In the wake of NBA star Lamar Odom's tragic downward spiral, the Rev. Franklin Graham has encouraged young men to remember that fulfillment comes only through a relationship with Jesus Christ -- not earthly pleasure.
The 35-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers standout spent a third day hospitalized on Thursday, reportedly on life support following a series of strokes, after collapsing at a Nevada house of prostitution. He had been at the brothel since Saturday, where authorities said he had been using cocaine and a sexual performance-enhancing supplement. In three days, Odom spent $75,000 there, the price that guaranteed two women would "take care of any of his needs," CNN reports.
On Thursday morning, Graham, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, took to Facebook to offer prayers for the embattled Odom and offer some advice to young men amid the heartbreaking situation.
"Listen up, young men. I'm a father and a grandfather, and I want to give you some advice. Former NBA star Lamar Odom was looking for something at a brothel in Nevada, something to ease the pain and void deep inside his heart. Instead, it has devastated his life," Graham wrote.
"The truth is-the only One that can heal the pain in a human heart is Jesus Christ. Drugs can't do it, sex can't do it, money can't do it, nothing or no one else can do it. I want you to know that God made you and He loves you," he continued. "He wants to give you life, peace, and hope-and the only way is through trusting in His Son, Jesus Christ. God's Word warns, "Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. Do not let your heart turn to her (a prostitute's) ways or stray into her paths. Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng" (Proverbs 7:24-26)."
Graham concluded, "I am praying for #LamarOdom and his family."
A report from CNN reveals that the 6-foot, 10-inch-tall athlete had long been reported to have had issues with cocaine abuse, although this had never been publicly confirmed. He has admitted only to using marijuana.
During the 2000-2001 season, Odom was suspended for violating the NBA's antidrug policy. In 2013, he pleaded no contest in Los Angeles to a charge of driving under the influence and was ordered to undergo rehabilitation for alcohol abuse.
Odom won two championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010. Currently a free agent, he last played for the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2012-13 season and is no longer attached to any team.
In addition to appearing on "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Odom and his estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, had their own reality show, "Khloe & Lamar," which lasted for two seasons and 20 episodes.
Meanwhile, a number of former teammates have taken to social media to voice their support for Odom, including former Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
"I have been praying all morning for my good friend and Laker great, Lamar Odom, that God will bless him to pull through," Johnson tweeted. "What most people don't realize about Lamar Odom is that he's a better person than he is a basketball player."