By Nikhil Morar
During my second semester in the M.S. in Data Science specializing in Sports Analytics program at IUPUI, I was selected to participate in the ESPN Hackathon at MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. My time working as a data analyst for the Sports Innovation Institute really prepared me for my trip to Boston. A hackathon is an event, usually hosted by a tech company or organization, where programmers get together for a short period of time to collaborate on a project. The 2020 ESPN Hackathon used player and ball tracking data, provided by ShotTracker, from men’s and women’s college basketball games to perform objective data-based analysis and gain insights on in-game play. The data is acquired with UWB tracking sensors and provides coordinate data (x, y, z) with high temporal and spatial resolution. My team’s project, Imputing Shot Arcs for Enhanced Shot Evaluation, won the 6th annual Hackathon. You can view the originally presentation as well as the slides below.
After coming back to Indianapolis, I wanted to share my story about being part of the winning hackathon team to inspire other students to participate. Justin Whitaker, News Content Specialist at Indiana University, wrote about the experiences I had at MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. The article, IUPUI grad student crunches numbers on winning sports analytics team, goes in-depth about my time at IUPUI and Boston. I was also the featured alumni for University of Tennessee’s Sigma Beta Rho’s podcast to talk about the Hackathon and all things sports analytics.