Jerry West Bio And Facts

Jerry West

Jerome Alan West, or Jerry West was born May 28, 1938 in Cheylan, West Virginia. West was born into a family as one of six children to parents Howard Stewart and Cecil Sue West. West grew up as a small and shy young boy who did not make any of his junior high sports teams, but when he started an intense regimen to help improve his basketball skills his hard work paid off. West made the varsity team at East Bank High School and did extremely well his senior year, scoring 900 points in one season. West helped lead his team to a state championship as well. West began to play basketball for West Virginia University where he was named an All-American twice. In 1960, West became the co-captain of the US Olympic Basketball team and won a gold medal as well. The LA Lakers drafted West in the first round of the 1960 draft and West signed a $15,000 contract with them.

  • Birthday: May 28, 1938 (28-05-1938)
  • Education: West Virginia University
  • Net Worth: $55 million
  • Occupation: Basketball Player
  • Height: 6’ 2” (1.88 m)
  • Weight: 176 lbs (79.83 kg)
  • Position: Point guard
  • Years Active: 14
  • Nicknames: Mr.Clutch, Mr. Outside, The Logo
  • Teams: LA Lakers

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Basketball Career

Jerry West had a tough time playing basketball growing up because of his small size and shy demeanor, but with hard work and determination, West managed to make it onto his High School’s varsity basketball team. West helped lead his team to the state championships and was later recruited by West Virginia University where he played for four years.

After college, West joined the 1960’s US Olympic basketball team and helped lead his team to achieving the gold medal. Later on in the 1960s West was recruited by the LA Lakers and assigned a $15,000 contract with them. Although West’s first year with the Lakers was not incredible, his second year was much better. West doubled his scoring output, was averaging 30.8 points a game, and adding 7.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. West managed to help bring the LA Lakers to the NBA Finals nine times during his career, but unfortunately only won one out of those nine times. 

Titles and Awards

During his 14 year career within the National Basketball Association, Jerry West certainly earned plenty of titles and awards for his outstanding basketball abilities.In 1969, Jerry West was recognized and awarded the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. In 1972, West was awarded the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant MVP Award. In 1971, 1972, and 1973 West won the All-NBA Team award. And again in 1971, 1972, and 1973 West was awarded the NBA All-Defensive Team award for his incredible defense that he displayed during his games. In 1995, West was recognized and awarded the NBA Executive of the Year award, and received that award again in 2004. Jerry West also helped his team, the LA Lakers, go to the NBA Championship nine times during his career and won the championship one time during his career.

Personal Life

Jerome Alan West or Jerry West was born in Chelyan, West Virginia on May 28th, 1938. Jerry was born to parents Cecil Sue West and Howard Stewart West along with five other siblings, David West, Patricia Noel, Barbara West, Charles West, and Hannah Bowman. When Jerry was a teenager one of his siblings was killed during World War 2 which affected him psychologically and made him extremely shy growing up. Jerry was also physically abused by his father growing up which made him more reserved and timid until he found his passion for basketball.

West put in most of his energy into training for basketball in an effort to make the varsity team, which he did. West loved hunting and fishing as well because he felt it brought him peace and serenity, which helped a tremendous amount with his depression. Later on in his life West married Karen West in 1978 and together they had five children Jonnie West, Michael West, Ryan West, Mark West, and David West.

Fun Facts

  • Jerry West is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer among the players that are no taller than 6’2”
  • Jerry West would average over 20 points every season as a pro excluding his rookie year
  • Jerry West has battled depression his whole life and is a big advocate for mental health
  • West had a 58.9 percent winning record coaching the Lakers during the late 70s
  • Jerry West was also the player to score the most points in a LA Lakers jersey before Kobe Bryant broke his record in 2010
  • Jerry West is the model for the National Basketball Association logo
  • West was the general manager of the Memphis Grizzlies and organized golf tournaments
  • West is regarded as one of the best guards to ever play in the NBA
  • West wore the number 44 which was later retired by the Lakers


Why was Jerry West’s nickname “Mr. Clutch”?

Jerry West was a player for the LA Lakers and was a part of the team for the entirety of his 14 year long NBA career. West was known for his lightning-quick releases and the player teammates would turn to important baskets that were crucial to the game. Many of his teammates gave West the nickname “Mr. Clutch” because he was responsible for so many buzzer beaters during his time as an NBA star.

Jerry West is in fact a part of the NBA logo. If you google “NBA logo photo” a photo of Jerry West in his yellow Lakers uniform will come up, where West is driving to the hoop, his body describing a diagonal, as if he is a lighting bolt angling from left to right. The actual NBA logo itself is a more properly and perfectly contoured image, but West serves as the model for the photo because his action in that picture encapsulates the raw movements that basketball brings out in its players.

Why was the number 44 retired from the LA Lakers?

Jerry West, or Jerry 44 West was known for being number 44 on the legendary LA Lakers team. On November 19, 1983 the jersey number 44 was retired to honor Jerry West whose career scoring average of 27.0 ranks fourth all-time in NBA history. West also had a playoff scoring average of 29.1 which ranks second all-time in the NBA, trailing Michael Jordan.

Was Jerry West a point guard or a shooting guard?

It is hard to say if Jerry West was a point guard or if he was a shooting guard because many fans of basketball see him as one or the other. Although it is best to say that West was a combo guard because he certainly had the offensive skills of a shooting guard, he was also able to play defense when needed. West was also known for switching up his skills during his professional basketball career of 14 incredible years.