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Team of 5-year-old Brampton basketball players hug their way to social media stardom

A children’s basketball team in Brampton, Ont., gathered for a team huddle but couldn’t help but show a little love for each other in a moment that's making a big splash on social media.

Video of the group hug has racked up more than 1 million views on Instagram

Shabaig Singh Dhillon, 5, hugs his teammates instead of huddling with them at their first basketball practice in Brampton. (Gurpreet Singh Dhillon)

A group of five-year-old boys from Brampton are giving people an important lesson in kindness and friendship.

The children's basketball team gathered for a team huddle but couldn't help but show a little love for each other in a moment that's making a big splash on social media. 

Video of Shabaig Singh Dhillon hugging his teammates instead of just huddling with them in their very first basketball practice has gone viral.

The moment, which was captured by his father, Brampton Coun. Gurpreet Singh Dhillon, has racked up more than one million views and almost 165,000 "likes" on Instagram.

The children can be seen embracing one another when their coach comes over and laughs at the sweet moment.

The hug even grabbed the attention of American sports broadcaster ESPN. 

The heart-warming moment was unprompted, the councillor said.

"His mother and I were just watching him in the stands and I guess he felt like he had to co-ordinate a group hug with his teammates before they started playing so I took my phone out and captured it," he said. 

"My son is a very loving kid, and the beauty of why I think it became viral is because you have a group of five-year-olds who really knew no better, who were told to huddle but started a group hug instead," Dhillon added. 

The family told CBC News that the response to their son's group hug has been overwhelming.

"I never expected this. We've received hundreds of messages from people online who've reached out to tell us that they needed to see that moment. It made their day. I think it touched a lot of people's hearts because it's kind of like innocence personified," Dhillon said. 

Despite the viral fame, Dhillon said his son still has no idea that he's become an Internet sensation but plans to tell him about the moment when he's a little bit older. 

"For now they're just kids and I think we should let them be that. There's something refreshing about seeing something so innocent," he said.

"Sometimes as adults we separate ourselves into different groups or we might judge people, but there's a lot we can learn from these kids."

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