Nearly 150,000 students from across the United States took part in this year’s NBA Math Hoops program, but only 20 have earned the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete at this weekend’s Math Hoops National Championship in California.
Of the 20 students selected for this year’s event, two are from the Sixers Youth Foundation’s Math Hoops program, presented by TD Charitable Foundation. Taniya Son of Philadelphia’s Eliza B. Kirkbride School and Antonio Gonzalez of Camden’s Mastery Charter Cramer Hill will make the trip out to the West Coast to proudly represent the Foundation.
Prior to their arrival in the Bay Area for this weekend’s championship, the Sixers Youth Foundation visited both Taniya and Antonio’s schools earlier this week to wish them luck and send them both off in style. With the help of a few friends, including 76ers mascot Franklin, the Sixers Dunk Squad, presented by Dunkin’ Donuts and the Sixers Stixers, the Foundation held surprise, fun-filled pep rallies for both students, as well as their fellow classmates.
Each pep rally tipped off with Taniya and Antonio speaking to their classmates about the Math Hoops program and the impact it has had on them. The festivities concluded with each student receiving a number of good luck gifts, including a custom 76ers jersey, 76ers luggage, a pair of Beats headphones and more.
Taniya credited the program with offering her opportunities to grow as a young person. “[Math Hoops] has really showed me sportsmanship and has given me the ability to sit here and love myself and motivate everyone else around me,” she said.
Antonio spoke to his classmates about the unique experiences he has been a part of as a result of his continued to success in the program. His principal, Ms. Jessie Gismondi, and his teacher, Mr. Denzel Smith, also praised Math Hoops for assisting Antonio develop not only his academic skillset, but his social-emotional skillset as well.
In addition to this weekend’s National Championship, Antonio participated in the 2019 Sixers Youth Foundation’s Regional Math Hoops Tournament, held at the team’s training complex in Camden, NJ.
Partnered with his classmate, and one-half of last year’s duo that represented the Foundation at the 2018 National Championship, Gianni Steele, the two outlasted more than 120 area students on their way to being crowned champions of the event.
This academic year, the Sixers Youth Foundation’s Math Hoops program, presented by TD Charitable Foundation served nearly 6,000 students across more than 60 local sites.
Interested in changing the game for your students and implementing Math Hoops at your school or non-profit? For more information, click here, or contact Colleen Serafini, Chief Partnership Officer, Learn Fresh Education Company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To follow along with Taniya and Antonio’s journey throughout the 2019 Math Hoops National Championship this weekend, click here.