Think incredible trick shot videos have nothing to do with helping kids in poverty? Think again! Basketball trick shot masters and all round good guys How Ridiculous traveled to the Philippines to shoot hoops with their sponsored children and witness the work of Compassion firsthand.

Since 2010, How Ridiculous’ videos of their jaw-dropping trick shots have racked up more than 15 million views on YouTube. Their incredible stunts (which have made the news worldwide) have broken several Guinness World records, including the record for the ‘greatest height from which a basketball is shot’—a massive 91 metres.

After the boys came back from the Philippines, we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Derek Herron about his experiences.

“I’d encourage anyone to read the words of Jesus and to be challenged by His call for us,” says Brett Stanford. “We’re not here to live for ourselves, we’re here to live for Him and His glory and in order to do that, we need to be all about the things He cares for: a love and a compassion for people.”

What were your impressions of the Philippines? Was it what you expected going in or was it completely different?

I’d had some previous experience in Thailand and Myanmar with poverty so I wasn’t too surprised at the poorness of the country. Geographically, I found it pretty cool to see the difference from when we were in Manilla to when we were in Naga City. You see the big city lifestyle they have there and then compare it to the smaller areas where there obviously wasn’t as much money in Naga City as there was in Manila. You can see the difference.

You were in Manila when Typhoon Hagupit struck. What was going through your mind?

We stood on the balcony at one point and it was just so windy and wild; we were okay up in the hotel but we just didn’t know how much damage it was doing to the village that Jefferson [my sponsored child] and other kids were living in. The typhoon weakened and it wasn’t as bad as it was supposed to be but there’s still that fear that with their infrastructure they just might not last through a storm like that. It was nerve-wracking.

It wasn’t until that next day that the boys actually rocked up at our hotel that we first heard they were fine. It was good to hear that everyone pulled through.

What was it like meeting Jefferson?

It was pretty exciting. It was kind of funny nerves for me but then he finally got up and spoke and I went up there and gave him a hug and that was pretty cool to be able to do that, to actually be able to meet him in person.

What would you say to somebody who was thinking of visiting their sponsored child?

I would tell them it’s definitely worth the time and investment to see the work that Compassion is putting in on the ground with the money that you give. It’s encouraged me even more to keep sponsoring Jefferson.

It amazed me to be able to see the investment in their own people; Compassion provides the infrastructure [but] it’s the locals that put in all the work.

What was the highlight of your trip?

I think because of my love of basketball, I really enjoyed being out on the court and playing against the boys from the centres. Just to hear the crowd go nuts every time we scored, I really loved that; I think it will stick with me for a while.

Words by Monique Wallace Photos and footage by ACCTV

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