Jerry West West Virginia 1960

1960 - West Virginia Great Jerry West

During Jerry West’s junior year (1958 – 1959), West scored 26.6 points per game and grabbed 12.3 rebounds per game. He tied the NCAA five-game tournament record of 160 points (32.0 points per game) and led all scorers and rebounders in every West Virginia game, including getting 28 points and 11 rebounds in a 71–70 loss to California in the final. West was named Most Outstanding Player of that year’s Final Four. Further awards were All-American, Southern Conference Tournament MVP, and Southern Conference Player of the Year, and Athlete of the Year. He was also named to be a member of the U.S. Pan American Games basketball team that won the gold medal. West demonstrated his tenacity for the game in a match against the Kentucky Wildcats. He broke his nose during an incident in the game, but he continued to play despite intense pain and having to breathe through his mouth. He scored 19 points in the second half, leading WVU to an upset victory.

In his final collegiate season (1959 – 1960) West enjoyed several career highs, such as scoring 29.3 points per game, 134 season-assists, 16.5 rebounds per game, and a shooting average of 50.4% from the field, 76.6% from the free-throw line. He was honored again with several awards: a call-up to the All-American selection, and being voted Southern Conference MVP. West’s best performance was a game against Virginia, in which he grabbed 16 rebounds and scored 40 points. Moreover, during that final year, he had 30 double-doubles and fifteen 30-point games. In his collegiate career, West totaled 2,309 points and 1,240 rebounds. He averaged 24.8 points per game and 13.3 rebounds. As of 2011, West holds 12 WVU all-time records. West and Oscar Robertson co-captained the U.S. men’s basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics.