Sport: Tarantula from Cabin Creek

The night before a game, the high-strung forward from West Virginia is often so taut that he takes a sedative. In the dressing room, his hands are wet with sweat, and waiting on the bench, he has even retched into a towel. Then the game begins, and Jerry West, 21, sets his long face in a stony mask and begins to release his tremendous store of nervous tension.

On the basketball court, Jerry West can do just about anything. Standing only 6 ft. 3 in. and fretted down to a lean 175 Ibs., the spring-legged senior is still a superb rebounder, has...

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