3,685 points in 130 total games.

Maravich scored 3,667 points in 83 games, over three seasons, because freshmen couldn’t play in varsity games at that time.

Of course, these days, it is freshman who put in the majority of the minutes - at least in major men’s college basketball - prior to moving on to the NBA. But I digress.

That Clark topped “Pistol Pete” in more games is immaterial.

As is the argument that Clark has the benefit of scoring three-point field goals, while there was no three-point line during Maravich’s time in the college game.

She broke a 54-year-old record that nobody has seriously challenged for more than five decades. Nobody. Male or female.

Clark’s accomplishment actually shines a spotlight on the remarkable career of Pete Maravich.

The son of a coach, for whom he played in college, Maravich was light years ahead of his time on a basketball court. He threw countless passes that bounced off teammate’s hands or faces - passes that were not anticipated by anyone other than Maravich.

He was Magic Johnson as a passer, with Steph Curry’s ball handling and was a more creative scorer than most everyone.

I read his biography many years ago. While he was not allowed to play varsity basketball as a freshman at Louisiana State University, he was a member of the school’s freshmen team where he, not surprisingly, led them in scoring. It was also noted in the book, that often the freshmen team embarrassed the varsity during scrimmages.

While he never was fortunate to play with a team that won a title in college or the NBA, he earned countless All-American, All-NBA and other accolades. He is inducted into both the college and professional basketball Halls of Fame.

Caitlin Clark has scored more career points than any other NCAA Division I player in the history of the game and her mark is untainted.

She should be celebrated.

Her accomplishment only enhances the mystique of “Pistol” Pete Maravich.