Lamar Odom is feeling grateful to be a celebrity competitor on Dancing with the Stars‘ upcoming season.
The former NBA player, 39, spoke to PEOPLE on Wednesday after being announced as one of the 12 celebrities taking on the dance floor in season 28 of DWTS.
“Hopefully just giving me strength in everything I do,” Odom said of his hopes. “Every day I’m just trying to get better and better and better, be a better person. Hopefully just bring out the best in me.”
Odom added that it is “a blessing” to be cast on the ABC series. “Of course just to be alive and of course to be out on the stage and dance in front of America, it’s a blessing,” he said.
The athlete also spoke about his history with DWTS — he was married to Khloé Kardashian when her sister Kim Kardashian competed on season 7 in 2008. Kim was the third celebrity eliminated, along with her partner, Mark Ballas.
“Yeah, it was a good experience for us and the family, and hopefully I can carry that momentum into this,” Odom said.
Odom and Khloé, 35, tied the knot in 2009 just one month after they met. They split after four years of marriage due to his struggles with addiction and infidelity, and their divorce was finalized in 2016.
In a recent interview on Dish Nation with his new girlfriend, personal trainer and life coach Sabrina Parr, Odom said that he has “definitely moved on” from his relationship with Khloé.
He also denied being put under a “spell” by the Kardashian family.
“I knew what I was getting myself into,” he added. “They always did right by me.”
Odom also opened up about his recently published memoir, Darkness to Light: A Memoir, which chronicled his struggles with drugs and alcohol, his sex addiction, and his split from Khloé.
“It’s the truth. I thought it was time to have that therapy session,” he said of the book.
On Aug. 2, the former NBA star unveiled his “new woman” with an Instagram photo of himself and Parr.
Odom will be joining The Supremes’ Mary Wilson, The Bachelorette‘s Hannah Brown, supermodel Christie Brinkley, country star Lauren Alaina, actor James Van Der Beek, NFL legend Ray Lewis, The Office star Kate Flannery, pop star Ally Brooke, Queer Eye‘s Karamo Brown, former press secretary Sean Spicer, and comedian/actor Kel Mitchell in the ballroom this season.
Season 28 of Dancing with the Stars premieres Sept. 16 on ABC.
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