"Back at home everybody loves me and supports me. Every time I?walk on the streets, everybody stops me and talks about how we will do and to work hard since my dream is about to come true and not to lose it," he said. "I like being a role model for those kids. Little kids back on the Lower East Side look up to me, really want to be what I am. I have to stay positive, work hard and do what I?have to do on the court so those kids can keep following me. I go there when I am home at least three times a week because I love it there."
Rivera, who works at Standard & Poor's financial services company, had Lamb visit him at work.
"Socially, I wanted him to meet people from all aspects of life from the president of our company to the mail room worker," Rivera said. "That makes you a better person. He came here for an hour, and I took him around and introduced him to expose him to something different than basketball.
"He represents Kentucky so well. I wish him nothing but the best going forward. I?am in finance, but I loved it when Kentucky came here (to New Jersey in the NCAA tournament) and I got to write a free-lance piece on him for The Villager. I am in finance, but that story was easy to do because he's so much fun to be around. He is just like a little, happy kid all the time."
Lamb appreciates Rivera's friendship, too.
"I have known him for a long time. He is one of my dad's great friends," Lamb said. "He's always around and always helping me. People really support me back at home and love me. They want me to do good really. He's one that really pushes me to be the best and believes I can be the best."