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Man finds joy through giving the gift of game

(AP Photo/Bullen Chol)

My college years were a blur for me. This is not because of too much partying. Actually, very much contrary, at any given time I was working two jobs while going to the University of Washington.

One job had me on the graveyard shift. One quarter I remember leaving work at 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning, driving to the UW parking lot, sleeping in my car for a bit and then going to class. Somehow I still managed a great GPA (in my opinion), but can only remember bits and pieces of what little “life” I had on campus.

One of those bits includes a conversation with a professor about homelessness. He told me he keeps packages of dates in his car to hand out to the homeless because dates are very nutritious. This stands out only because that’s a unique thing to hand over to someone experiencing homelessness. The thought is there though.

Since this conversation I’ve often thought about what I can keep in my car. There are times I’ve stocked up on trail mix. Last winter I kept gloves, scarves and socks to hand out at-will when I pulled up to someone on a street corner. One thing I’d never think to keep in my car is a basketball, but that’s what makes Philadelphia’s Michael Gibson so unique.

Gibson isn’t handing out basketballs to people experiencing homelessness – he’s giving them to kids. His passion for the game began as a boy playing in the streets of Philly and one day about a year ago he spotted kids playing on a court just like him. So, he took the brand new basketball he had in his car and handed it over to the kids. They beamed, he took a picture and was so pleased with the response he got on Facebook from the picture that he continued.

Today, he told CBS News, he’s given out 800 basketballs.

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