Without question, Jerry West is #1
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jerry West did not just pick up a basketball one day and begin throwing jump shots though a hoop.
In some ways he was driven to it. In some ways he was destined to do it.
He grew up in Chelyan, West Virginia, and life was difficult as a child.
“Probably the best lesson I learned came from my childhood,” he said. “Where I grew up there wasn’t much hope. People grew up, got married, had kids, they worked for the coal mines.
“I was not like that,” he went on. “I could not work for a coal mine. Somewhere along the line I was given a gift and had the determination to live my dreams. I was a dreamer. I still am a dreamer. I believe in goal setting. Goals have to be more questionable today because of the way the dynamics have changed.”
So, kids have facilities today. Then you didn’t just run down to the gym and start shooting and there surely wasn’t a basket up over the garage door at the West home.
“I remember as a kid I’d build these old basketball things and I’d put them up on the side of a tree,” he said, a lesson for all that there are ways to make things work out if they mean enough to you.
“They may not have been very pretty but they at least had a hoop. I would go out and play all these mind games. I’d tell myself I was going to make a last-second shot. I might miss it 10 times, but I’d find a way to make it.” West said.
Doesn’t matter what you…