CHICAGO (CBS) — Ping Pong proponents assert the game is brain food and a social experience as well as good exercise as the introduce table tennis to cadets at the Chicago Public School Military Academy at 3533 S. Giles, reports WBBM’s John Cody.

President of KillerSpin Robert Blackwell says ping pong is more than a fun pastime. He says it’s great for cognitive development, likening it to physical chess, demanding fast reaction and comprehension of an ever changing strategy.

The KillerSpin company is donating 100 tables and soliciting donations for more to equip public schools including the city’s six military academies overseen by Todd Connor who says table tennis has definite advantages over football.

“You need at least 11 folks, you need a football field, when you think about a sport like soccer you need to get a number of folks to field a sport like table tennis allows you to have a co-ed, self-directed activity that doesn’t require a lot of space and only requires two people to get out there and play,” said Connor.

It’s part of the Unplug ‘N Play initiative designed to get teens out from between headphones and out socializing with actual people.

Blackwell says he’s also trying to round up businesses willing to support the Unplug ‘N Play initiative by contributing $3,500 for every Chicago Public School which needs a table tennis table, nets and paddles needed to play the game.

Watch & Listen LIVE