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Win a Real NBA Championship Ring

10-29-2010

Written By: Abel S. - "Honest Abe"

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I’d like to take a moment to bring attention to a worthy cause that deserves support. Ron Artest, who in case you didn’t know plays Forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, is a huge proponent of mental health. He credits his therapist with helping him get his mind in the right place to focus and help the Lakers repeat as NBA champions last season. This was the first NBA title for Artest.

Many people will remember Artest as the player who was suspended for the season for his part in the brawl a few years ago between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons. But I’m not here to rehash the past. Artest has turned his outlook around and as a part of his reinvention; he’s raffling off his championship ring to support a cause dear to him.

From their website: “The Mission of Xcel University is to encourage children and teens living in high-poverty and high-risk environments to complete their education and get good grades and encourage students to become community leaders by volunteering their time and giving back to their communities."

"Xcel University is a new program established by Ron Artest that will work with community centers and schools to identify high-risk students and give these students an incentive to live a positive, healthy lifestyle. Xcel University aims to instill self-respect and self-esteem and will reward those kids who are trying to lead a productive life free of drugs and gangs, and are instead focused on doing well in school and volunteering within their communities.”

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Photo Courtesy of Jason of Beverly Hills

Okay, here’s how it works. The raffle is open to everyone and tickets are only $2 each.  You must purchase a minimum of five tickets but look at it this way; realistically, you could have Ron Artest’s championship ring for $10!

Here’s the link for the raffle: https://www.celebritiesforcharity.org/raffles/raffle_form.cfm?id=154

The winner will be drawn on Christmas Day (not a bad present for one lucky person) but wait, there’s more!  The winner will also receive two premium seats to a Lakers game, a two night stay at the Four Seasons hotel, round trip airfare and an additional $1,000 cash for expenses. Drooling yet?

Further information is available here: http://www.ronartest.com/raffle

In conclusion, I feel the need to get on a soapbox for a moment. Oftentimes you hear about celebrity athletes who donate their time to charity but it’s not too often that you hear about said person doing something like this. This ring is a one of a kind and it represents a high point of Artest’s career. When he was acquired by the Lakers at the beginning of last season, he actually said, “If we don’t win the NBA champion, blame me.” In an interview with Larry King last week, Artest said, “When I first told people I was going to put the ring up for auction to benefit mental health awareness, a couple of people said, ‘I’ll buy it for $100,000, $200,000. ‘ I’d rather give more people the opportunity to get it so I can get the message out because it’s not about how much money I can raise, it’s more about the message.” Personally, I think this speaks a great deal about the kind of person Artest has evolved into. I hate to throw the word ‘hero’ out there because it’s rather cliché but I’m sure to the kids who will benefit from his generosity and support to Xcel University, Ron Artest is their hero.

Abel S. a.k.a. "Honest Abe" has written reviews for Dark Horizons, JoBlo and MusicTap.  He has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He can usually be found at his keyboard ranting and rambling about the human condition or watching Beavis & Butthead.