Back in July, former Los Angeles Laker Slava Medvedenko bought his two championship rings in an effort to increase cash for his native Ukraine.
Lakers proprietor Jeanie Buss gifted him replacements on Monday.
Medvendenko bought the rings for $253,534 with all of the proceeds going to his Fly High Foundation, which focuses on repairing sports activities services which have been affected within the conflict.
“We wish to restore gyms as a result of the Russian military bombed greater than 100 faculties,” he advised The Associated Press by telephone in July. “Our nation, they want some huge cash to repair the faculties. Sports gyms are going to be final within the line to repair it. In Ukraine, we’ve got winter and youngsters must play inside.”
Medvedenko mentioned he determined to promote the rings after going to the roof of one of many tallest buildings in his Kyiv neighborhood and watching rockets launched by Russian forces streak by means of the night time sky.
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“In this second I simply determined, ‘Why do I want these rings in the event that they’re simply sitting in my protected?’” Medvedenko mentioned. “I simply acknowledge I can die. After that, I simply say I’ve to promote them to point out individuals management, to assist my Ukrainian individuals to reside higher, to assist children.”
Medvedenko was a candidate for Kyiv City Council within the 2020 election. He was eleventh on the election checklist and his get together solely managed to win 9 seats.
Beyond his humanitarian efforts in the course of the conflict, Medvedenko has long-term objectives to assist his nation.
“After the victory, we will certainly return to that query of high quality adjustments in sport,” he mentioned. “Ten years within the United States, I noticed the way it works. I hope I’ve ultimate mannequin in my thoughts to alter Ukrainian sport.”
Medvedenko joined the Lakers within the 2000-01 season, successful the NBA championship in that season and the next.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.