Mathsketball camp aims to keep girls engaged with math through hoops

2-day Mathsketball camp underway in Troy

TROY, AL (WSFA) - 94-by-50 feet. The dimensions of a basketball court on the professional and college level. According to Noah Basketball, the perfect angle for a basketball shot is 45 degrees. Seventh and eighth-grade girls from Pike County talked about these stats and much more at Troy’s “Mathsketball” camp.

Seventh and eighth-grade girls who play basketball attended Troy's two-day Mathsketball camp led by Troy women's basketball coach Chanda Rigby,
Seventh and eighth-grade girls who play basketball attended Troy's two-day Mathsketball camp led by Troy women's basketball coach Chanda Rigby, (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“Math is so much more [involved in basketball] than the common fan would even imagine," said Troy University women’s head basketball coach Chanda Rigby.

The goal of the two-day event is to get girls interested in the field of math.

“This is a grant that the math department at Troy University wrote to get seventh and eighth-grade girls to our campus to keep them interested in math, to show math is something they’re interested in.” said Troy University math instructor Michelle Armstrong. “We just wanted to show them that while you’re having fun, there’s math behind it.”

The young hoops stars from Pike County worked a lot on percents and averages. Finding out how stats like points, assists and turnovers get totaled.

“Today I just want to communicate the importance of math and how wide open that field is in sports,” said Rigby.

“We just really want them to appreciate math. Keeping females interested in math and that it can be fun. It’s not always fun but it can be fun and it does relate to everyday life, especially these girls that play basketball; this is their life right now and it does pertain to what they’re doing day in and day out and it is important,” Armstrong said.

Madison Allen, a seventh-grader at Charles Henderson Middle School, said she’d never thought about how math applies to the game of basketball, but Rigby pointed out that math is everywhere on the court.

"We get so much statistics and probabilities, lineups that should be in. There’s so many statistics and things involved and even being eligible with grade point averages and percentages of degree completion. There’s also math involved in the training of these athletes and nutrition, in the arc of their shots, it’s just limitless,” said Rigby.

And speaking of stats for the Trojans, their winning percentage is pretty good right now. At 15-3, the Trojans have won 83.3 percent of their games.

Rigby said there are many ways math comes into play and their goal this weekend was to make people, namely the girls who were in attendance, aware of it."

Along with the mini two-day camp, the girls will get a free tour of the Troy University campus, eat in the dining hall, and tour Trojan Arena Saturday. Saturday’s tour will come after one more mathsketball session and afterwards, they’ll get to attend Saturday’s 2 p.m. game vs. Louisiana.

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