Lakers legend Jerry West spoke at this year’s Prelude to March Madness event that took place on Monday, March 13, at 5:30 p.m. in the Cabrillo Pavilion. Tickets to get into the event cost $50 per person, however, they were free of charge to members of the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Regal. There was also an auction that happened as well as a raffle, where items such as basketballs autographed by West and Laker tickets were up for grabs. In addition to West’s speech, there was also a panel discussion with West that was led by the Noozhawk sports editor, Barry Punzal, and other local figures who work in the sports industry.
The Chelyan, West Virginia native was small for his age as a child and had to get vitamin injections to help him grow, so activities such as hunting, fishing, and basketball were his greatest sources for distraction. Even though he was shorter, West joined his high school’s basketball team and was named an All-State player from 1953 through 1956 and also an All-American player in 1956. He entered the1960 NBA Draft where he was selected in the first round as the second overall choice by the Minneapolis Lakers, who shortly thereafter became the Los Angeles Lakers. West stayed with the team for 14 years before retiring as a player and served as a coach for the same team from 1976-1979.
West recently traveled to California to serve as the keynote speaker for the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table’s March Madness Event earlier this month. He was a big hit with the crowd and made a very inspiring speech.
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Watch Jerry West Speaking about the Golden State Franchise: