Wests driving force in new job Charity 2009: Wests Driving

Wests driving force in new job Charity

West's driving force in new job Charity When the phone rings Thursday and NBA legend Jerry West is on the other end of the

line, the first order of business is an offer of congratulations. Not for his new position of executive director for the Northern Trust Open -- that will come later -- but because today is his 71st birthday. ("Unfortunately," he says with laugh.) As part of his birthday celebration, the guy known as "Mr. Clutch" was announced in his new role at the Los Angeles-based PGA Tour event. He sat down on the ESPN.com Hot Seat to discuss how and why this happened.

Q: Congratulations. It's not easy finding a job in today's market. A: [Laughs] Well, this is really not a job it's going to be kind of a labor of love, I hope, because it's my opportunity to give back to the city, be involved with the Northern Trust people and the PGA Tour. It's really about me trying to help this tournament raise money for charity. You give a lot of yourself and -- I think some of the happiest moments of my life have come at West Virginia University, the charity of my choice, and to get letters from kids thanking you for helping them go to school and receive an education is probably one of the best things about giving. Los Angeles has embraced me for so many years, and I want to try to help make a difference here in terms of giving to this city and move this tournament to the stature that it should be.

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