SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Although Father’s Day is 10 days away, it was the key topic of conversation today in Springfield.

22News has what was shared at an exclusive film screening and panel discussion.

At the Basketball Hall of Fame, fathers exchanged experiences and spoke to the importance of being a good role model.

Comcast, TV One, and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno were the hosts of a screening of ” Beyond the Spotlight: Shaquille O’Neal” at the Basketball Hall of Fame to celebrate fatherhood and the responsibility of leadership. The film covers basketball star Shaq’s absentee father, as well as the important relationship he had with his stepfather and explains why he spends so much time giving back to children. The film served as a great starting point for a discussion about the important role fathers have in the family dynamic.

Trevor Depass the Technical Operations Manager for Comcast Cable said, “Being a father is important, whether you are a father to your kids directly or you’re just a mentor to someone else’s children. Having a male in your life is really important nowadays. I’m not saying that the mother isn’t important but I think that balance is key.”

Trevor was part of a panel discussion that followed the screening. The panel was moderated by three-time Emmy nominee Dondré Whitfield and focused on the important role, both at home and in the community, that fathers play.

One of the the biggest take-aways from the panel discussion was how important it is for father’s to be good role models for their children.