July 7, 2023 (Photo: Daniela Monzi/Learn Fresh)
New York, NY - The 2023 NBA Math Hoops Global Championship came to a close on Saturday, June 24th with an electric final game featuring Ashton Sanders (Detroit Pistons) and Anabelle Strauss (Cleveland Cavaliers), versus Genevieve Koberstein (Denver Nuggets) and Jordyn Ma (Utah Jazz). After twenty minutes of gameplay the teams were all tied up, leading to an intense overtime where Sanders and Strauss emerged victorious.
This year's Global Championship, formerly the NBA Math Hoops National Championship, was co-hosted with NBA Cares and featured immersive STEM activations and competitive gameplay for a group of 24 students, who represented 17 regional NBA Math Hoops programs from around the world.
Students tipped off the Global Championship experience on Thursday, June 23rd with a trip to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey. The group had the opportunity to explore the center and engage in an interactive lesson on the role of physics in different sports. That evening, students attended the 2023 NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where they had the exclusive opportunity to attend the pre-draft red carpet experience, where they mingled with first round draftees and current players.
The final round of tournament competition took place at Madison Square Garden on Friday. Students got a tour of the Garden and engaged in a STEM activation led by Ametek staff, who showcased Ametek’s powerful high-speed cameras. Students explored the creation of their own slow-motion shots with the same technology used for instant replays at sporting events and in Marvel movies.
Madison Square Garden proved a fitting venue for the thrilling championship game between Sanders, Strauss, Koberstein, and Ma. Following the completion of the tournament and award ceremony, all 24 students were surprised with gifts from participating NBA and WNBA team partners in a heartwarming ceremony to culminate the weekend. Themes of teamwork and sportsmanship were evident throughout the tournament, and four Sportsmanship Award winners were identified for their exceptional dedication to supporting fellow competitors and maintaining positive attitudes, in addition to their excellent gameplay.
The student participants in the Global Championship were selected based on qualifying criteria and nominations from their program educator. To qualify for selection, students must have played a minimum of 25 games of NBA Math Hoops and completed ten curriculum units over the course of a program season. Students must have displayed a high degree of growth through the program, a dedication to practicing good sportsmanship, and an ability to overcome adversity either inside or outside the classroom. Students meeting these criteria were nominated by their program educator to apply, and participants were then selected from the pool of applicants.
In addition to an exciting wrap-up to the 2022-23 season, this year’s Global Championship marked a new era for NBA Math Hoops, incorporating students from outside the United States for the first time in program history and marking the 10th anniversary of NBA Math Hoops community programs. NBA Math Hoops kicked off its first season in Cleveland in partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2013-2014 season. Since then the program has grown tenfold, serving over 750,000 students and 7,000 educators to date. For this year’s Global Championship, two students — Archer Wright and Emmett Whitcher –- traveled from Melbourne, Australia to represent The Huddle, the community arm of the North Melbourne Football club, where students have participated in NBA Math Hoops programs since 2021.
Congratulations to all student participants in this year’s Global Championship!
2023 NBA Math Hoops Global Championship Winners:
Ashton Sanders - Pistons Math Hoops
Anabelle Strauss - Cavaliers Math Hoops
Genevieve Koberstein - Nuggets Math Hoops
Jordyn Ma - Jazz Math Hoops
Sportsmanship Award Winners:
Archer Wright - The Huddle/North Melbourne Football Club
Anabelle Strauss - Cavaliers Math Hoops
Langston Shaffer - Suns Math Hoops
Taniaja Hoover - Bucks Math Hoops Powered by SC Johnson
Learn Fresh also honored the following educators for their dedication within the NBA Math Hoops program:
Tsakani Ngobeni - NBA Africa - Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa - Johannesburg, SA
Christine Hays - Thunder Math Hoops - Roosevelt Middle School - Oklahoma City, OK
D’Shaunta Stewart - Bucks Math Hoops - Cross Trainers Academy - Milwaukee, WI
Diana Leon - TX ACE Math Hoops - JT Brackenridge Elementary - San Antonio, TX
Jason Gandia - Clippers Math Hoops - Boys & Girls Clubs Greater Anaheim/Cypress - Anaheim, CA
Their hard work and commitment have made a significant impact in inspiring and empowering students to learn through the game of basketball.