Jarrod West left mark on WVU hoops

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 29, 2001

Jarrod West had his day in the sun with West Virginia University in 1998. He and the other Mountaineers needed a shot to make it to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen – Jarrod drained it and WVU basketball history was made by a Natchez native!

Cincinnati had to go when Jarrod, whose high school basketball was played at Natchez Catholic High, fired at the buzzer to defeat the Bearcats 75 to 74 and travel plans to the Sweet Sixteen could be made. And you know it had to be a three-point shot for the Mountaineers to win it instead of tie. Dramatic. Go Jarrod.

Jarrod, now an American General Insurance agent in Morgantown, W. Va., was all-around in sports at CHS, even winning the coveted Golden Helmet Award in football in 1993 and again in ’94, which proves that basketball doesn’t interfere with football, and vice versa. An athlete is an athlete. Just what Jarrod West was.

As a 1991 Cathedral hardwood standout, Jarrod was All-District 1A and Most Valuable Player for the Greenies. And in 1993-94 he was Catholic Schools of Mississippi Athlete of the Year because of his versatility and capability.

Jarrod, whose dad George F. West, Jr., a Natchez attorney, excelled on the hardwood for old Sadie V. Thompson High, then at Tougallo College as well, was in fact Cathedral’s top athlete three solid years and known for his basketball and football prowess in Catholic Schools athletics statewide.

I don’t know about selling insurance, but they say that American General Manager Bob Fiacco was delighted to have Jarrod West come aboard. Hard-working athletes often make good workers – because they do for a fact learn to work hard at anything worthy of tackling.

&uot;He’s just a first class young man,&uot; Fiacco said of Jarrod soon after hiring him for the Morgantown insurance team.

I MENTIONED Jarrod’s dad G.F., but he also had an uncle that played after G.F., also at Sadie V. Thompson and then Tougallo College. That would be (Henry) Eddie West. Again, this after G.F. had traveled well that same paths at Sadie V. and Tougallo.

When Eddie and his teammates won the state basketball title at Sadie V. in 1961, they played in the National High School Tournament in Nashville. I can recall seeing them out-quick and out-play several teams out at Sadie V.’s gym. I &uot;wore&uot; The Natchez Democrat’s typewriters out writing about Sadie V.’s teams those days. Fun.

This is just to remind that the young West men – George, Eddie and Jarrod – were all outstanding athletes in their day. Natchez proudly claims them!

HURRIED HASH: Ole Miss crafted a 16-0 run 10 minutes into the first half of its first-ever Sweet Sixteen basketball appearance at ole San ‘Antone, but the Rebels couldn’t hang on after that and fell 66-56 to solid Arizona. You have to give the Wildcats credit, they’re wild! Another word for good….Rebel National Coach of the Year Rod Barnes saw his team win two truly big games along the Sweet Sixteen pathway before hitting Arizona, a Top Three team that’s as talented as just about any college team in the land.

Somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose.

Glenvall Estes is a longtime columnist for The Democrat.