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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

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Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
76.

dreamer4u    

All this is doing is trying to leave focus of Lamar's thievery! Prosecute him to the fullest! Oh Khloe your "people" didnt cover this **** up..you are all done!

535 days ago
77.

Paulina1982    

I believe he has helped people out..but that doesn't give him the right to lie about where all the $$ people have donated gone?? He should have more integrity than that...

534 days ago
78.

Lynn M    

If you really want to read about Odom's intent for his charity, google " Cathy's kids page three ESPN. ESPN has an undated article about the first fund raiser and clearly states the intent of the charity. BTW, there is another charity, called Cathy's Kids Foundation that is a charity specifically raising funds for cancer. It is not the same charity.

534 days ago
79.

MsRita    

I'm glad he helped you but it wont change his fake scam of cancer charity . He made his bed with being a Kardashion so he has to live with the fake reality world he lives in.

534 days ago
80.

hellooo!!    

Kudos to you Lamar!!! :)

534 days ago
81.

ariel    

that's great now we can just forget about the whole cancer charity fraud

534 days ago
82.

Rose    

Has Lamar been found guilty in a court of law? Amazing how quick we are to judge someone in a negative light. Are we so mean spirited to delight in someone's fall rather than delight in their success and charity.

534 days ago
83.

jack    

Shout out to Lamar.

534 days ago
84.

waf17    

who cares

534 days ago
85.

Brushwood    

I smell a RAT!

534 days ago
86.

Ginger    

He's a Kardashian now they don't help others!

534 days ago
87.

CatieMay    

Too late Lamar. We all know you're just a sleazey Kardashian! You've lost ALL credibility!

529 days ago
88.

IAMSALLIE    

For y'all not to like these people you truly do keep up with them. And how much money did you nothing ass people give...exactly fall back.

490 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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