September 17, 2011 04:21:14 GMT
'Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world,' the Los Angeles Lakers player states after his request to change his name was officially approved.
Ron Artest has now officially become Metta World Peace. Los Angeles County Superior Court commissioner approved his request to change his name on Friday morning, September 16 after a brief hearing attended by his attorney, Nahla Rajan.
His new name sounds unusual, but the contestant of "Dancing with the Stars" season 13 has his own reason for that. "Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world," he stated. "I'm glad that it is now official."
Artest's publicist, Courtney Barnes, said the athlete had been thinking about the switch for a long time, "but it took many years of research and soul-searching to find a first name that was both personally meaningful and inspirational." Metta, which would be the first name, is a Buddhist term that means loving kindness and friendliness toward others.
The Los Angeles Lakers defensive player's 8-year-old daughter, Diamond, will later adopt her father's new surname, World Peace. The 31-year-old will likely also change the name on his basketball uniform as he said earlier this month, "World Peace is going to be the last name, so everybody can get ready to buy their World Peace jerseys."