Kennesaw State student’s baseball app among best at Apple coding challenge

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jul 21, 2023

 The awe was evident in his voice as Kennesaw State University student Yemi Agesin described his meeting with Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook.  

“He likes baseball like I do,” Agesin said. “Plus, he was wearing shoes with Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 on them, and the Atlanta Braves are his favorite team. Isn’t that cool?” 

It was baseball that brought Agesin face-to-face with the leader of one of the world’s leading technology companies.  

Yemi Agesin
Yemi Agesin

The senior computer science major in the College of Computing and Software Engineering created a fun and addicting baseball game app where players hit pitches against an unpredictable AI. The app was among the top nine entries in Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference Swift Student Challenge. In the challenge, students are tasked with creating an original app using the Swift coding language.  

The nine students with the top apps presented their work to Cook and the company’s head of marketing, Susan Prescott.   

“We each had to have a script prepared to meet the time constraints,” Agesin said. “But, when I saw Tim Cook, I completely forgot my script because I was so nervous. But he had this way of making me feel invited and not intimidated. He just asked me questions about my app, so it was like we were having this conversation.” 

Agesin was born in New Jersey, but because of his parent’s jobs as Senior Clinical Data Managers and their genuine interest in travel, he grew up around the world, living in England, Germany, Nigeria, and Belgium. He graduated high school in Lawrenceville, Ga. He became obsessed with coding at an early age.  

“Coding is not like math with its set rules,” Agesin explained. “Coding is more like art because there are multiple ways to accomplish something. I see myself as the artist and coding is the medium. It feels really powerful.” 

Although Agesin hasn’t played baseball since middle school, the app he created to win the Apple challenge was baseball themed. He said his interest in baseball grew after working at a sports tracking company as a baseball systems operator the last two years. 

“I feel like some people find baseball boring,” Agesin said. “But there are actually a lot of smaller nuances going on. To me, the most fun and dynamic routine is between the batter and the pitcher. It’s like two people having a fight without having an actual fight.”  

Agesin had wanted to enter the Apple challenge in prior years, but due to time restraints with school, he was unable. Because he is graduating from Kennesaw State later this year, he knew this was his last chance. He received an email in early summer letting him know he had won. 

“It was really exciting,” Agesin said. “There was this big page of congratulations letting me know there were a certain number of winners, and Apple’s PR team reached out to me letting me know that they were really impressed with my app and wanted to hear more of my story.” 

The prizes included some Apple logo clothing, Air Pods Pro, and a customized pen set. But the prize Agesin is most interested in is the one-year membership in the Apple Developer Program. Agesin plans to finalize his baseball app, which he is calling Diamond Duel, for mass release, and he has dreams of doing even more.  

“I have this mission,” Agesin said. “I want to use technology to help people to improve both their careers and their lives. With coding, you can conjure something up from nothing like a game that is fun, or you can also create an app that could help millions of people.”  

– Amanda Cook 
Photos by Darnell Wilburn

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit