The Sixth Man Project is giving back to the community

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The Sixth Man Project is giving back to the community. Ducis Rodgers reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on July 5, 2017. (WPVI)

A local man who is giving back to the community, and having a ball doing it.

The sixth man, the guy who comes off the bench to help his team win is exactly what Mike Gibson is doing - winning - and it all started with a random act of kindness last November when he happened to be driving in West Philadelphia with a brand new basketball in his trunk.

"There were two kids playing on a homemade court with a rubber ball, almost like a beach ball. I said, let me see if I can give them the ball. I gave them the ball. They started playing, smiling, then I asked could I take their picture," Mike said.

And from that one moment of generosity, Mike's mission began to take shape, and it was simple, provide new basketballs to kids who need them most.

Mike said, "Their reaction is pretty much the same, a big smile. You know you walk away, and they give a shout out, thanks Mister."

Mike's job as process server has driving the city streets daily. Now with a car full of basketballs - so when he sees a kid in need, he rolls up, unannounced, and swoops in with the assist.

And what started out as a small idea, has caught fire. And thanks to the generosity of friends, along with the magic of social media, the Sixth Man Project was born.

The success of the project has been overwhelming for both Mike and the kids he is caring for.

"I thought it would be like a quick, get 50 basketballs donated, and that would be the end of it. But then I thought if I could give out 300 balls a year that would be great. But we hit the 500 mark in a little over 6 months," he said.

Mike says his smile is bigger than the kids' combined.

If you would like to donate to the Sixth Man Project click here.

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