Camp Teaches Young Girls How Basketball and Math Are Connected

A free-throw percentage is often a sign of how well a basketball player can shoot while under pressure. That is just one way an annual camp is using basketball numbers to teach middle-schoolers math lessons.

“The main thing is math can be used in a variety of places, and unexpected places,” Doctor Ken Roblee said.

Roblee is the chair of Troy University’s Math Department, and an organizer of Mathsketball Camp.

Local Pike County seventh and eighth grade girls who compete on area basketball teams are invited to the camp to learn how coaches use math in their every day lives. It’s through a partnership with the Lady Trojan Basketball team and the Math Department.

“Coach Graff showed us how she uses statistics to scout the opponents and also to make in-game strategies, as well,” Roblee said.

Now in its second year, the camp includes tours of the facilities, tickets to a basketball game, and hands-on activities

“We actually have them computing some of the statistics for Troy University Lady Trojans basketball team. And so we have them go through each player and compute for example their shooting percentages,” Roblee said.

For students like Tahanna Hobdy, she’s learning how math can be used in ways she had never thought of before.

“It’s not just about dribbling a ball. They track everything they do, like the points and rebounds,” Hobdy said.

The camp is made possible thanks to a grant from the Mathematical Association of America.

“It’s all around us. There’s a lot of data around us. And so it’s always good to be aware. Math isn’t just in a classroom. We just want to bring that to light. It’s useful in every day things, in sport, and things you may not usually think of,” Roblee said.

Organizers say the camp will continue next year and they hope to add other sports to the camp.

Categories: News, Troy