Mixed opinions arise when discussing Blake Griffin's over-car dunk at the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Regardless, it got people talking and the 2011 Kia Optima played a major role in the jam. Kia turned Griffin's hop into a commercial, and now Griffin is again using that same Optima for another good move; one that will benefit cancer research organization Stand Up to Cancer.
With the help of AutoTrader.com, Blake Griffin will auction off the car that helped him win the 2011 Dunk Contest title. Signed by the recently named Rookie of the Year, this Optima has been seen by millions of people courtesy of YouTube (and you can join that group by clicking past the jump and watching the dunk for yourself).
All proceeds will go to Stand Up for Cancer, which is a charity close to Griffin's heart. His friend, and former high school basketball teammate, Wilson Holloway recently lost a three-year battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. AutoTrader.com, which typically does not auction vehicles, has stated that it's eager to help raise as much money as possible for such a worthy charity. The auction will run through May 15th, and can be viewed at a special Blake Griffin-specific page on AutoTrader.com.
Click past the jump to get a refresher on Griffin's sedan-soaring slam, then be sure to read through the press release for more information. It's also worth mentioning that donations can be made to Stand Up to Cancer here.
Donation Made In Tribute to Friend and Former Teammate Wilson Holloway
Auction is Open at www.autotrader.com/BlakeDunk Through May 15
Additional Donations Can Be Made at www.su2c.org/BlakeDunk
LOS ANGELES – May 6, 2011 – Los Angeles Clippers forward and 2010-11 T-Mobile NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin has donated the autographed 2011 Kia Optima midsize sedan used in his jaw-dropping dunk in the Sprite Slam Dunk at NBA All-Star 2011 for a public charity auction on AutoTrader.com to benefit Stand Up To Cancer.
Proceeds from the auction of the automobile will go directly to cancer research funded by Stand Up To Cancer in tribute to Griffin's friend and former high school teammate, Wilson Holloway. A Tulsa native, Wilson passed away on February 16 after a three-year battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Griffin will work with Stand Up to Cancer to identify the best way to utilize the funds to target research done specifically for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
The auction is now open on AutoTrader.com and will run through 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST on Sunday, May 15. To find out more information and to bid on the auction package, go to www.autotrader.com/BlakeDunk
"I am honored to memorialize Wilson's legacy by helping to raise funds for cancer research," said Blake Griffin. "Wilson was an inspiration to everybody who knew him, and a very dear friend and teammate. I dedicated my All-Star weekend to him."
To further support Griffin's commitment to raise funds for cancer research in honor of Holloway, Stand Up To Cancer has created a fundraising team called Team Blake: In Honor of My Friend, Wilson Holloway, through which the public can donate any amount of money at www.su2c.org/BlakeDunk.
"Wilson Holloway's memory lives on through the generosity of his friend Blake Griffin," said Laura Ziskin, a cancer survivor and co-founder of Stand Up To Cancer. "Basketball fans and all of us who have loved or lost someone in the fight against cancer can be a part of Blake's tribute to Wilson, to help fund critical cancer research that can make a difference."
AutoTrader.com doesn't normally offer vehicle auctions, but was pleased to support an auction solution on this occasion to help raise the most money possible. "As the Ultimate Automotive Marketplace, what better place to showcase this unique car, help generate excitement behind this vehicle and raise the most money possible in the fight against cancer," said AutoTrader.com Chief Marketing Officer Clark Wood.
Griffin dedicated his NBA All-Star 2011 debut to Holloway, and said he plans to give Holloway's family the Sprite Slam Dunk championship trophy he earned with his spectacular dunk over the hood of the Kia Optima.