NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — At the Huntersville Recreation Center in Norfolk, the number one rule of the game on the basketball court is togetherness. Mother versus child games were suspended during the pandemic but at 6 p.m. Thursday, they’ll be back.

“I’m inviting the entire community to just come out and see. I’m hoping that a lot more moms can get in tune with sports in Norfolk, especially the Huntersville area,” said Recreation Center coach Julian Pete, affectionately known as Teeny Weeny. Pete, at birth, weighed less than two pounds.

Something that happened miles away from Huntersville at Richneck Elementary School in Newport News prompted the recreation center coach to restore a plan to bring families together. The coach said anytime a child has a gun, it points to problems at home.

“When I learned about that kid in Newport News, all I could just say is why, and how did he get it? But, at the end of the day, it starts from home,” Pete said. “We got to get a better idea of what’s surrounding our kids inside the home.”

Huntersville used to be home for the coach. The neighborhood is dotted with makeshift memorials where teens in gangs have been killed, or where they killed a rival.

Regina Mobley: Do you think, that for many of these children, no one shows them love?

Coach Julian Pete: That’s the number one thing: love emotions, you know what I mean. It’s being involved with them and showing that you care. Coach Pete, who has a young man who had some trouble with the law, is calling on fathers to get involved in their children’s lives. He is grateful to coaches such as the late Joe Austin Jr., Bobby Jordan, Byron Joyce and Pastor Gregory Perry who showed the young Teeny Weeny love.

For more information on recreation center programs call 757-664-7434.