West, Jerry

West, Jerry

West, Jerry (Jerome Alan West), 1938–, American basketball player, b. Cheylan, W.Va. One of the game's great shooting guards, he led West Virginia Univ. to the 1959 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship finals and was co-captain of the gold-medal-winning 1960 U.S. Olympic team. Drafted by the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Lakers, West played with them his entire career (1960–74), winning the nickname “Mr. Clutch” for scoring key baskets in high-pressure situations. Famous for his soaring jump shot and cool court demeanor, he was an extremely effective defensive player as well and a perennial NBA all-star. He scored 25,192 career points, averaging 27 points a game, and was NBA scoring champion in 1970. West later was Laker head coach (1976–79) and general manager (1982–2000). He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979.


See his memoir (2011, with J. Coleman); biography by R. Lazenby (2010).

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West, Jerry (Alan)

(1938–  ) basketball player; born in Cheylan, W.Va. He was an All-American at the University of West Virginia (1956–60) and he co-captained the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1960. He then played for the Los Angeles Lakers (1960–74), where he was a ten-time All-NBA (National Basketball Association) first team selection. One of the game's greatest guards, he averaged 27 points per game, fourth best in NBA history, and became known as "Mr. Clutch" for his ability to score when the game was on the line. A Lakers general manager after retiring from the game, he was elected to basketball's Hall of Fame in 1979.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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