Medvedenko, 43, was an influence ahead on the Lakers’ championship groups in 2001 and ’02, taking part in alongside Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
SCP Auctions is donating your complete remaining sale value of each rings to Medvedenko’s Fly Excessive Basis. Its purpose is to help Ukrainian youngsters by restoring the sports activities infrastructure of the war-torn nation’s colleges and launching a community of social sports activities golf equipment.
“We need to restore gyms as a result of the Russian military bombed greater than 100 colleges,” he instructed The Related Press by cellphone on Sunday. “Our nation, they want some huge cash to repair the colleges. Sports activities gyms are going to be final within the line to repair it. In Ukraine, we have now winter and children have to play inside.”
The public sale runs from Wednesday by Aug. 5. The Laguna Niguel, California-based firm estimates each rings will elevate at the least $100,000.
Medvedenko stated 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 the evening sky.
“On this second I simply determined, ‘Why do I want these rings in the event that they’re simply sitting in my protected?'” Medvedenko stated. “I simply acknowledge I can die. After that, I simply say I’ve to promote them to indicate individuals management, to assist my Ukrainian individuals to reside higher, to assist youngsters.”
Medvedenko spoke from Warsaw, Poland, the place he staged a sold-out charity basketball sport to lift cash for Ukrainian refugees who crossed the border to flee the warfare.
“In Ukraine, you are simply feeling it is warfare, rockets, air alerts. You are so used to that form of strain,” he stated. “As quickly as you cross the border and see how individuals reside regular life, it is a completely different world.”
Medvedenko is married with two daughters, ages 16 and 11, and a 10-year-old son. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Medvedenko despatched his youngsters to reside with their grandmother in one other a part of the nation.
“After they keep for 1½ months, they had been on a regular basis calling me and asking, ‘Papa, can we come residence? We need to be with you and Mama,'” he recalled.
5 months into the warfare, Medvedenko has reunited his household in Kyiv.
“We’ve got air alerts virtually daily. Typically it is three or 4 instances a day,” he stated. “The youngsters are so used to it. They play in our yard. They not even cease taking part in they’re used to it.”
Medvedenko has served in Ukraine’s territorial protection forces throughout the warfare.
“We had been defending our neighborhood, doing checkpoints and obligation patrol. I am not the perfect solider, I am not the perfect shooter, however I can provide them help,” he stated, including that he carried an AK-47. “I shoot it a pair instances, not at individuals. I am joyful I haven’t got an opportunity to shoot any person. Our military did an awesome job to defend Kyiv. I need to thank them.”
Medvedenko was a candidate for Kyiv Metropolis Council within the 2020 election. He was 11th on the election record and his get together solely managed to win 9 seats.
Past his humanitarian efforts throughout the warfare, Medvedenko has long-term targets to assist his nation.
“After the victory, we will certainly return to that query of high quality modifications in sport,” he stated. “Ten years in the USA, I noticed the way it works. I hope I’ve preferrred mannequin in my thoughts to vary Ukrainian sport.”
Medvedenko joined the Lakers within the 2000-01 season. He had his finest season in 2003-04 when he began 38 video games instead of injured Corridor of Famer Karl Malone, and averaged eight.three factors and 5.zero rebounds. Accidents later slowed him and Medvedenko was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in 2006-07, his remaining season within the league.
Medvedenko stated he texts with former Lakers Mark Madsen and Luke Walton. The crew has despatched sports activities gear to be used in Ukraine.
“The Lakers household at all times assist me,” he stated. “The Lakers are at all times in my coronary heart.”