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Former NBA champion becomes a Christian years after cocaine addiction put him in a coma near death


'My doctors say I'm a walking miracle'

Former NBA player Lamar Odom. (Mary Clavering/Young Hollywood/Getty Images)

Former NBA player Lamar Odom, who nearly lost his life to a severe addiction to cocaine, became a Christian over the weekend, marking a high point in the miraculous turnaround story of his life, according to FaithWire.

Odom publicly proclaimed his faith in Jesus Christ on Sunday at The Word Church in Atlanta.

"Nowadays I'm doing the best I can in walking with the Lord. Thanks to Pastor Vernon @drravernon, I got saved at @thewordchurch this weekend. I had to show Jesus my appreciation for keeping me alive!"

Odom had a productive 14-year career in the NBA that included winning two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. He entered the league in 1999 at the age of 20, and retired in 2013.

After his retirement, his life spiraled out of control. He was addicted to cocaine and is a self-proclaimed sex addict, and those vices culminated in a disastrous 2015 drug overdose in a Nevada brothel that nearly killed him.

After four days of excessive drug use and illicit sex, Odom fell unconscious and remained in a coma — during which his heart stopped twice, he suffered 12 seizures, and he had six strokes.

"My doctors from Cedars-Sinai said, like, I'm a walking miracle," Odom said.

Odom says his issues date back as far as when he was 12 years old and his mother died of cancer. He struggled with drug and sex addiction even while he was in the NBA, but he was able to mostly conceal his issues from the public, hiding them behind fame and success.

Odom was married to Khloe Kardashian in 2009, elevating him to new levels of mainstream fame. They divorced in 2016.

"I mean, I loved it," he admitted. "A red carpet is rolled out for you everywhere you go . ... What's not to love about that?"

"And at that time, when we shot [Khloe and Lamar] ... I was playing really good basketball," Odom said on "Good Morning America." "I don't really think there's ever gonna be another NBA player to be on a No. 1 reality show, playing high-level basketball."

Now, Odom spends his time trying to stay active, working out, pursuing potential professional basketball opportunities as he moves forward with his life — and his new life as a Christian.

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