• Greenwich's Shawn Van Hoose, left, goes up for a layup while defended Kol Lewis, of Mamaroneck, N.Y., in the St. Joseph Parenting Center's third annual 3-on-3 Hoops Tournament at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Conn. Sunday, March 19, 2017. Dozens of men's and coed teams competed in the tournament to benefit St. Joseph Parenting Center, which provides free parenting education in a safe and social atmosphere. Photo: Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media / Greenwich Time

STAMFORD — Jelani Tonge, the father of a 2-year old girl, decided St. Joseph’s Parenting Center’s 24-7 Dad program, a support group for fathers, might help him improve his parenting skills.

“I learned a lot about how to talk to my daughter, which is helpful because, with a 2-year-old, you know they can get out of hand,” Tonge said.

Tonge was more one of more than 120 players who hit the basketball court Sunday at the parenting center’s 3rd annual 3 on 3 Hoops Tournament at Chelsea Piers Stamford, a one day double elimination tournament raising money for the organization’s parenting courses, which serve low income parents.

The program, which began in 2010, serves about 300 parents a year at the Yerwood Center on the city’s west side. About half of those participants are referred by the state’s Department of Children and Families or via court orders, said Executive Director Measi O’Rourke.

Tonge, 21, of Stamford, said, in addition to helping him be a better dad, the program also helped him come to grips with unresolved emotions over his brother Aswad dying…

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Mayra Rodriguez

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