Robert Lee Pettit Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player. He played 11 seasons in the NBA, all with the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks, he was the first recipient of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award. He won the NBA All-Star Game MVP award four times, a feat matched only by Kobe Bryant, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970. 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, he grew five inches in less than a year. His father, Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish, pushed him to practice in the backyard of the Kemmerly house until he improved his skills, it worked: Pettit became a starter and made the All-City prep team as a junior. As a 6-7 senior, he led Baton Rouge High to its first State Championship in over 20 years. Pettit was selected to play in a North–South all-star game at Murray, Kentucky. After high school, Pettit had scholarship offers from 14 universities but he 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. During those three years, Pettit averaged 27.8 points per game. He was a member of the Zeta Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon at LSU. Pettit made his varsity debut at LSU in 1952, he led the SEC in scoring for his first of three consecutive seasons, averaging 25.5 points per game. He ranked third in the nation in scoring and averaged 13.1 rebounds per game, helping his team to a 17-7 win-loss record for a second-place finish in the league, was selected to the All-SEC team. During his junior year, Pettit helped the Tigers sail through a 23-game regular-season schedule with only one loss. A clean sweep of SEC Conference opponents became LSU's second SEC Title and the school's first NCAA Final Four, he averaged 24.9 13.9 rebounds per game for the 1953 season. He was honored with selections to both the All-American teams. Pettit averaged 31.4 points and 17.3 rebounds per game during his senior year and once again led LSU to an SEC Championship and garnered All-SEC and All-American honors.
He set a then-SEC scoring record of 60 points against Louisiana College in his second game, the SEC record for scoring average, with both records being broken by Pete Maravich. Pettit was the second player in major-college basketball history to average more than 30 points a game. In 1954, his number 50 was retired at LSU, he was the first Tiger athlete in any sport to receive this distinction. In 1999, he was named Living Legend for LSU at the SEC Basketball Tournament, he is a member of the LSU Hall of Fame. Bob Pettit Boulevard in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is named after him. In 1954, the Milwaukee Hawks selected Pettit second in the first round of the NBA Draft after the Baltimore Bullets' selection of Frank Selvy. With $100 in the bank, he signed a contract with Hawks owner Ben Kerner for $11,000 – an all-time high for an NBA rookie then. Pettit's awkward ballhandling and a lack of strength to battle NBA bruisers weighing 200 pounds that early in his career, had Hawks coach Red Holzman move him from center, his position at LSU, to forward in his first training camp.
"In college I played the standing pivot", he said in a April 1957 issue of SPORT magazine interview. "My back was to the basket. In the pros, I'm always outside. Everything I do is facing the basket now; that was my chief difficulty in adjusting, the fact that I had never played forward before." Though many were skeptical about Pettit making the transition from college to the rough-and-tumble NBA, in 1955 he won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 20.4 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. He became the second rookie to win all-NBA honors but the team finished last in the Western Division. After the season, the Hawks moved to St. Louis, he helped the Hawks improve during their first year in St. Louis by winning 33 games during 1955–56. In his second season, Pettit adjusted his game so that he would get to the free-throw line for easy points for his team and foul trouble for his opponents. Being a phenomenal offensive rebounder and an instinctive scorer, he told basketball historian Terry Pluto that "Offensive rebounds were worth eight to 12 points a night to me.
I'd get another eight to 10 at the free-throw line. All I had to do was make a few jump shots and I was on my way to a good night." Pettit won his first scoring title with a 25.7 average, led the league in rebounding. He was named MVP of the 1956 NBA All-Star Game after scoring 20 points with 24 rebounds and 7 assists, he won his first of two NBA regular season MVP awards. Retooling before the 1956–57 season, the Hawks acquired Ed Macauley and rookie Cliff Hagan from the Boston Celtics for the draft rights to Bill Russell; the team added guard Slater Martin in an early-season deal with the New York Knicks while Alex Hannum arrived a few weeks after being released by the Fort Wayne Pistons. Hannum became the team's third coach that season by taking over as player-coach with 31 games left on the schedule. Though they posted a 34-38 record in 1956–57, a series of tie-breaking playoff games against the Pistons and a three-game sweep of the Minneapolis Lakers had them in the NBA Finals. In Game 1 of the 1957 NBA Finals at the Boston Garden, Pettit scored 37 points as the Hawks shocked the Bill Russell-led Boston Celtics in double overtime.
Glimmerglass State Park is a 593-acre state park located north of Cooperstown, in Otsego County, New York. Most of the park is located inside the Town of Springfield. Glimmerglass State Park is located at Hyde Bay on the east shore of Otsego Lake, the "Glimmerglass" of James Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales; the Hyde Hall mansion overlooks most of the grounds. The park offers a beach, picnic tables with pavilions, a playground, recreation programs, a nature trail and biking, fishing and ice fishing, a campground with tent and trailer sites, ice skating, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling and a food concession; the park is open year-round. List of New York state parks New York State Parks: Glimmerglass State Park Friends of Glimmerglass State Park
Ming Freeman is a Taiwanese-Canadian multi-keyboardist and pianist, musical director and producer who has toured or recorded with artists such as Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Laws, Chuck Negron, Jeffrey Osborne, Paula Abdul, Sheena Easton, Gladys Knight, Jean Carne and Michael Henderson. Freeman is a featured keyboard soloist in many of Yanni's DVDs such as Tribute filmed in India and China, Yanni Live at Royal Albert Hall in London, Yanni Live! The Concert Event, Yanni Voices. Freeman has been noted to handle the more advanced keyboard work during Yanni's shows. Official website Ming Freeman at AllMusic