Knoxville — Samuel and Pierre had an instant connection when they met at Young Williams Animal Center.

The shelter animal reminds Samuel of his dog, King.

"Sometimes we run together," said Samuel.

The 9-year-old is a pet lover, but he is looking for a human companion, and he wants to have fun.

"Play basketball. He might help me with my homework," he said.

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More than 160 children like Samuel are waiting to be matched with mentors in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee program, but there are not enough volunteers and the waiting list is growing.

Samuel is hoping for a big brother who likes to play video games with him.

He also wants to try something new.

"Would you go roller skating? Yeah probably."

So, if you like to shoot hoops and you want to learn a thing or two, maybe you and Samuel can live a little.

Click here to become a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee.