Most of us have cheated on a test one way or another. Be it glancing at your seatmate’s paper for a quick second or shamelessly staring at it during the entire test. Former NBA player Lamar Odom once cheated on a test. But it was not just your ordinary test; it was the SAT. The catch is that the former Los Angeles Lakers forward was not even in the room when the test was held.
Too good to be true
The road to the NBA wasn’t that easy for Odom. Yes, he was talented and was the number one ranked high school player at one point. But Odom struggled in academics, not because he was not inclined but because he didn’t put in the work. He was also surrounded by vultures who knew he was destined to make some NBA money. So much so that those around him hired someone to take the SAT in his place.
“I just listened to the wrong people at that time. Because of my own lack of trying. In high school, they thought it would be better.. You know, they got someone to take my SAT. It was just really like a slap in the face. But at the time I didn’t see it. So I was just like ‘the hell with it,’” Odom told Graham Besinger.
Odom had no clue that this was all happening behind his back; the only time he discovered that someone else had taken the test for him was when the results were released.
“I mean I didn’t really realize it until the dude scored too high. Yeah, I mean according to where my grades were at, there was no way they felt like I could’ve got a test score that high,” Odom said.
When the University of Las Vegas found out about the truth behind Odom’s admission into their program, they forced him to sit out his freshman year. They eventually took his scholarship away, too. Odom later transferred to the University of Rhode Island.
In a separate account, Odom said he felt insulted that those around him didn’t feel he had the brains to pass the SAT during that time.
“I think I was betrayed by the adults who kind of just put me in that position because I didn’t even try. I think if I would have tried, I would have done all right on the test. To just not give me a chance almost called me dumb,” Odom wrote in his memoir “Darkness to Light.”
It’s a hilarious story at first. But once Odom unveiled the dark details, one can’t help but pity him. While he did make it to the NBA and had a very successful career, perhaps there’s a tinge of regret. Odom would have loved it if he was surrounded by genuine people and not folks who wanted to milk him.