Pacers Foundation and Lilly Foundation to Help Strengthen STEM Education in Indianapolis

NBA Math Hoops Tips Off on Lilly’s 15th Annual Global Day of Service

The Pacers Foundation and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation today announced a collaboration to reinforce STEM education in Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) through the NBA Math Hoops program. The initiative, a basketball board and digital game to help elementary and middle school students improve fundamental math and interpersonal skills like sportsmanship, seeks to address gaps in math proficiency in NBA cities across the country.

The program tips off at a special event at Daniel Webster School 46 in Indianapolis Thursday morning, in conjunction with Eli Lilly and Company’s 15th annual Global Day of Service. The effort also rolls out at 14 additional schools across the IPS district throughout the morning, with Lilly and Pacers Sports & Entertainment employees on hand volunteering to help students learn to play the game.

“The Pacers Foundation strives to work with partners to help close persistent gaps in education outcomes, and NBA Math Hoops is a wonderful tool for IPS teachers supporting students acquiring those critical STEM skills,” said Rick Fuson, CEO of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. We are grateful to the Lilly Foundation for its generous support, and we look forward to working alongside our local schools to help improve educational access.” 

The four-year initiative is made possible by a generous $800,000 grant from the Lilly Foundation to the Pacers Foundation and aligns to a statewide focus by education, business and civic leaders to strengthen access to quality STEM education. Data shows persistent gaps in math proficiency, particularly for lower-income students, even as more careers demand greater mastery of STEM subjects. The NBA Math Hoops program has demonstrated success over time in improving outcomes in cities where it has been implemented through schools and community organizations.

“By implementing NBA Math Hoops, the Pacers Foundation and Indianapolis Public Schools will offer students a fun and interactive way to improve math skills,” said Cynthia Cardona, president of the Lilly Foundation. “Creating opportunities to enhance equitable access to STEM education is a critical aim of the Lilly Foundation and we are excited to tip off this new collaboration on Lilly’s Global Day of Service.”

Over the next four years, the Pacers Foundation will work with IPS to implement the program to students throughout the school district.

About Pacers Foundation

Building on three decades of collaboration with Indiana-based 501(c)(3) organizations, our goal remains to provide youth and those that support them new opportunities to playlearn, and serve. That means supporting programs and services that deliver for communities in need and seek to work together in our shared effort to improve quality of life across our region.