How is basketball related to math?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Basketball is related to math in many ways.

At the simplest level, basketball requires addition in order to keep score.  A few steps up from there, basketball statistics require the use of division.  Division is used in calculating such statistics as points per game.  It is also used to find shooting percentages.  Some high-level basketball statistics (notably the statistic of Pythagorean Win Expectations) even involve the use of exponents.

Basketball also makes use of geometry.  A player who is shooting a bank shot must calculate the proper angle to make the ball go off the backboard and into the basket.  A player making a bounce pass must calculate the spot at which the ball must hit the floor in order to bounce up to the proper height when it reaches the intended target.

In these ways and more, math of one sort or another is required both to play basketball and to keep and analyze statistics related to the game.


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