December 29th, 2010

Lakers’ Artest raised more than $500K from raffling his ring

Posted by slammo in News

We all laughed when Ron Artest thanked his psychiatrist after the Lakers won the championship last June. Who knew he’d not only put his championship ring up for a charity raffle but also promote mental health awareness. via Associated Press:

The ring was won by Raymond Mikkael, a father of four from Hawthorne, Calif.

Although he doesn’t yet know the final figures, Artest’s raffle has raised well over $500,000 for his Xcel University charity, which will work with high-risk youth on mental health issues. Artest said he already wrote his first $50,000 check from the proceeds to the charity…

Artest hasn’t satisfied his taste for unorthodox gestures of charity: He also recently said he would like to donate a huge chunk of his $6.79 million salary for next season to mental health charities.

Incredible. Athletes are known to be selfish and give for publicity stunts. Artest seems to genuinely care. The ring meant so much to him. In many ways, it represented his redemption. In an interview after “The Malice at the Palace,” he plugged his upcoming rap album. He was arrogant, self-centered, and cost the Indiana Pacers’ only chance at a championship run. And now he’s a champion and a philanthropist.

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