Despite the charity fraud stories you may have heard about Lamar Odom, perhaps this will give some light to his philanthropy – and his access to bundles of dough, obviously.
TMZ reports that ex college basketball star Ryan Pearson thanks his career to Lamar Odom … saying Odom saved him from the streets when his family was living in poverty and opened doors for him.
Pearson — who was an Associated Press All America honorable mention during his time at George Mason — is now balling at professional basketball overseas, and believes it was all because of Lamar’s generosity.
TMZ talked to Ryan’s mother, Leslie Pearson, who says Ryan was initially introduced to Lamar at a basketball event when he was only 11 years old and their family was battling to make ends meet.
Pearson claims Lamar realized Ryan’s talent and knew he required assistance, so L.O. gave him a “life scholarship” and covered for Ryan to play on a traveling team – to gain skills and recognition for admittance into college programs.
Leslie says Lamar financially supported everything – including the team’s transportation, registration fees, buses, and food. He also contributed to complete basketball tournaments around New York.
Leslie thinks at least part of the moola derived from Odom’s Cathy’s Kids charity.
TMZ was informed that Lamar also funded for Ryan to go to a private high school with premium education and high quality basketball coaching.
Odom’s intentions were successful: because Ryan was recruited by several of the most prestigious basketball programs in the country and carefully made his decision to attend GMU, where he majored in sports management.
Leslie also alleges: “Lamar always showed up to support the basketball team and he would have BBQs at his house for all the families and players.”
Either Lamar desperately needed some good karma, or he genuinely wanted to pay it forward.