Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter.
“The Great Jerry West will be receiving our Nation’s highest civilian honor, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, for his outstanding career, both on and off the court. Happy Birthday Jerry!” Trump tweeted Saturday night. West’s birthday was May 28.
West’s image still adorns the NBA’s official logo, and his career 29-point scoring average in the playoffs is the fourth-highest in league history. He enjoyed a successful run as an NBA general manager, including with the legendary Lakers’ Showtime teams of the 1980s. For the last two years, he has been an executive board member with the Los Angeles Clippers.
According to the White House, the Medal of Freedom is “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Other recent sports figures to receive the award include Tiger Woods, Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and former Dodgers announcer Vin Scully.
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