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2016 Exhibit: Jerry West
An American Icon

Jerry West

Jerry West is considered by many to be the greatest athlete West Virginia has ever produced. His amazing career statistics and revered reputation on the hardwood leave little room for argument as does the fact that the NBA logo was fashioned from his profile. West is both figuratively and literally an American icon!

West began his career on the court at Kanawha County's East Bank High School. Leading his team to the state championship in 1956, he was recruited by some 60 colleges and universities before fulfilling his childhood dream by signing with the West Virginia University Mountaineers. Setting myriad records, many of which survive to this day, he led the Mountaineers to the NCAA championship game in 1959. Despite his team losing by a single point, West was chosen as the tournament's MVP.

West went on to enjoy a celebrated 40-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers. A player, coach, manager and team executive, his legendary talent, drive, integrity, vision, and mentorship helped make the NBA what it is today.

On June 20, 2016, to commemorate the gift of the Jerry West Collection to the West Virginia and Regional History Center, the WVU Libraries celebrated West's life and legacy during Libraries' annual West Virginia Day Celebration. The festivities included the opening of an exhibit featuring artifacts and information documenting West's incredible career. The Center also launched the Jerry West Digital Collection which provides access to photographs of key moments in West's life as well as clips from oral history interviews with some of basketball's greatest stars.

To access a PDF slideshow of the exhibit, please use the following: