NEWPORT NEWS -- A weekend filled with free throws and dunks at Menchville High School had more to do with hope than hoops.

The sixth annual Stop the Violence Basketball Tournament continued work to help at-risk children in the city.

'There is a lot of violence going on right now with the younger black kids,' said referee Michael Mills.

People who put together the event want to keep children engaged in their community -- mentoring them, building leadership skills -- in an effort to keep them away from crime.

'Maybe if they can come out here, they can find other things to do, you know playing basketball, getting involved in youth sports, anything to deter them from the streets,' Mills told 13News Now.

By the end of June, there were close to a dozen murders in Newport News. Three of them happened in the city's East End during the last week of the month.

'I just lost my cousin to violence, about two months ago,' explained Timothy Hewett. 'It's just something that needs to stop. I mean, we can't control it, but we can at least try to get everybody to stop the violence, and this right here is what can help.'

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