Last night, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ fans anxiously awaited the announcement of who would be joining the new season and one particular cast member has recently stood out and it’s not for his dance ability, but for his big heart.
L.A. Lakers forward Ron Artest has not only chosen to show us his moves on the dance floor, but he has revealed he will donate the money he earns from the show to cancer research.
Thanks are in order for Artest’s daughter, because if it wasn’t for her he wouldn’t be showcasing his dance skills. The only one to convince Artest to join the show was his 8-year-old daughter Diamond.
“She said, ‘Daddy, you can do it,’” Artest said in a phone interview. “It’s going to be fun.”
It was more than just his daughter’s encouragement that pushed him to do the show; it was the fact that at the age of 4 Diamond became diagnosed with wilms tumor, a kindey cancer that affects children. Since his daughter beat the illness, Artest will donate his earnings to the Cancer Research Foundation.
“That’s the only reason I’m doing it,” he said. “I’m doing it for a cause.”
For just appearing on the show the Lakers player will make $125,000, which premieres on Sept. 19. He will donate this amount plus any additional money he earns, if he happens to advance.
Artest has also made headlines when it comes to his comments about the dance show. During the last season of basketball and this off-season, he said he would want to be voted out the first round. “I don’t want to put my hips in a situation where I’m looking like Rick Fox.”
It has been known that Artest doesn’t know if he can dance well. His publicist, Courtney Barnes, even commented in a series of text messages saying, “He can’t dance.”
But Artest isn’t going to let all this slow him down. He and his partner, who has yet to be revealed, have already started taking lessons. Artest will also ask boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. for some help, who appeared on the show in 2007.
“I’m doing the Cha-cha-cha my first week,” Artest said. “We’re going to get past [the first round]. I want to work hard and see where it takes me. I don’t know how far I’m going to go, but I’m going to try.”