Former Laker Slava Medvedenko is auctioning off NBA championship rings to help his native Ukraine

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Slava Medvedenko played alongside Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant and won back-to-back championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s. He’s got the bling to show it off.

But he is putting his two championship rings up for auction this week “because I want to help my country,” the Ukrainian native told CBS News.

Medvedenko said 100% of the money from the auction will go to his Fly High Foundation “to help children, send them from eastern Ukraine and take them to a safe place.”

Some of the most intense fights during the war in Ukraine took place in Donbass, a region in eastern Ukraine.

Once the war is over, Medvedenko said his foundation will “rebuild and repair gymnasiums in schools, because 100 schools [have been] completely destroyed.”

“Exercise is mental rehabilitation,” he said.

Though Medvedenko has no military experience, he is one of the many people who have volunteered to fight to defend Ukraine as he dreams of better days.

“I just realized that I can die instantly,” Medvedenko said of why he decided to part with his rings. “These rings will just be in a safe, they can’t help me. I have to do something positive.”

Bryant talks to Medvedenko
FILE – Kobe Bryant speaks with Los Angeles Lakers’ Slava Medvedenko during the NBA season opener against the San Antonio Spurs at the Staples Center October 29, 2002 in Los Angeles, California.

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