‘Hot Rod’ Hundley to serve as guest author at Book Faire and Chocolate Festival


hot-rod-hundleyBasketball icon Jerry West is a tough act to follow, but the Book Faire and Chocolate Festival has scored another West Virginia and NBA star for this year’s event – “Hot Rod” Hundley.

The Book Faire is sponsored by Blue Ridge Community and Technical College and the Chocolate Festival is sponsored by Main Street Martinsburg.

The two organizations teamed last year to coordinate Book Faire and Chocolate Festival activities throughout downtown Martinsburg.

Last year, West packed the historic Shenandoah Hotel, where he spoke at a luncheon; and signed his book, “West on West;” and autographed basketballs and photographs for young and old fans for three hours.

Bill Lucht, of Blue Ridge CTC, confirmed Wednesday that Hundley will be the featured guest author during the event April 27.

He will autograph copies of his book, “Hot Rod Hundley: You Gotta Love it Baby,” at the offices of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and will be the guest speaker at a luncheon at the Holiday Inn, Martinsburg.

Rodney Clark Hundley was born in Charleston Oct. 26, 1934. He was an outstanding high school basketball player. He was named a high school All-American, averaging 30 points per game.

Hundley played basketball for West Virginia University from 1954-57, taking the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance. He still holds some WVU and Southern Conference scoring records.

In 1957, he became the only Mountaineer basketball player to be selected first in the NBA draft by the then-Cincinnati Royals, which immediately traded him to the then-Minneapolis Lakers.

Hundley played for the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers from 1957-63, when bad knees forced him to retire. He was named to the NBA All-Star game twice.

Hundley played in 431 NBA games,averaging 8.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 3.4 apg in 22.1 minutes on the court. He had his best season in 59-60, when he averaged 12.8 ppg for the Minneapolis Lakers.

He was teamed with fellow WVU basketball all-star Jerry West, whom the Lakers drafted in 1960.

After his basketball career, he became a renowned radio and television sports announcer. He was the voice of the Utah Jazz for 26 years until he retired in 2009. He has won several broadcasting awards.

Hundley was best known for his flamboyant, crowd-pleasing antics on the court, including trick shots and fancy dribbling, as well as humorously mocking the opposing team during games.

Members of the Book Faire and Chocolate Festival committee met Wednesday to continue planning for the event. Several popular activities from last year’s event will return this year.

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