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NBA Hall of Fame member Jerry West receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

By Daniel Uria
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NBA Hall of Fame member Jerry West receives Presidential Medal of Freedom
President Donald Trump presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to NBA Hall of Fame member Jerry West on Thursday. Pool Photo by Tom Brenner/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 5 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump presented former NBA player and executive Jerry West with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday.

West, 81, earned the nickname "Mr. Clutch" as he played 14 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, went to the NBA finals nine times and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979, while his silhouette has served as the league's logo.

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"It never ceases to amaze me the places you can go in this world by chasing a bouncing ball," West said.

Trump said West receiving the highest civilian honor was "so richly deserved," as he listed his accomplishments.

"He made plays that will be remembered forever," Trump said.

West's wife, sons and grandchildren were present for the ceremony, as was Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin from his hometown of West Virginia.

Trump has awarded the Medal of Freedom to multiple sports stars including Tiger Woods and one of West's NBA rivals Bob Cousy.

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