Metta World Peace Ron Artest
February 23, 2012 by staff
Metta World Peace Ron Artest, Metta World Peace (born Ronald William Artest, Jr., November 13, 1979) is an American professional basketball player who is currently with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). World Peace gained a reputation as one of the league’s premier defenders as he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2004. He was a major participant in the Pacers-Pistons brawl and is known for his sometimes eccentric, outspoken behavior.
World Peace was publicly known as Ron Artest until legally changing his name in September 2011.
Metta World Peace was born Ronald William Artest, Jr., and raised in the Queensbridge projects in Queens, New York. He has two younger brothers, Isaiah and Daniel. He played high school basketball at La Salle Academy and college basketball at St. John’s University from 1997-1999. In 1999, he helped the Red Storm to the Elite Eight, losing to Ohio State. He gained fame playing in some of New York City’s high profile summer basketball tournaments at Nike Pro City, Hoops in the Sun at Orchard Beach, Bronx, New York and Dyckman Park at Washington Heights, earning himself nicknames such as Tru Warier and The New World Order, a name he received from Randy Cruz (one of the co-founders of the Hoops In The Sun basketball league at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, New York).
As a teenager, he was teamed with future NBA players Elton Brand and Lamar Odom on the same Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team.
Growing up in a rough neighborhood, he witnessed the death of a fellow player on a basketball court. “It was so competitive, they broke a leg from a table and they threw it, it went right through his heart and he died right on the court. So I’m accustomed to playing basketball really rough.” The player to whom Artest was referring was 19-year-old Lloyd Newton, who was stabbed in the back with a broken-off table leg during an altercation at a 1991 YMCA-sanctioned basketball tournament.
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