Jerry West Digital Collection

Willie Akers

Oral History Clips

Identifier:
A16
Interviewee:
Willie Akers
Additional Interviewees:
Jerry West
Interviewer:
Jonathan Coleman
Interview Date Tesim:
2008-08-26
Description:
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.
Collection:
A&M 3884; Series 13
Summary:
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.
Rights:
Materials on this site are provided for educational and research use. It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission from the copyright holder before publishing or reproducing materials.
Personal Names:
West, Jerry, 1938-, Coleman, Jonathan, and Akers, Willie
Corporate Names:
West Virginia University--Basketball.
Medium:
Oral Histories