KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Some goals in the sports world involve higher callings. Such is the case for one Missouri Comets soccer star, who is using his success to benefit sick people overseas.
Between the plays, there came a prayer. Comets forward Leo Gibson left his native Liberia 12 years ago, but his home stayed close to his heart.
During the past decade, more than 4,000 Liberians have died due to the rampant spread of the Ebola virus. That's why Gibson founded Kick For Christ, a ministry designed to deliver used soccer gear to African kids in areas decimated by declining public health.
"We are very fortunate to be in a country where we have so much, compared to Liberia where it's a terrible country," Gibson said. "It means a lot to the people back home -- the kids, the families."
Gibson leads the Major Arena Soccer League in goals scored, driving a Comets team that's won all 20 of its games this season. His photos chronicle his missions of mercy to West Africa. Gibson has taken families from the Kansas City metro to help him deliver contributions.
"The things that we consider used here are brand new back there, from the used soccer shoes and the used soccer uniforms, it means a lot," Gibson said.
"It's just a different scale of poverty there," Comets Goalkeeper Danny Waltman said. "They really don't have much -- the things we take for granted."
Gibson said it didn't take long for his ministry to expand and include clothing and sanitary items for people in Liberia. As a soccer star, it's his responsibility to help people in his native land as if he were their servant.
"He is a true ambassador of this game. He's also a tremendous person," Comets head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. "I've been blessed -- not just to be his coach -- but to be his friend."
"My prayer for the entire continent is for leaders who see themselves as servants who will provide for the people they're there to represent," Gibson said.
He's leading by example, and helping others who can't help themselves.
Gibson says he's been expanding his Kicks For Christ ministry to help less fortunate kids here in the metro.
As for the undefeated Comets, who are the defending MASL champions, they won't play again until March 12th, when they open the MASL Playoffs against either Milwaukee or Chicago.