Ron Artest title ring given away for charity

Wed, Dec 29

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest didn't particularly feel like a champion on Christmas Day, losing 96-80 to the Miami Heat.

But one of his fans certainly did.

Raymond Mikhael of Hawthorne, Calif. was selected to win a raffle for Artest's 2010 Lakers championship ring. Mikhael was presented with the ring at a night club across the street from Staples Center at a reception hosted by Artest and actor and comedian George Lopez after the Lakers game.

"I got the call this morning and was skeptical but realized after I spoke to Ron's publicist Heidi Busch that it was real … I actually won his championship ring," said Mikhael. "I was overjoyed, ecstatic, blessed and thankful. All I could think that this was just a great 'life' present on Christmas Day."

The raffle ran since October and raised more than $650,000 to be distributed to various mental health charities. Artest recently donated $50,000 to Pacific Clinics and the Kresge Foundation tripled his donation by pledging an additional $150,000 in grant money distributed via the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health to the clinic.

"It's a good feeling," Artest said about the raffle being over. "It's cool to know we can slowly start donating money to different charities and things like that. It's cool."

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