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FACE OF A CHAMPION

Bob Pettit displays the fierce competitive spirit that is the mark of a great athlete
Author:

The dramatic portrait of Bob Pettit above is the most fitting kind of introduction to the display of his basketball talent that follows on the next four pages. It is eloquent testimony to the flaming dedication Pettit brings to his profession, which spurs him to greater heights each year. Since his first pro season in 1955 he has been a first-team All-Star, he has led the St. Louis Hawks in both scoring and rebounding and, along the way, he has overcome every rival attempt to keep him from putting the ball through the hoop consistently. For a preview of what a nationwide television audience will see in the All-Star Game next Friday (Jan. 23), turn the page.

Long first step (1) takes Pettit by New York's defender Mike Farmer (No. 8) before latter can start to pivot (2).

Note how Pettit protects the ball with his body and elbows (3) from Farmer and Carl Braun (No. 4) as he drives in.

Ray Felix (No. 19) puts out a long arm in vain attempt (4, 5) to cut off Pettit's relentless move toward basket.

Leaving feet, Pettit goes over Farmer's outstretched hand (6) and floats gracefully in toward front rim of hoop.

Still effectively blocking Farmer with his body (7), Pettit releases ball, which sails (8) in perfect arc over the rim.

Follow Pettit's teammate Cliff Hagan (No. 16) through full sequence as he gets into position for possible rebound.

Already past his defensive man, Kenny Sears (No. 12), Pettit sees clear path to score, dribbles toward it (1, 2).

New Yorkers Farmer (No. 8), Felix (No. 19), Braun (No. 4) and Guerin (No. 9) are all in position to close hole.

One tremendous step takes Pettit nearly beyond reach of New York defense before he starts leap for layup (5).

As Pettit leaps, Felix takes off with him (6) in last-ditch effort by defense to block shot without committing foul.

Pettit again keeps much of his body between his defensive man and the ball (7) and soars high against backboard.

Ball rebounds accurately off backboard into basket (8) as force of drive carries Pettit outside court baseline (9).

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CLENCHED TEETH, BULGING VEIN IN FOREHEAD REVEAL INTENSITY WITH WHICH PETTIT FOLLOWS HAWKS GAME FROM BENCH

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