Slava Medvedenko, a member of the Los Angeles Lakers two NBA championship teams in 2001 and 2002, is selling his rings to raise money for relief efforts in the Ukraine.
SCP Auctions will turn over the entire final sale price of both rings to Medvedenko’s Fly High Foundation.
“I aspire to give Ukrainian children smiles and faith in the future. That is why I created the Fly High Foundation, which is already helping to rehabilitate children who lost their relatives, homes, or faced bombing or occupation,” Medvedenko remarked. “These children need our support now.”
A native of Ukraine, Medvekenko was a power forward for the Lakers during the Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal era.
He stayed to defend his home country when Russia invaded earlier this year. He has been serving in Ukraine’s territorial defense forces in Kyiv during Russia’s invasion and says he’s tyring to aid the war-torn country in any way that he can.
The rings are being offered in a standalone auction that will run through Friday, August 5. Bidding on each ring opened at $5,000. It’s expected they’ll bring $100,000 or more to Medvedenko’s cause.
Now 43, Medvedenko told the Associated Press that he decided to sell the rings after watching Russian rockets soar through the night sky.
“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.
“If these championship rings save even one life, it will be an important victory for me.”