Basketball hall of famer Jerry West was born on Cabin Creek in Kanawha County on May 28, 1938. He led East Bank High School to a state basketball championship before going on to rewrite the record books at West Virginia University. As a sophomore, his Mountaineer team finished the regular season ranked first in the nation. In 1959, he took WVU to within two points of a national championship and was named Most Valuable Player of the NCAA Tournament. After his senior season, he won a gold medal in basketball at the 1960 Olympics.
West went on to a 14-year pro career with the Los Angeles Lakers and played in 14 all-star games. He was named MVP of the league in 1972 and was the third player in NBA history to score more than 25,000 points. His playoff scoring average is still among the league’s highest. Later, as the team’s general manager, he built the Lakers’ “Showtime” dynasty of the 1980s.
The NBA logo is based on Jerry West’s silhouette, a reflection of his impact on the game. And he is widely regarded as West Virginia’s greatest athlete.