West Virginia University's greatest basketball player, West established 17 school records and led the Mountaineers to a 61-12 record during his career. West was a two-time consensus All-American who went on to have one of the most illustrious careers in NBA history with the Los Angeles Lakers as a player, coach and administrator before joining the Grizzlies.
West's jersey number 44 was retired by WVU last November, the first basketball player so honored. As part of that tribute, a life-sized statue of West will be constructed outside the Coliseum Blue Gate plaza.
The School of Physical Education offers at least one lecture each year in the series, featuring outstanding coaches from professional, collegiate and international sports. The series began in 2001; previous speakers have been Bo Schembechler, Grant Teaff, Dick MacPherson, Jim Boeheim and LaVell Edwards. The series was established to honor Nehlen, who is serving as an adjunct professor in the School of Physical Education after his retirement from coaching in 2000.