Lamar Odom calls his casting on Dancing With the Stars a “blessing” after enduring several personal challenges the past several years. The professional athlete is hopeful that through his work on the show he can show a different side of himself other than the man who has been the subject of tabloid gossip since his marriage to Khloe Kardashian in 2009.
The pro basketball star revealed to People Magazine that he is hopeful he will be able to learn plenty from the diverse cast of celebrities on the show.
“Hopefully just giving me strength in everything I do,” said Lamar to People. “Every day I’m just trying to get better and better and better, be a better person. Hopefully, just bring out the best in me.”
Lamar is the third person from the Kardashian clan to compete on the reality dance series. Kim Kardashian tried her hand at a mirrorball win in Season 7 of the series in 2008 alongside professional partner Mark Ballas. Finishing strong as a celebrity dancer during Season 13 of the series was Rob Kardashian, who was paired with pro Cheryl Burke, who made it to the top five performers.
Lamar hopes to make the Kardashian family proud by “carrying that momentum into this,” he explained to People.
The basketball star has weathered several tough storms over the past several years.
Lamar was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel in 2015 following an overdose. The athlete was left in a coma and in critical condition. The event took place during his separation from Khloe Kardashian, who would stay by her soon-to-be ex-husband’s side while he was hospitalized and throughout his subsequent treatment until the couple finalized their divorce one year later.
Odom checked into rehab in 2016 in an attempt to stay clean and sober.
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When we fall to the bottom of the hole that we’ve spent our lives digging, we will find that God was there waiting for us long before we showed up. And in one hand He’s holding all of the shovels that we used to dig it, and in the other He’s got a ladder. Pick wisely ✊????❤️ #fromthedarktothelight
Hoping that his experience on Dancing With the Stars will bring positivity to his life, Lamar is excited to move forward into the competition, which is famous for making superstar dancers of pro athletes. Lamar might have some competition in Ray Lewis, the former football pro superstar who is also part of the celebrity cast this season.
The former Khloe and Lamar star has likely already been paired up with his dance pro, but viewers will not get a chance to see which celebrity will be dancing with the pro partners for the season until the first episode of the show, which debuts September 16.
Other celebrity contestants for the season include country singer Lauren Alaina, supermodel Christie Brinkley, Bachelorette star Hannah Brown, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star Karamo Brown, The Office star Kate Flannery, actor Kel Mitchell, former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek and singing legend Mary Wilson.