MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — On Monday, July 11, kids from Racine’s youth basketball programs were at Marquette University for a basketball camp.
It was the first day of the event. They listened to MU basketball coach Shaka Smart talk about what it takes to play college and professional basketball.
Booths have been installed throughout the gymnasium. Some of them tested their skills, like shooting and jumping. And the computers were there to measure how they compare to others.
It’s the same software used by professional NBA players.
“It’s a vertical leap, it’s a three-quarter sprint down the field, it’s a shuttle run,” Coach Smart said. “It’s a variety of different physical exercises that are timed by machines. That’s also accurate and that’s important. NBA staff use those numbers to rate guys.”
They also got first-hand insight into the technology used to measure the drills.
The camp was organized by 4th Family and SC Johnson. They hope to encourage kids to embark on STEM careers by showing them all the ways it’s used in everyday things, like basketball.
While many young players dream of playing for the Bucks, they say there’s more to the game than lacing up.
“If we can connect sports or basketball to science and technology at an early age, it opens up career opportunities for these kids, especially in underserved communities, that they wouldn’t have. normally not,” said Alan VanderMolen, director of communications. at SC Johnson.
Whether it’s a personal trainer or physical therapy or one of dozens of other career paths, there are jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics involved in basketball.