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Lamar Odom Gets Props

For SAVING Ex-College

Star From Streets

4/4/2013 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0403_lamar_ryan_pearson_getty_articleFormer college basketball star Ryan Pearson credits his entire career to Lamar Odom ... claiming L.O. rescued him from the streets when his family was poor and gave him a chance to be successful in life.

Pearson -- who was an Associated Press All America honorable mention during his stint at George Mason -- is now playing pro basketball overseas ... and believes it's only possible because of Odom's charitable support.

We spoke with Ryan's mother, Leslie Pearson, who tells us Ryan first met Lamar at a basketball event when he was 11 years old ... when Pearson's family was struggling financially.

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 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.

We're told Lamar also paid for Ryan to attend a private high school so he could get a top-notch education and elite basketball coaching.

Odom's plan worked -- because Ryan was recruited by some of the top basketball programs in the country and eventually selected GMU -- where he majored in sports management.

As for the reports that Lamar is a scam artist who ran a shady charity operation, Pearson says there's no way that's possible ... because Lamar is a "saint" who only ever wanted to help people.

"Lamar always showed up to support the basketball team and he would have BBQs at his house for all the families and players."

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
122 COMMENTS

No Avatar
46.

skittlesbreaker19    

How much did Odom $$ this poor guy playing overseas to lie?!

513 days ago
47.

Parker    

So he helped on dude.........but the question here is he lied when he said he gave money to the charity he said he was backing....and then this idiot...THINKS the money came from Cathys Kid, but not sure....okay ill buy that, but what happened to the restof the money, sure he didnt spend it all on his idiot......get mixed up with that whore family the k.u.t.a.s.h.i.a.n.s., and they will bring you down faster then Micheal Jackson choosing his next doctor!

513 days ago
48.

tracker    

HARVEY,YOU MUST BE PAID WELL..HOWEVER YOU SCAM IS AS BAD AS THE ODAMS...'.IT'S MY BLOG AND I'LL SPIN THIS SCANDAL ANY WAY I WANT!!!!' TMZ IS NOT REPUTABLE...

513 days ago
49.

bernergirl    

I remember when he first married Khloe, he had like 60 people on his payroll and he would cut them a check because they mooched off of them. Like his best friend that ran a t-shirt company but didn't really run it. I just don't think he paid attention but that can get you in a lot of trouble. Especially when you put it on government forms. He needs a financial advisor but he needs to be going over it at least once a month.

513 days ago
50.

Norma Desomd    

A vain attempt by Kris Jenner(she manages Odom for stuff other than his BB career) or damage control. How stupid does she think we all are?

513 days ago
51.

Yosemite Sam    

I call BS!!! from all Kartrashian/Odum dum.

513 days ago
52.

LISA    

POSSIBLE FRAUD ALERT? As I mentioned earlier, Lamar’s charity has no website, does NOT claim to be a registered or non-profit charity and only takes donations via cheque. I find it quite interesting, and a little suspicious, that there is another charity, founded in 2010, inspired by a mother who died of cancer, with the EXACT SAME NAME.


As Jordan mentioned earlier, Kobe Bryant is the only athlete that supports this charity, out of a grand total of 7 celeb supporters. The ‘Look to the Stars’ listing seems like it was completely re-written since yesterday. Here is the link:


http://www.looktothestars.org/charity/cathys-kids-foundation


Here is the link to the ‘REGISTERED, non-profit’ charity with the same name. *Arrow down to the PINK HEART.


http://golfforcathy.webs.com/


This is not looking too good for Lamar, unless he used his own money and did not claim any of it on his taxes.

513 days ago
53.

Yosemite Sam    

FRAUD !!!!!

513 days ago
54.

david 183    

Did this charity help anybody with cancer or only for people who are talented athletes? Sounds like deception to me. Scam scam scam open the books and lets see. If not sounds like fraud and many crimes have been committed.

513 days ago
55.

LittleBIt    

Lamar Odom is a great person. He is a nice guy who has empathy, sympathy and respect for other people. It dosent surprise me at all he has helped this guy the way he has. Hes a sweet soul. Khloe is a lucky girl to have such a good man for a husband. Best wishes and good things to them both. May God bless you with kids when the time is right. XO

513 days ago
56.

verlinda    

2 million dollar Bar-B-Ques

513 days ago
57.

Jamey Hunter    

Full damage control mode

513 days ago
58.

Kookla    

I really like Lamar.

513 days ago
59.

Laura    

The Kardashian PR machine is in full swing! Now let's hear about all those kids with cancer that didn't receive a dime from his cancer charity.

513 days ago
60.

germs    

From what I understand it's not a debate that he gave money to these kids. The problem is he playing it under the disguise of money for kids with cancer that's the problem

513 days ago
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