As we recently reported, Lamar Odom has been accused of funneling money through his own charity to two “elite” youth basketball programs. Now pro basketball player Ryan Pearson is helping play the role of damage control specialist.
Pearson told the Associated Press on Thursday morning that he owes his entire career to Odom. Pearson is currently playing professional basketball overseas and was named as an Associated Press All America honorable mention during his time at George Mason.
Pearson spoke with TMZ and explained that his relationship with Lamar Odom began at the young age of 11.
At the time of their first meeting, Ryan Pearson’s family was struggling financially. Lamar saw potential in the young man’s talents and put him on a “life scholarship.” That scholarship allowed Ryan Pearson to play on a travel team, develop his talents, and become a viable player in the eyes of college recruits.
Ryan’s mom Leslie Pearson says Lamar “paid for everything … including team travel, team registration fees, buses, and meals. He also funded entire basketball tournaments around New York.”
Lamar even paid for the kid to attend a private high school so he would be recruited by top college scouts.
While Leslie would like to believe at least some of that funding came from Odom’s Cathy’s Kids charity, there has been no proof of those payments from the charity.
We will likely continue to see more spin control from team Lamar as more rumors about his charities improper spending likely occur.
Yesterday we reported that Lamar’s wife Khloe Kardashian threw her support behind her husband, noting that 90 percent of the Cathy’s Kids charity money came from Lamar Odom himself. The pro baller has donated millions of dollars to his charity.
Some critics have taken interest in the charities spending practices because it billed itself as a group for cancer research and helping underprivileged youth. However, most of the money appears to have gone into basketball programs.