Former Los Angeles Lakers big man Slava Medvedenko has auctioned off his NBA championship rings for more than $200,000.
Medvedenko, who won two championships with the Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in 2001 and 2002, decided to put his rings up for sale in order to raise funds to help his war-torn country Ukraine. According to Arash Markazi of ESPN, the two rings sold for a combined $253,534 at SCP Auctions–with each selling at $126,767 each.
Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Slava Medvedenko’s two championship rings just sold for a combined $253,534 for charity. Medvedenko’s 2001 ring sold for $126,767 and his 2002 ring sold for $126,767 with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Ukraine relief efforts. pic.twitter.com/l6HrIEVne1
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 6, 2022
All proceeds of the auction will be given to Slava Medvedenko’s Fly High Foundation. As reported when the plans for the auction were announced, the ex-Lakers big man plans to use the money to support Ukrainian children by rebuilding schools and fixing sports clubs and facilities.
“We want to restore gyms because the Russian army bombed more than a hundred schools,” Medvdenko said prior to the auction, via ESPN. “Our country, they need a lot of money to fix the schools. Sports gyms are going to be last in the line to fix it. In Ukraine, we have winter and kids need to play inside.
“In this moment I just decided, ‘Why do I need these rings if they’re just sitting in my safe?. I just recognize I can die. After that, I just say I have to sell them to show people leadership, to help my Ukrainian people to live better, to help kids.”
The quarter of a million dollars will definitely go a long way in the relief efforts for Ukraine. While the war against Russia’s invasion continues, Medvedenko is certainly doing his part so there is a future that awaits the children of Ukraine.