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Jerry West

Related Biography: Basketball Coach Bill Sharman

An outstanding basketball player himself, Bill Sharman won NBA Coach of the Year honors in 1972 for coaching the Los Angeles Lakers to their first NBA championship ever. An important element in Sharman's winning strategy for the Lakers during the 1971-72 season was Jerry West.

Born in Abilene, Texas, on May 25, 1926, Sharman was a four-year letter winner at the University of Southern California (USC) under Hall of Fame coach Sam Barry. He was named by the Sporting News to its All-America first team in 1950 after setting a new conference scoring record of 18.6 points per game. After being graduated from USC, Sharman played for the NBA's Washington Capitols during the 1950-51 season before moving on to the Boston Celtics for 10 years, from 1951 to 1961. His last year as a pro player was spent with the Los Angeles Jets of the American Basketball League (ABL) during the 1961-62 season.

After coaching briefly with the ABL's Jets and Cleveland Pipers, Sharman took over coaching duties at California State University, Los Angeles, where he coached from 1962 through 1964. He returned to the pros in 1966 as coach of the NBA's San Francisco Warriors, moving on to the American Basketball Association's Los Angeles Stars in 1968 and the Utah Stars in 1970. Sharman's greatest glory, however, came during the five years he coached the Los Angeles Lakers, from 1971 to 1976. Sharman was the only coach in history to win championships in three different leagues.

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Famous Sports StarsBasketballJerry West Biography - Born In Cheylan, West Virginia, Picked By Lakers In Nba Draft, Chronology, Shines In Playoffs - SELECTED WRITINGS BY WEST: