Men's Basketball 1956-60
West Virginia University
2009 Southern Conference Hall of Fame Inductee
One of the greatest players in the history of the sport, Jerry West was the catalyst of a West Virginia team that dominated Southern Conference basketball in the late 1950s. He was the MVP as West Virginia won three straight SoCon Tournament championships and in his three varsity seasons, the Mountaineers won 32 of 34 Conference games.
West was voted SoCon Player of the Year as a junior and senior. He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1959 Final Four when he led the Mountaineers to within one game of the national championship. He finished his career at West Virginia with 2,309 points.
In 1960, he was a starter on the United States team that won the gold medal at the summer Olympics in Rome. He was drafted in the first round by the Los Angles Lakers and eventually became the team's all-time leading scorer. He was named to the NBA All-Star team in each of his 14 seasons.
West earned the nickname "Mr. Clutch" for his many late-game heroics and had his silhouette used by the NBA when it created its current logo in 1971. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980.