NEW YORK– The NBA is near the forefront of statistical analysis among major American sports leagues, and with the success of the MIT Sloan Sports Conference, co-chaired Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, they’re continually trying to expand on an already incredible breadth of quantitative and qualitative basketball data. In an effort to build on that technological emphasis, specifically as it pertains to future generations, the NBA’s Director of Basketball Analytics, Jason Rosenfeld, organized the NBA’s inaugural Hackathon this past Saturday at Jordan Brand’s cavernous Terminal 23, hidden along 32nd St just west of Herald Square.
We were in attendance early Saturday morning and through blurry eyes, we watched commissioner Adam Silver and then Rosenfeld address a gym filled with some of the brightest college minds in the country.
After 450 undergraduates, Masters and Ph.D students applied, less than half — 210 — were offered an invitation as part of 60 teams competing in the all-day event. Over 50 universities were represented, including traditional behemoths, Harvard, M.I.T, Stanford, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon and Yale. Virginia led the pack with 18 students in the contest, but it was a nice mix of major Ivy institutions and little-known liberal art and technical colleges. Regardless of where they went to school, an invite to the Hackathon is a big win for these future engineers and scientists.