Don’t look for Jerry West’s basketball memorabilia to come to auction anytime soon—at least not all of it. West has donated a chunk of his collection to his alma mater, West Virginia University. He appeared at a special dedication there this week.
His 1970 NBA Championship ring, game-used jerseys and basketballs, magazines that featured him on their covers, important letters and other items are part of the display at the West Virginia & Regional History Center within the WVU Libraries. And West indicated there would be more coming as he cleans out his closets.
“I want to make sure this becomes much more special than what is here today,” West said. “I’ve asked my wife to find some other unique pieces out there that might be fun for people to see.”
West was a star at West Virginia and led Team USA to the 1960 Olympic Gold medal before becoming a Hall of Fame player for the Lakers and a successful front office executive during the heyday of the franchise.
“We use the term ‘great’ in professional athletics way too much. There are very few people who are really great,” said Thorn, former NBA player and executive. “Jerry West was one of those players. He was a great player. He made everybody better and he made everybody around him more into basketball.”
Thorn called West one of the three best shooting guards in NBA history and considers him one its two best general managers.