The Loop

Philadelphia teens prove once and for all that ball is life

People can’t seem to agree on much of anything these days. Even the most basic facts and level-headed opinions are being met with vitriol. It’s an ugly scene, much of it happening on social media, which has descended into a place so dark it’s become hard to fathom.

But during the endless scrolling of yelling and screaming, one tweet, well, a photo, shined through like a beacon in the night on Tuesday. It was a picture of Philadelphia teen Khalil Gardner, who brought a basketball hope into the city in the hopes of “breaking the tension,” as WHYY-FM reporter Nina Feldman put it:

Actually, while the picture of Khalil is the one going viral, the real organizer is a girl named Stephania Ergemlidze. If you notice the backboard of the hoop, you can see her name write across it. She later tweet it was her project and asked people if they’d like to get involved to visit her Instagram page, or this gofundme page she created called “Balling For Justice”:

Incredibly, this wasn’t just a nice photo opportunity. It actually worked, as folks began gathering to shoot some hoops, including a cop. According to Feldman, Ergemlidze schooled everybody:

Awesome job by Stephania and co., who proved once and for all that ball is indeed life.