Everyone deserves a second chance. Lamar Odom found his in Manila

By Nicole Ganglani  | Lead photo by @lamarodom/Instagram

You might recognize him as one of Kobe Bryant’s teammates during the Lakers’ unforgettable championship run back in 2010, as well as the time when he notched the sixth man of the year award in the same year.

Lamar Odom is back on the basketball court—this time representing the Philippines under Mighty Sports head Coach Charles Tiu and crew just in time for the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship happening on February 1, 2019.

The past few years have not been easy for Odom who faced a lot of obstacles after his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. He helped the franchise notch back-to-back NBA championships a decade ago but the forward’s career tumbled dowhill after developing a drug and alcohol addiction.

In 2015,  Lamar was found unconscious in a hotel at Nevada where he overdosed on cocaine and suffered from kidney failure and several strokes. Since then, the former NBA player has not participated in any professional basketball game.

Today, Lamar Odom finds himself in the process of a comeback. The 39-year-old is gearing up to go against various basketball clubs around the world, playing alongside his Filipino teammates like University of the Philippines’ standout Juan Gomez De Liano and PBA’s Joseph Yeo.

“It’s very satisfying because I can go out there and compete, and play the game I love,” said Odom in an interview.

Athletes getting through adversities and starting anew is a scenario common in sports especially in the game of basketball. It’s what makes the game beautiful; it helps people become the best version of themselves. In Lamar Odom’s case, he found his second chance in a country that considers basketball as their religion.

The Philippines will be the perfect place for Odom to reconcile with the sport that made him—the game that let him make a name for himself and gave him the opportunity to come back from drug and alcohol abuse. It’s no coincidence that he’s getting his second chance in a country that breeds and lives basketball.

The Mighty Sports will play their first game against American University tomorrow, 11pm (Manila time) at Shabab Al Ahli Club, Dubai.

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