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Help a MassChallenge startup: NBA Math Hoops

Posted by Chad O'Connor  February 6, 2013 11:00 AM

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[Editor's Note: In case you missed Global Business Hub Contributor Ellen Keiley's segment on RadioBDC earlier this week, you can listen to it here.]

Another installment in our ongoing series to help innovative MassChallenge companies get the word out about what they offer and get connected with what they need to thrive.

How did NBA Math Hoops get started?
Our country is facing a crisis. Nationally, 65% of Eighth Grade students are not proficient in math, and that number jumps to 83% among lower-income students. There is a strong correlation between failing a math class in middle school and dropping out of high school, which leads to a lifetime of struggle. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiatives are becoming increasingly important on the national stage. NBA Math Hoops’ mission is to improve math literacy by creating and distributing innovative, fun, effective educational tools that harness the power of basketball.

NBA Math Hoops was founded by Bill Daugherty – who worked at the NBA for 9 years before going on to become a successful entrepreneur, and Tim Scheidt – an educator/inventor with over 30 years of experience in the math field. Their CEO is Khalil Fuller – an Echoing Green Fellow and MassChallege Award winner. NBA Math Hoops was created in coordination with NBA Cares and Big Picture Learning – a Gates Foundation recognized network of alternative schools.

What does NBA Math Hoops do?
With a team of highly qualified math educators and thought leaders, NBA Math Hoops has developed a supplemental math curriculum structured around a basketball board game. Students race against a shot clock to do math correctly for the opportunity to take a shot with one of their personally drafted NBA or WNBA players.

In the early stages, NBA Math Hoops ran an extremely successful pilot study – students’ math scores improved by 51% and students’ attitudes towards math fundamentally changed. The results of the pilot confirmed the hypothesis that students across the country could greatly benefit from NBA Math Hoops. The Hasbro Foundation funded the first $100,000 worth of NBA Math Hoops “Kits” which are currently being used by over 10,000 students nationwide, both in their math classrooms and in afterschool programs. NBA Math Hoops is working with one of the nation’s premier research organizations to assess its efficacy and learn how it can iterate and improve.

NBA Math Hoops intends to scale its impact in the coming years through widespread distribution of the physical game as well as through the development and promotion of a free NBA Math Hoops mobile app. NBA Math Hoops – Creating math champions, one game at a time.

How can our readers help?
Do you know any schools, afterschool programs, or summer camps that serve middle or high school students? Email to discuss using NBA Math Hoops over the summer or next school year! NBA Math Hoops is going to be giving away thousands of their Kits to educators across the country, and they want to flood Boston with as many as possible!

Keep up with NBA Math Hoops by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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