At 15, he was 6-foot-8, rail-thin but strong on both ends of the court: He controlled rebounds and rejected ill-advised shots by opponents but ran the floor like a guard, flinging nifty passes and hitting three-pointers. With NBA scouts hovering, Odom got poor grades and switched high schools twice as a senior.
But by 2009, the relationship was over after Morales said she learned Odom was having an affair. The Kardashians were not the massive conglomerate that they are today when Odom met the youngest of the three TV-friendly sisters at a party in 2009.
A month later, they were married on "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."The estranged couple, whose divorce has not been finalized, have always been open about their continued attachment.
Odom, who won two championships during his career and later married reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, was hospitalized Tuesday, October 13, after he was found unconscious at a brothel in Nevada.
On October 19, Odom was transferred to a Los Angeles hospital where he is reportedly breathing on his own.
In the later years of his NBA career, before he took the court, Odom wrote a tribute to each of his departed loved ones on his sneakers. "I'm sure there is anger and disappointment inside of him, but to have his spirit, to have his approach to everyday life, I don't know how he does it."Now, as Odom, 35, lies clinging to life in a Las Vegas hospital after being found unconscious in a brothel in the Nevada desert, the world is taking a closer look at the talented athlete with the ready smile, the humble nature, the reality-show lifestyle and the famous in-laws.
Some of us think we know him through his 14 years in the NBA, where he charmed fans and teammates with his athletic grace and unselfish play.But Odom, at 6-foot-10 and one of the top high school prospects in the nation, never suited up for the Rebels.A Sports Illustrated article expressed suspicion about a rise in his score on standardized admission tests, and then Odom was arrested for soliciting a prostitute.Complex presents: The Hottest WAGs of the 2012 NBA Playoffs.He was 12, growing up in a rough neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, when his mother, Cathy, died of colon cancer.Kardashian recently told Complex magazine that she talks to Odom -- whom she calls "genuinely one of the best people I've ever met" -- as often as she can.