Philadelphia woman uses portable basketball hoop to bring community together

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In times of fear, sometimes simple acts of community and connection can make a world of difference.

A Fairmount woman is using a basketball to break to the tension.

Stephania Ergemlidze has spent the last year bringing her portable hoop around Philadelphia to unite people of all walks of life.

She recently retired it because of COVID-19 and social distancing, but with the unrest in the city this week, she brought it back.

"People needed this positivity," says Stephania. "We need something to bring people together right now. I love Philly so much. For me to see like the city just completely torn apart is killing me inside. I wanted to find a way that I could bring some kind of light to the situation in my own way and unite everybody."

Stephania's day job is as a social media influencer.

At this moment she realized her reach and true influence, and this message of unity that she's meant to spread as she brought together police and protesters and people all over Philly -- for the love of the game.

"It was just like an unreal experience," she says. "The way that people just come together is really cool. I am so happy that what we did is actually creating some kind of impact."

Stephania announces where the hoop will pop up next on her Instagram page.

She's also raising money to take it on the road.

She calls the program Ballin' for Justice.
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