It has been eleven years since David West played a game for the Xavier Musketeers, and in that time college basketball has completely changed. The Musketeers are in a different conference, players do not stay two years in college, let alone four, and starting lineups are made up of mostly freshmen.
West has certainly changed in that amount of time as well, and it is time to see what he has been up to since school.
West is a Teaneck, New Jersey native whose basketball abilities were noticed while playing in high school at Garnet Magnet High School in Garnet, North Carolina. West won All-State honors and then finished his high school education at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia. He then chose to play his college ball at Xavier University, and the program is certainly grateful for that choice.
Musketeer fans wish West was still with the team, as no player has been able to come close to matching his career 16.9 points per game, 10.9 rebounds per game and 2.1 assists per game over his four year career. The four year starter was named a Second Team All-American in his junior year and a First Team All-American as a senior. During that impressive year, West averaged a double-double and it culminated with recognitions such as the Rupp Trophy. In addition, he became the only Xavier player ever to be named the AP Player of the Year and is the only Musketeer ever to have his number retired while he was still at the school.
Other accolades include: leading his team to a top 10 ranking and a 3-seed in his last NCAA tournament in 2003. West was also named to the Sports Illustrated All-Decade team for college basketball in the 2000s. He led the Musketeers to three straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament and then was drafted 18th in the first round by the New Orleans Hornets in the NBA Draft. The 3-time Atlantic 10 Player of the Year finished his career as the school leader in blocked shots with 228. West also finished second in points and rebounds with 2,132 and 1,308 respectively for his school.
After scoring so prolifically in college, West has continued his offensive prowess in the NBA as he has averaged 15.9 points with the Hornets and the Indiana Pacers. His teams with the Pacers have always been ranked in the Top 10 defensively led by West, who is one of the best on-ball defenders in the league. In 2008 and 2009, West was selected to be an All-Star after putting up impressive scoring numbers in the first half of both seasons as a Hornet. This cemented his place as one of the most consistent players in the NBA. West has scored 11,900 points in his career as he enters his 12th season, which again shows the consistently high level he has always played at. All players in the league have great respect for the veteran who continues to be an important part of the Pacers organization.
When the games mean the most West has always stepped up for his team. He has led three Hornets teams to the playoffs and more recently three Pacer teams. Fans probably know him best for his performances against LeBron James and the Heat in the last two Eastern Conference Finals. In the epic 2013 Eastern Conference Finals, West and Indiana pushed LeBron James’ Miami Heat to the brink, but Miami won in seven games en route to their second consecutive NBA Championship. The Pacers are still pushing towards that ultimate goal of winning a championship and they will certainly need West to be at his best in order to accomplish that feat.
Players and writers have described West in many ways. For example, the Indy Star referred to him as a, "drill sergeant," but also "candid and passionate." There may be many sides to West, but one thing is for sure West is one of the most professional and hardworking players in the game, which is what fans love about him most. These attributes paired with natural talent have given West a gift that he learned to perfect at Xavier and now is trying to turn into an NBA Championship.