Slava Medvedenko is doing what he can to help his home country of Ukraine amid attacks from Russia.
The Associated Press reported on Sunday that the 43-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers forward is auctioning the two championship rings he won as a member of the Purple and Gold, and the proceeds will go toward restoring sports infrastructure inside the country’s schools.
“We want to restore gyms because the Russian army bombed more than a hundred schools,” he said. “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.”
ESPN reported that the two rings will likely fetch upwards of $100,000.
“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.”
He played for the Lakers for six seasons from 2000-01 through 2005-06, winning the two rings in his first two seasons. The final season of his NBA career came in 2006-07 when he suited up for the Atlanta Hawks.