President Trump Presents Medal of Freedom to Jerry West CSPAN September 5, 2019 8:05pm-8:24pm EDT
bob barr discusses efforts to reduce gun violence. then a discussion of women in the republican party. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern friday morning. join the discussion. >> coming up tonight on c-span, president trump presenting the medal of freedom to former la lakers basketball player jerry west. then vice president mike pence's with british prime minister boris johnson in london. later, a discussion about the role of u.s. space policy in intelligence gathering. president trump awarded the medal of freedom to basketball hall of fame player jerry west. 81 years old, who played guard lakers.los angeles the ceremony took place in the white house oval office. >> thank you very much for coming today. it's my privilege to award to
honor the presidential medal of to jerry west. congratulations. fantastic. we are delighted to be joined by and theirfe karen family. thank you very much, everybody. look at that family,, huh? you did a good job. we are also pleased to have with us joe manchin and jim justice. stand up in case they cannot see you. that's great. great to have you. joe, thank you very much. thank you both for being here. they are very busy people and i think we will meet on a certain subject later on, joe, and that's good. in west virginia in 1938, the fifth of six children.
he grew up hiking in the woods, fishing in the clear water and exploring the beautiful mountains of west virginia, great, great state. i should not say this, but i won at 543 points. that's a lot. we love west virginia. -- i won it by 43 points. thisbly help you getting award today. more than anything else, what jerry like doing is play basketball and west virginia. starting at age six, he taught himself on the dirt surfaces of .is neighborhood's backyard when it rained, his sister said it was called the mud wallow. do you remember that at all? jerry later reflected that everything i did, i tried to do perfectly. not just well but perfectly, and it hasn't changed i don't think too much, has it. jerry spend a great, great
senior year in high school with , west virginia scoring record approximately 60 major colleges and universities try to recruit jerry, but he decided very intelligently that he would stay in west virginia, and he went to west virginia university in 1956, donning his famous number 44 jersey, he set 17 mountaineer records, was named the ncaa's most outstanding player in 1959 and was a two-time consensus all-american -- wow. west virginia won 87% of the games in which jerry was in the lineup and won the settlor conference all four years he played diversity. after graduating, jerry played on the 1960 usa olympic team, which swept every matchup, including a much-anticipated showdown with the soviet union. in that game, jerry was the highest scorer, accounting for nearly a quarter of america's points. to this day, the olympic gold
medal is his most prized possession. is that still so? plenty ofyou've got possessions. maybe we will top it today. we will see. jerry then joined the los angeles lakers. we all know that. -- in year that follow, the years that followed, he was to become a legend. in the january 1962 game against the new york knicks, jerry scored nearly half of the lakers' total, setting a personal scoring record of 63 points in less than 40 minutes. of 1962 finals against the celtics, jerry triedd the lakers and very hard, i will tell you -- he tried so hard, and that was a great rally of all time. the celtics had the ball, and sam jones -- he was a good one, too, was it he?
sam jones. they were all good on that team. to bob cousy,l who was here a few weeks ago. i don't know if he would want this story told, so we will tell it quietly, but jerry suddenly rushed forward, stole the ball and made reached cousy a layup in the final second, winning the game. in that iconic season, jerry earned the nickname of mr. clutch, a name that stuck. over the course of his 14 nba seasons, he broke the record for the most points scored in the history of the lakers, was named the nba finals mvp and was inducted into the basketball hall of fame, but perhaps the greatest commemoration of his legacy was the legendary playing the nba logo. today, the silhouette of jerry west is displayed on every uniform, court, and basketball in the league. still the same one, jerry, right?
