Mathsketball shows middle schoolers practical use of math

February 4, 2020

A unique partnership between the Troy University Mathematics Department and local schools recently gave students an opportunity to learn how math correlates with basketball.

Mathsketball, a two-day camp Jan. 24-25 at Trojan Arena, exposed seventh- and eighth-grade girl basketball players from Pike County schools to the importance of math in athletics.

The basketball theme helped the girls relate math to their everyday lives.

“This is an idea to encourage girls in the Pike County area to persist in their study of math,” said Dr. Ken Roblee, Chair of the Department of Mathematics.

The Department of Mathematics worked in conjunction with TROY Athletics to present the camp to provide students with mentors in the form of the TROY women’s basketball team and coaches.

Coaches reviewed how they analyze the statistics and what those stats reveal about how the team is playing, and how those numbers can be used to prepare and play against opponents.

Mathsketball also helped students learn to compute basic basketball statistics, such as points per game and shooting percentage.

The students from Charles Henderson attended a shoot-around and got a tour of Trojan Arena Saturday morning before the game against Texas-Arlington.

“We taught students how coaches use stats on free throws to be selective in fouling as part of the team’s game planning,” said Jennifer Graf, TROY’s Associate Head Coach.

The event was made possible through a grant from the Mathematical Association of America’s Tensor Women and Mathematics Program.