It’s not often TMZ and George Mason basketball come together for a story but today that’s the case. Former Patriot Ryan Pearson, who now currently plays in the Ukraine, says Lamar Odom “rescued him from the streets”. Pearson apparently owes his entire career to Odom whom he met when he was 11 years old at a basketball event:
Pearson says Lamar saw potential in him … and knew he needed help … so L.O. put him on a “life scholarship” and paid for Ryan to play on a traveling team, so he could develop his game and become visible to college programs.
Leslie (Pearson’s mother) says Lamar “paid for everything … including team travel, team registration fees, buses, and meals. He also funded entire basketball tournaments around New York.”
Leslie believes at least some of the funding came from Odom’s Cathy’s Kids charity.
Obviously Odom’s generous “life scholarship” to Pearson helped him overcome the challenges after the serious injury. The medical bills had to pile up and that is probably where Odom’s charity to Pearson and his family began. Odom’s name was most likely not mentioned previously because his charity was accused of being a “shady operation” by some. I do still find it weird however that Odom never came to a George Mason game during Pearson’s four years in Fairfax. During that time the Patriots even hosted his alma mater, Rhode Island.