MORGANTOWN – West Virginia University great Jerry West has earned yet another prestigious award.
President Donald Trump said Saturday night that the 81-year-old West will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“The Great Jerry West will be receiving our Nation’s highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his outstanding career, both on and off the court,” Trump tweeted.
His message was a retweet of a happy birthday message sent out by West Virginia University’s official men’s basketball twitter account, @WVUhoops.
West was a two-time All-American player at WVU who led the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA finals in Louisville, Kentucky, where they lost to Cal 71-70.
He later became a 14-time NBA all-star from 1961-74 with the Los Angeles Lakers, leading them to an NBA title in 1972. He was named All-NBA first team 10 times, was voted most valuable player of the 1969 NBA finals while playing for a losing team and was named MVP of the 1972 NBA All-Star Game.
As an executive, his Laker and Golden State Warrior teams have won eight NBA titles and he was twice named NBA Executive of the Year.
Nicknamed Mr. Clutch, West currently serves as an executive board member for the Los Angeles Clippers.
West’s silhouette as a player was used to create the NBA logo still used today.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer will be the fifth professional athlete to receive the Medal of Freedom during the Trump Administration. The others are Babe Ruth, Roger Staubach, Alan Page and Tiger Woods.
No date has been announced for the official presentation at the White House.