From the 1950s until 1965 numerous Mountaineer players called the Dinardi house at 65 Beechurst Avenue - just steps away from the Old Field House - home. She had a special relationship with the players, supporting them in their studies and in life.
Dinardi earned a Ph .D. from the WVU School of Pharmacy in 1931 and co-owned Moore and Parriott Pharmacy in Morgantown from 1947 to 1982. In 1997 she was inducted into the Order of Vandalia, WVU's highest honor for extraordinary service to the University.
An avid WVU sports fan, Dinardi passed away Oct. 10, 2003, at the age of 97.
"This endowment is in memory of Ann Dinardi - without whose direction I am not sure where my life and many other former players would have ended up. She was a gracious and loving mother to many, but particularly to me," said West, now president of Basketball Operations for the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA.
"This is a tremendous tribute to a remarkable lady. Miss Dinardi's heart truly was with WVU. She was an ardent supporter of athletics and the School of Pharmacy for decades," said F. Duke Perry, president and CEO of the WVU Foundation. "This gift is further evidence of how important a role athletics played in the Building Greatness Campaign and how necessary private support is to the University."
Director of Ed Pastilong added, "Jerry West, as well as Miss Dinardi, made a tremendous impact on the basketball program at West Virginia University. Through his continued endowed scholarship support that impact will continue for many, many more years."
The gift was made to the WVU Foundation in conjunction with the recently concluded Building Greatness Campaign, which generated more than $300 million for the benefit of the University. West is a member of the National Campaign Committee.
The WVU Foundation is a private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University.
A native of Chelyan, W.Va., West starred on a 17-0 freshman team at WVU, then started on the varsity for three seasons, averaging 17.8 ppg as a sophomore, 26.6 ppg as a junior and 29.3 ppg as a senior. In his junior year, West led the Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA Finals and was selected the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. He also was a member of the Pan American gold medal-winning team. In his senior season, West was a consensus All-America and led WVU to its third consecutive conference championship. He co-captained the 1960 Olympic gold medal-winning team.
In a stellar 14-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, West was All-NBA First Team 10 times and NBA All-Defensive First Team four times. He was selected to 14 All-Star teams (1972 MVP) and in 1980, was named to the NBA's 35th Anniversary All-Time Team. He also was the NBA Finals MVP in 1969 and won the NBA championship in 1972. He retired following the 1973-74 season.
West coached the Lakers into the playoffs in his three seasons, 1976-79. He then was a consultant to the club, its general manager and executive vice president for Basketball Operations. He guided the Lakers from a managerial/consultant position to eight NBA championships and was named 1994-95 NBA Executive of the Year.