SOUTHINGTON — Lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan Eric Soto had the surprise of a lifetime on Wednesday afternoon while cutting hair at Trey's Barbershop on Center Street.
Soto, a Waterbury resident, cut the hair of former Laker Lamar Odom around noon.
“When I first saw him I was joking around and said ‘You look like Lamar Odom,’” Soto said.
“Are you Lamar Odom?” Soto continued.
“He just looked at me with a serious face and said, ‘C’mon. It’s me,” Soto said. “I was shocked after that.”
Soto has worked at Trey’s since the shop opened in December 2017. Soto’s favorite all-time player is Kobe Bryant. He showed a tattoo he has on his leg to Odom.
“It was a crazy experience. The haircut was a couple minutes long but he said he would come back in a couple of days,” Soto said. “If he does, I'm going to ask him to sign my arm and have his signature tattooed on.”
Owner Trey Maestri said Odom just called for a haircut on Wednesday morning.
“I asked for his name, but I didn’t put two and two together until he showed up. He was a quiet guy. He didn’t say much. Just wanted a haircut,” Maestri said. “He’s the first celebrity we’ve had since we opened. It was awesome. I wasn’t expecting this today.”
Maestri said business has been up and down since re-opening last month.
“It’s getting a little more normal,” Maestri said. “People are figuring out the guidelines. Everything is different, but it’s getting better.”
Odom does have some Connecticut ties. He had a stop at the now-defunct St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Britain before going on to star at the University of Rhode Island.
Odom was the fourth pick in the 1999 draft. Before retiring in 2014, he won NBA titles with the Lakers in 2008-09 and 2009-10.