Lakers Gift Former Player Who Sold Championship Rings To Help Ukraine With New Rings

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Lakers owner Jeanie Buss gave back to a former player of the franchise that donated two NBA championship rings to help his people in Ukraine amid their ongoing conflict with Russia.

Seven-year NBA player Slava Medvedenko donated his championship rings, won with the Lakers in 2001 and 2002, to aid the protection of Ukrainian children through his Fly High Foundation.

(Photo by Jeff Gross /Getty Images)
(Photo credit should read GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images)

The foundation not only sought to protect Ukrainian children, but it also granted them opportunities to embrace sports during the war with Russia.

Medvedenko sold the rings for a combined $253,534 through SCP Auctions and gifted 100 percent of the proceeds to Ukraine. And Slava didn’t just put up the money, he picked up a gun to join the Ukrainian forces in 2022.


To give back to Medvedenko for his selfless donation, Buss gifted him with two replacement rings during an event Monday night at, which will probably be sold off as well given his past comments on giving up the material for the sake of his home country.

“At this moment, I just decided, ‘Why do I need these rings if they’re just sitting in my safe?'” Medvedenko said during an interview with CBS News Los Angeles.

(Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

Medvedenko spent six seasons with the Lakers, flying high with LA during the peak Kobe and Shaq years.

“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 added.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

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