Jerry West Digital Collection

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West's jersey number 44 was officially retired prior to the Mountaineers' basketball game against LSU.
East Bank High School basketball coach Roy E. Williams, right, shakes the hand of Jerry West, left, in the dressing room after beating Mullens High School in Morgantown and winning the state championship title.West was East Bank's starting small forward. He was named All-State from 1953–56, then All-American in 1956 when he was West Virginia Player of the Year, becoming the state's first high-school player to score more than 900 points in a season.
West, left, and Akers, right, pose with Ann Dinardi. West had lived in Dinardi's Beechurst Avenue home during his college basketball days at West Virginia University.