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Pinnacle Scholars Participate in NBA Math Hoops with Cleveland Cavaliers

Math and basketball have been combined to create an engaging and informative way for students to learn and practice math with NBA Math Hoops. Pinnacle Academy scholars were invited to play the game at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
As a part of the Cavaliers community outreach program Cavs in the Community, 16 scholars took a trip to the home of the Cavaliers and spent a day playing Math Hoops, a math-based board game created by the NBA for its youngest fans. The game incorporates basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. After completing these math problems, scholars pick a spot on the board to shoot from and use cards of real NBA and WNBA players to try and score.
Pinnacle scholars at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
The basketball-themed board game teaches students to do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in a short amount of time, sharpening their math skills.

At Risk Teacher Doug Irwin found out about NBA Math Hoops three years ago from colleagues he has with the Cavaliers and signed up to take part in the program. Irwin, a former college basketball player, said the game has helped scholars buy into math.
“The program has been huge,” Irwin said. “When you go to math and do the same routine on a day-to-day basis, it becomes the same old routine. When you throw in the NBA and LeBron James and all of these star players, it is different, and I’m all for it. The kids are playing the game and being forced to learn the skills they need and they don’t even know they’re learning it. They have so much fun.”

Pinnacle scholars at NBA Math Hoops
Scholars played NBA Math Hoops, which is a board game that combines math and basketball.

The game and trip came at no cost to students, and scholars also got to meet Daniel Gibson, a shooting guard for the Cavaliers from 2006-2013. Irwin said the scholars were excited when Gibson walked on the court to visit them. Participating in engaging and educational activities is one of the many reasons Pinnacle has outperformed the local district for two years.
After the initial group of scholars went to Cleveland to play NBA Math Hoops, another group of three scholars got to compete in Regionals back at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. Eighth-graders Joi Washington and Rylan Latham made it to the Final Four of the Regional event and seventh-grader Da’Velo Miller advanced to the Elite Eight. Scholars also learned how math relates to financial literacy on the main court where the Cavaliers play.
 Pinnacle students playing NBA Math Hoops board game
A pair of Pinnacle scholars made it to the Final Four of a regional tournament while another student competed in the Elite Eight.
Irwin said he is happy to bring the program to scholars and promote math through basketball.
“It’s a free program,” Irwin said. “Everybody gets a set of cards. Everybody gets a game board. It’s all free. It’s a little bit of time and effort as a teacher, but that’s why we’re teachers to help these kids and help them become successful. I enjoy doing it.”
Way to make math fun, Mr. Irwin!

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About Pinnacle Academy
Pinnacle Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Euclid, Ohio, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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