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Slava Medvedenko has joined the growing list of high-profile Ukrainian athletes to return back home and fight Russian forces on the frontline.
A former NBA star, Medvedenko has been retired since 2007 following his stint with the Atlanta Hawks.
Prior to that, he enjoyed a seven-season spell with the Los Angeles Lakers where he won two championships alongside the late great Kobe Bryant.
Now the six-foot-10-inch guard has found himself armed with an AK-47 to defend his country against the Russian invasion.
Medvedenko recently spoke to The Athletic, providing them with an incredibly-detailed description of what it's like on the ground in the capital of Kyiv.
“War is time to open something different in yourself,” he says.
“Can you imagine? You’re just sitting at a checkpoint and you see a big f**king rocket just fly over you?
“We have almost first row in the cinema. That was the first time I think Russians understand they cannot break our air defense system.”
Medvedenko is just the latest current or former professional sports star hailing from Ukraine to take up arms for their nation.
The former Lakers players joins the likes of the Klitschko brothers, Vasyl Lomachenko, Oleksandr Usyk, Sergiy Stakhovsky and a bunch of others in returning home to tackle Russia's full-scale invasion head on.
But it's not just taking up arms where Medvedenko hopes to to help as he also plans on selling his championship rings to further aid Ukraine.
“Medvedenko is doing everything he can to support the Ukrainian army, which for a former NBA star has included auctioning off virtually all memorabilia from his playing days,” The Athletic's Bill Oram writes.
“He said he has already sold T-shirts, jerseys and sneakers. Next up: His championship rings, a process for which he has sought assistance from the Lakers.
“The organization has offered to help however it can, including preparing a shipment of sports gear to send to Ukraine. In an email, Lakers executive Linda Rambis told Medvedenko that if he sold his rings, the team would replace them.”
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