Education Technology

Professional basketball star donates TI calculators to his former high school

Posted 02/22/2017 by Texas Instruments

Juniors at Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina, will have new Texas Instruments graphing calculators for the ACT next week, thanks to former student and current professional basketball player, T.J. Warren. The 6-foot-8 forward for the Phoenix Suns returned to his hometown and high school on Tuesday, February 21, to make a donation of TI-84 Plus CE graphing calculators to help get the students test-day ready.

“Riverside has always meant a lot to me. I started off my high school career here and it feels good to give back to the school and to this community that meant so much to me – I am happy to do it,” said Warren, who was joined by his parents and former basketball coach.”

Warren, who attended college at North Carolina State University, said he understands the importance mathematics plays in everyday life and wants students at his alma matter to have the math and science tools they need to succeed. The hoops star said it puts a smile on his face knowing Riverside students will be able to use these graphing calculators for many years to come. Warren was the 14th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and is currently the starting forward for the Phoenix Suns. “I think it says a lot about T.J. and how much he enjoyed his time here, for him to take the time to come back and give back to the students that were in his same place when he was a student here – it really means a lot to us,” said Riverside High School’s Varsity Basketball Coach, Brian Strickland.

The third-year Phoenix Suns forward took time to visit with students and autograph Texas Instruments “Math for the Win” T-shirts.  “It is our hope at TI that this donation helps to fuel these students’ interest in STEM subjects, which can set them up for success today, in college tomorrow and in future careers,” said TI Media Relations Manager, Ellen Fishpaw.

With the ACT around the corner, the school’s Math Department Chair, Christy Simpson, said the donation couldn’t have come at a better time. “This allows us to provide calculators to students who may not have the opportunity to purchase one for testing and participating in class, and they can now be at an advantage,” said Simpson. “Next week we are testing over 400 students at one time with the ACT, and that’s going to take a lot of calculators."

Warren, who says his TI calculator helped him get through his math classes, will be making a stop next week at a school in Greensboro, North Carolina, to donate additional TI calculators.