In a Tokyo gym packed with basketball fans, the home team Sunrockers are down by 12 points at halftime. Victory prospects don’t look good: The visiting side’s point guard is too quick, and its big men are dominating the boards. But in the second half, there’s the unlikeliest of comebacks.

The Sunrocker’s coach brings on a stocky forward, who starts to knock down shots, grab rebounds and play airtight defense. As the comeback gains momentum, he gets the chance at a three-point shot and buries it. The crowd roars. The Sunrockers win by 10, and the award for player of the game goes to the substitute, Jeff Gibbs.

"This is really rewarding," says Gibbs as he collects the oversized check. "Especially at my age.”