Xcel University is a non-profit, 501c3 organization established by Ron Artest that works with community centers and schools to identify high-risk students and give these students an incentive to live a positive, healthy lifestyle.
In fall 2010, Artest decided to raffle off his 2010 NBA World Championship Ring with the proceeds going to his nonprofit, Xcel University. The online ring raffle launched on October 27th, 2010, on Larry King Live, and concluded on December 25, 2010. Tickets sales started at $2 each, with a minimum purchase of 5 tickets ($10 minimum), and raised $651,006. Funds raised through the ring raffle were earmarked to be donated to nonprofits that provide no- or low-cost mental health therapists and mental health services to those who wouldn’t otherwise have access.
Ron, actor George Lopez, and ring raffle winner Raymond Mikhael, at the ring presentation, December 25th, 2010
A.R.T.E.S.T. MATH MASTERS, a program that operated during the 2008-09 school year, focused on elementary mathematics skills for students in third through fifth grades. This high-interest and interactive curriculum was themed around Ron’s game statistics as students tracked his game statistics (minutes, points, rebounds, and assists) throughout the regular season. Students incorporated the data in lessons on curriculum objectives, including quantitative reasoning, spatial reasoning, measurement, and probability and statistics, at A.R.T.E.S.T. work stations that were open every Wednesday for six weeks. The workstations were coordinated by the campus math lead teachers and the regional mathematics content specialists, and were facilitated by school staff members. Students worked to earn fabulous A.R.T.E.S.T. prizes and were rewarded for high scores in mathematics.