Education Matters: Math Hoops


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Learning about math just became a slam dunk for some local students.

That’s because a board game is helping them improve their grades.

But it’s not just any board game. By rolling the dice, some 4th graders are working on fundamental math skills through the game of basketball.

“It’s more funner than doing regular math,” says Lauren, 4th Grader.

It’s called NBA Math Hoops. Kids get to set their lineup of favorite NBA players and then use their stats to solve multiple math problems so that they can score.

“Math is really important because it comes down to certain jobs sometimes like being an architect because you have to know square feet,” says Daveian, 4th Grader.

Daveian has always enjoyed math, and after playing NBA Math Hoops, he didn’t realize how much of the subject related to the sport.

“You have to do math in your head to figure out like what angles to shoot at,” he explains.

Teacher Jeffrey Nesmith says the game builds interest and love for math, while also developing key interpersonal skills that will serve them throughout their lives.

“The kids are more inclined to focus. They’re way more attentive and they’re just waiting for the chance to play,” says Nesmith, 4th Grade Teacher.

NBA Math Hoops emphasizes addition, subtraction, multiplication and division but also shoots for fractions and decimals. 

The teacher says he’s seen major improvements.

“We had a student who played NBA Math Hoops for 3 years. When we first met, he was struggling in math and he made it all the way to GT now,” he says.

Students say there’s a difference from learning out of the book and doing something outside the key.

“You have to explain how you got that answer, you can’t just go up and put your answer on the board,” Daveian adds.

It doesn’t matter what side of the court you’re on, offense or defense. This is a team effort with plenty of assists to leave everyone to a victory.

NBC Math Hoops also offers prizes to students and depending on how well they do, they have the opportunity to compete in the national championship.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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