In a guest opinion piece for Wired.com published today, Miami Heat star Chris Bosh lobbies for all students to learn to computer programming and coding because “the possible applications are fascinating.”
“At this point, learning to code is simply about understanding how the world functions,” Bosh writes. “We use code every time we’re on the phone, on the Web, out shopping—it’s become how our world is run.”
As a child, the future Heat star “pretty much grew up around computers” and learned that “to feel secure with [his] future—our future, really—[he] would need to be able to manipulate [varying patterns of] 1s and 0s,” he writes. He participated in a computer graphics club in high school for two years, and also joined the Association of Minority Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers as a high school senior.
Why should students of all ages learn coding? It’s not just for the love of computer science.
“Most of the jobs of the future will be awarded to the ones who know how to code,” Bosh writes.
Whenever his professional basketball career wraps up, Bosh says that he’d like to “teach young kids computer science and coding—the younger the better.” (That’s right, teachers: A professional basketball player making nearly $20 million this year wants to join your ranks in the future.)
Bosh isn’t the only Miami Heat star who’s pushed STEM learning in recent years. LeBron James, the NBA’s two-time reigning Most Valuable Player, was featured in a series of math- and science-related videos on the Khan Academy website. In the “LeBron Asks” videos, James asked what muscles are used when shooting a basket, how shooting a basketball illustrated Newton’s 3rd Law, and the chances of making 10 free throws in a row.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, was also named California’s After-School STEM Ambassador back in October 2012.
Considering the convergence of basketball, math, and science, it’s pretty cool to see some of the game’s biggest names promoting the importance of STEM learning.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.