Jerry West was on the fast track to stardom from the day he touched a basketball. Throughout the games history, it would be hard to find a better pure shooter. At West Virginia University, West averaged 24.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in his three varsity seasons. In 1959, he led the Mountaineers to the NCAA Finals and captured the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award. In a superlative senior season, West was a consensus All-American and led West Virginia to its third consecutive conference championship.
In Los Angeles, West played virtually his entire career with Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor, and five years with Wilt Chamberlain. When the game was on the line, West's Los Angeles Lakers teammates always found a way to get the ball to "Mr. Clutch." His cool, calm, and collected personality and his leadership on the court was a coach's dream as he won an NBA championship in 1972 and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1969 despite his team not winning the championship. When he retired, West's name was on nearly every page of the record books. He scored 25,192 points (third), averaged 27.0 ppg (fourth), made 7,160 free throws (second), and dished out 6,238 assists (fifth). West was equally adept on the defensive end, being named to the NBA All-Defensive First-Team four times.