Jerry West Digital Collection

Willie Akers

Oral History Clips

Willie Akers
Additional Interviewees:
Jerry West
Jonathan Coleman
Interview Date Tesim:
JC: A friend of mine was asking, when you see Jerry next, what was it about West Virginia that produced so many good basketball players? The same way you think about Pennsylvania a hotbed of high school football.

W: You know what happened? For some reason, they came. Hot Rod Hundley was a great player.

JC: Hundley was out of Charleston, right?

W: Right here in this place where he lived, he played. But then three years, I mean he was a senior and then Jerry came along. And when he's a senior Rod Thorn came along from Princeton, and then when Rod was a senior, Ron "Fritz" Williams the first black he played with. So it was a cycIe where you had an All-American coming on every three years. And that's amazing.

JC: What do you think it is that made West Virginia such a hotbed of basketball, maybe more so than other places?

W: Well, all those guys, every one of them, that's all they did was play basketball. I think just their work ethics were unreal.
A&M 3884; Series 13
Author Jonathan Coleman interviewed Willie Akers for the book, West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life. Akers played basketball for WVU before going on the play professionally with the ABA's Cleveland Pipers. He holds a BA and MA in education from WVU. In this clip, Akers describes the line of excellent basketball players at West Virginia University.
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Personal Names:
West, Jerry, 1938-, Coleman, Jonathan, and Akers, Willie
Corporate Names:
West Virginia University--Basketball.
Oral Histories