- NAME: Lamar Odom
- OCCUPATION: Basketball Player, Reality Television Star
- BIRTH DATE: November 06, 1979 (Age: 34)
- EDUCATION: Christ the King High School, Redemption Christian Academy, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, University of Rhode Island
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Queens, New York
- Full Name: Lamar Joseph Odom
- AKA: Lamar Odom
- ZODIAC SIGN: Scorpio
Best Known For
Lamar Odom is an American basketball player for the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, best known for playing seven seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, and for marrying reality star Khloé Kardashian.
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Khloé Kardashian earned her fame on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." In 2009, Khloé met LA Laker Lamar Odom, a two-time NBA champion. The couple married in a televised spectacle and soon got their own spinoff, "Khloé & Lamar."
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Born on November 6, 1979, in Queens, New York, Lamar Odom used basketball to help him through a traumatic childhood. As a high school standout, he was named Player of the Year by Parade magazine. After declaring his eligibility for the NBA Draft following his freshman year of college, he was selected by the struggling Los Angeles Clippers. Following stints with the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, Odom was traded back to the Los Angeles Clippers. Outside of basketball,
he is known for his highly publicized relationship with television personality Khloé Kardashian.
Born in South Jamaica, Queens, New York, on November 6, 1979, Lamar Joseph Odom grew up during New York City's difficult crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and '90s. His own father, Joseph, was a disable veteran and heroin addict; his mother, Cathy Mercer, with whom he was very close, raised him as a single parent. A corrections and traffic officer, Mercer was determined that her son avoid the dangerous streets around him. Odom had been introduced to basketball around age 7, and practiced hard to be good at the game he loved.
Basketball fit both Odom's physicality and his increasing athletic skill. But an unspeakable tragedy hit right before his teens: His mother died of colon cancer when he was 12 years old. He was then sent to live with his grandmother, Mildred Mercer, who urged him to focus on his studies and sports in an effort to keep him off the streets.
By high school, Odom was getting national attention. He attended Christ the King High School in Queens and Redemption Christian Academy in Troy, New York, then played for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Britain, Connecticut, during his senior year. During this time, he was named "Player of the Year" by Parade magazine, as well as to USA Today's All-USA First Team.
Odom attended the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, enrolling in summer classes, but the university released him when Sports Illustrated questioned his high ACT score. Though he transferred to the University of Rhode Island, he was not allowed to play during the 1997-98 season. After playing for one season at Rhode Island, Odom declared his eligibility for the 1999 NBA Draft, and was selected by the struggling Los Angeles Clippers franchise as the fourth overall pick.
When Odom joined the Los Angeles Clippers, they were largely known for their losing record. Within three seasons, however, the team was a contender for a playoff spot. Odom had his share of successes and challenges, including unexpected injuries and another personal tragedy: the death of his revered grandmother in 2003.
When Odom became a free agent, the Miami Heat offered him a $63 million contract that the Clippers chose not to match. Teaming with emerging superstar Dwayne Wade in the 2003-04 season, Odom averaged 17.1 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, leading Miami to its first playoff series win in four years. Following that season, Odom represented the United States at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, which he considers one of his career's greatest honors.
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