we are want them to change it, do we? you never know. after his playing career ended in 1974, jerry went on to coach the lakers for three seasons and later served as general manager and executive vice president of task of all operations for nearly 20 years. in the summer of 1996, he succeeded in securing both kobe bryant and shaquille o'neal, tate of truly great players, creating an unstoppable force in the nba. under his management, the lakers won for championships, and he was named executive of the year in 1995. jerry went on to serve as the president of basketball operations for the struggling than this grizzlies where he took them to the playoffs three times and was and executive of the year again in 2004. he then joined the executive board of the warriors. recently, he became a consultant for the clippers. : why leonard, who really has played -- he is some
player. we were talking about that. -- he helped sign kawhi leonard. i think you are pretty proud of that group. jerry is one of the greatest in thetors, negotiators history -- one of the greatest managers and negotiators in the history of the nba. he helped raise millions of dollars for charity in los angeles, contributed to a flood of relief efforts in west virginia and generally just incredible supporter of west virginia and west virginia university. he has also brought awareness to of arterial fibrillation -- i did not know that, jerry. that's very good. that's big stuff for you. that's very good. very good. and is a passionate supporter of veterans of our nation. jerry is a more passionate
supporter than anyone i can imagine helping our nation's veterans. jerry is an extraordinary american and i would now like to ask the military aid to come forward and present jerry allen west with the presidential medal of freedom. this is so richly deserved. thank you very much. thank you, jerry. congratulations. [applause] >> jerry allen west is one of the greatest basketball players and sports executives of all time. after an outstanding collegiate career at west virginia university, mr. west played in the nba all with the los angeles lakers, making the all-star team each year. in 19 six to two, mr. clutch helped lead the lakers to their first championship. a few years later, he was inducted into the basketball hall of fame. after his playing career, he was the legendary manager responsible for building the linker juggernauts of the 1980's and to thousands. the united states now proudly
honest jerry west whose excellence and determination have made him a true basketball icon. [applause] >> first of all, thank you, mr. president. it never ceases to amaze me the places you can go in this world. chase began in west virginia where i strong a wire basket with no net to the side of a bridge. if a shot did not go in, the bank.olled down a long
i was a dreamer. my family did not have much, but we had a clear view of the appalachian mountains and as site on our front porch and wondered if i would ever make it to the top of that mountain, what would i see on the other side. well, i did make it to the other side and my dreams have come true. i have been able to see the sides thanks to that bouncing ball. i spent my childhood at west virginia and my adulthood in los angeles. two of the most profoundly different places in this country , and i have been shaped by wonderful people in both. i would have never made it to west virginia university without a surrogate mother of sorts who gave me a room at her house and constantly fed me to pack weight on my 160-pound frame. she cursed me when i needed it, and, boy, that was a lot, like the time i came back home before
my freshman year personally invinced i did not belong college, and helped me when i needed it, which was probably at the same time. she was strong, sassy, italian, not so much different than another incredible woman i eventually met in los angeles and married. thank you, karen, for accompanying me and tolerating me on this long, rich american journey. i have experienced a country at war, a country at peace, a time when we huddled around the radio with terrible reception to hear president roosevelt's weekly addresses, to a time when we read on our cell phone president trump's instantaneous tweets. you are pretty good at that, by the way. i suffered excruciating losses both personally and professionally. i'm not going to say how many damnedal losses to those celtics and exhilarating victories, but the one i cherish
most was a group of fellow amateurs at the 1960 olympics. as i stood on the gold medal stand with my friend answer the adversary, oscar robinson, i thought about my brother david who had died fighting in korea when i was 13, and how proud i was to represent the united states of america and west -- and the state of west virginia. tried in my life to do for others what david did for me -- lead, protect, and assist whenever possible. the david west and willie aker's academic center at west virginia university is a place where i hope young men and women and my home state can also dream about the top of a mountain and take realizingsteps toward the dream. i am surrounded here today by my , although myily wonderful sisters are not able to make this trip.
i have been blessed with five remarkable sons. have been privileged to work for four fantastic basketball franchises. the los angeles lakers, where i celebrated the most memorable triumphs, where i mourn the most painful setbacks and partnered with a true visionary who changed the landscape of professional sports. gave me an grizzlies opportunity to rebuild a franchise looking for its way. s whereden state warrior' i witnessed some of the most beautiful basketball ever played alongside a most unique and successful ownership group. and now the la clippers. andrk with an incredible inspirational leader, steve ballmer. maybe i'm prejudiced, but the best staff i have ever known. i have had many great coaches and teammates i will never
forget. as a player, i was flanked by the great elgin baylor, the most supportive and greatest player of that era, and later, the great will chamberlin -- wilt chamberlain. as an executive, i have been just as fortunate and been involved with truly incredible groups of the greatest players who have ever played this game. kobe --magic, shakeel, steph, klay,be, kevin, and now kawhi leonard and paul george with the clippers. i marvel at the met the joy they brought basketball fans all over the world. the joyvel at them and they brought basketball fans all over the world. when i heard him's going to receive the presidential, we were shocked and surprised and
amused. i thought it was a joke. west virginia center joe manson confirmed the honor, i'm sure he had a big part in the selection -- thank you, joe, for being here today. friend, the governor of west virginia, jim justice. i appreciate you being here today also, jim. -- when west virginia senator joe manchin confirmed the honor -- i'm sure he had a big part in the selection.
i swear my name is going to look like a misprint on this list. mr. president, thank you for including me among this incredible group of people. [applause] >> congratulations to jerry. john, congratulations on your marriage to a great golfer. is a great honor. a great man, a great pleasure. you are going to be around a long time. thank you. [applause] >> [inaudible] >> thank you very much, everybody.
>> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, former republican congressman and current and narrate -- nra bar -- nra board member bob barr discusses efforts to reduce gun violence. then the discussion of women in the republican party. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern. join the discussion. and live friday, a discussion about updating the 1996 communications decency act, which gives websites in immunity from liability for what their users post. we will be live from the american enterprise institute at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span and at noon eastern, the heritage onndation hosts a form rebuilding america's military project focusing on the u.s.
army. on c-span2 at 7:30, retired enteral jim mattis, former defense secretary, talks about his new book "callsign chaos," looking at his life and career in the military. >> vice president pence met with british prime minister boris johnson a day after the prime inister lost two votes the house of commons, one that would bar him from a new deal brexit and another blocking his efforts to hold a snap general election on october 15. >> thank you very much. welcome to number 10, mr. vice president. great to have you here. i had an absolutely wonderful g7e at the g-seven -- at the with president trump talking about the things we would try to