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Slava Medvedenko Auctions NBA Rings for Ukraine Aid

Slava Medvedenko Auctions NBA Rings for Ukraine Aid

Credit: Unsplash

Medvedenko wants to help his home country however he can.

Back in 2001, Slava Medvedenko was the power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, setting basketball records alongside legendary names like Shaq and Kobe. During his tenure with the NBA, Medvedenko won two championship rings, which are collectively valued at around $100,000. However, after holding onto them for 20 years, Medvedenko is ready to put those valuable rings toward something a little more important to him.

Medvedenko announced that on August 5, he will be selling both of his championship rings at auction and donating all of the proceeds to the Fly High Foundation, which in turn will use the money to restore sporting locations, clubs, and infrastructure to the youth of his home country of Ukraine. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, many schools and gyms have been destroyed by explosives, leaving children without safe places to play and learn.

“We want to restore gyms because the Russian army bombed more than a hundred schools,” Medvedenko said in an interview with the Associated Press. “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.”

Medvedenko has been serving in the Ukrainian military fighting off Russian military forces. He decided it was time to sell his rings when he saw Russian missiles flying by, destroying more Ukrainian buildings. “In this moment I just decided, ‘Why do I need these rings if they’re just sitting in my safe?'” Medvedenko said. “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.”

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