by Ernest Hernandez
A social media post by Lamar Odom shook the Philippine basketball world after the former NBA star announced that he will make his basketball and suit up for Mighty Sports Philippines.
This was confirmed by team head coach Charles Tiu as they prepare to compete in the Dubai International Basketball Championship this coming February.
“It’s real and it’s happening,” said Tiu in a Facebook post.
The 2017 Mighty Sports team included high caliber players like Justin Brownlee, Marcus Douthit, Dominic McGuire, and Hasheem Thabeet. They teamed up with local players JC Intal, Kiefer Ravena, Willie Miller, and Jeron Teng but their campaign produced only one victory in the entire tournament.
The 40-year-old NBA veteran is set to arrive in Manila on January 20 and Odom is excited to get to work.“I am very happy to be given an opportunity to be able to represent the Philippines for this tournament,” said Odom in an interview with Manila Bulletin Sports Online. “I can’t wait to meet my teammates and also meet my Filipino fans. It is an honor to be part of this tournament and representing the people of the Philippines”
This tournament will mark the two-time NBA champion’s first basketball appearance since being waived by the New York Knicks in 2014.
“I am getting back to the game I love, I have not played in years but I feel very good I have been working out every day to get my strength and conditioning back and hopefully this tournament help me more for my come back,” he said.
Bringing the former Laker to the Philippines was years in the making for his Philippine representative Sheryl Reyes. Both of them bought into the idea to get a fresh start with Mighty Sports.
“I am very happy to be able to work with Lamar (Odom) I met him through (Stephon) Marbury, and I felt that I wanted to help him and be part of his process I like giving people chances for a comeback,” said Reyes.
“I recommended him to Mighty Sports for the tournament and coach Charles like the idea. So, his management team worked with me to make it happen.”
Reyes added that if the former Rhode Island Ram plays well in the tournament, she is open to offering his services to play in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“If everything ends well, remember he is 6-foot-10”, I may bring him to the PBA,” hints Reyes.
Tags: Charles Tiu, Dubai International Basketball Championship, Hasheem Thabeet, Jeron Teng, Justin Brownlee, Lamar Odom, Manila Bulletin Sports Online, Marcus Douthit, Mighty Sports, Mighty Sports team, Mighty Sports-Philippines, NBA, Philippine basketball world, Philippines