It was the most talked-about moment of this year’s NBA All-Star game; Blake Griffin’s unbelievable dunk over a 2011 Kia Optima to seal his victory in the Sprite Slam Dunk contest. Now, AutoTrader.com will be teaming up with charity Stand Up To Cancer, auctioning that car to benefit cancer research.
The Satin Metal-colored Optima went on sale Thursday at 6pm in a ten-day auction intended to draw bidders interested in both the car and promoting cancer research. Stand Up To Cancer will receive all proceeds from the Kia Optima, donated in memory of Griffin’s friend and former high school teammate Wilson Holloway. Sadly, Holloway died shortly before the All-Star weekend after a three year battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After the All-Star game and his mind-blowing dunk, Griffin returned to his native Tulsa to serve as a pall bearer at Holloway’s funeral.
“I am honored to memorialize Wilson’s legacy by helping to raise funds for cancer research,” said Griffin, who will assist Stand Up To Cancer to determine the best use of the funds. “Wilson was an inspiration to everybody who knew him, and a very dear friend and teammate. I dedicated my All-Star weekend to him.”
The auction, viewable live at AutoTrader.com/BlakeDunk, is unusual for AutoTrader.com, which doesn’t offer the traditional auction format as a way to sell vehicles on the site. But AutoTrader is happy to accommodate the new format to help promote a worthy cause.
“As the Ultimate Automotive Marketplace, what better place to showcase this unique car, help generate excitement and raise the most money possible in the fight against cancer,” said Clark Wood, AutoTrader.com’s chief marketing officer.
The Optima is a top-of-the-line SX model equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder capable of 274 horsepower. Equipment includes leather upholstery, a sunroof, alloy wheels, a navigation system, and one very unique feature; Blake Griffin’s signature, which graces the steering wheel and driver’s door sill. A native of Oklahoma City, Griffin – selected first overall in the 2009 NBA Draft – was this year’s NBA Rookie of the Year.