Coach Carter (2005) Script

St. Francis High School basketball phenom, Ty Crane... who they recruited just last year... is widely held as the next LeBron James.

We simply know him as "The Crane."

Come on.


Little help here. Pick him up.

Hey, son. Hey.

Right here.

Blue ball!

What the hell are you doing, y'all?

You took three steps this way.

I put my fist up. That means I'm going this way.

Homey, look where you're throwing the ball.

Just get your man. I knew it.

St. Francis is up by 22.

Stay out of my way, bitch. I own you. Hell, no.

Bitch!

Let's go.

No. Come on, guys, stop that.

Let me go!

I'm good. Get off me.

That's it. Game's over.

Crane. Great game. Thanks.

Tell everyone out there what it feels like to be the next LeBron James.

LeBron James? I'm the only Ty Crane.

All right, you heard it here first, the only Ty Crane.

Why do all the benchwarmers always got something to say?

We're watching the damn game, that's why.

You got a good view? Yeah.

Ty Crane outscored our whole team by himself.

Wonder how that happened. We had 32 points. I got 12 of them.

What did you get, Kenyon? Shut up, dog.

The Crane swooped down and delivered a basket of beat-down.

He clowned you, dog. He had you on lock the whole game.

Lyle, why don't you shut your mouth before I close it for good.

You didn't do shit either, the whole game.

I will slap the taste out of your mouth.

Can we all just get along?

Shut your little ass up. You didn't even play.

Shay, pass me the ball, dog.

You got two points in 16 minutes, that's why Coach got rid of your ass.

Timo, you was in the whole time, you never even touched the rock.

You didn't do shit. You might as well... Who were you passing to?

You were playing and you didn't even do shit.

Kenny Ray Carter...

Richmond High School, all-American, 1972.

Good to see you, sir.

I was really happy to see you in the stands tonight.

I have to tell you, sir, I haven't made up my mind yet.

As I've told you, it's time for me to step down.

Last few years have been really tough.

Well, losing is hard, sir.

This isn't about losing games, Kenny.

I can't get them to show up for school, for practice.

I can't get parents involved. And I'm done chasing kids... in the streets and pulling them into the gym.

It's a tough job. Richmond is a tough little city.

When I saw you here tonight, I thought, "I got him, he's in."

Well, actually, I was here for another reason.

My son plays for St. Francis.

He does? Which kid was he?

Well, you didn't see him. He's a freshman. He didn't play.

That's great. Great school.

What, you wanna go?

Lyle, bring it. Let him go.

You think everybody's scared of you? I ain't scared of you.

Cruz, chill, man. Why do you try to act hard all the time?

God, I'm sick of you, man!

You know, that school was rough when I went there.

It's way beyond that now.

Then just forget about it. Don't even discuss it again.

I can't quite do that.

Coach officially offered me the job tonight. The clock's ticking.

When you say "offer" and "job," there's usually money involved.

Yeah. There might be $1,000 in it for me.

For five months of work?

You can't say no to that.

And the team, it's so bad.

Those boys, they're so angry and undisciplined.

And besides, you know you don't have the time.

You're trying to open up a second store.

Exactly. I don't have any time.

You promised to take your girlfriend to Mexico in January.

And I'm definitely keeping that promise.

There's no way I'm not going to Mexico and hanging out on the beach... with you in your bikini. I can't take that job.

So when do you start?

You should've spoken to me first.

Why? It was a personal choice for me.

So, what happens to me? You still gonna come to my games?

I'll probably miss most of your games, Damien. I'm sorry.

I'll go to Richmond and play for you. No.

Why not? Dad, you've always been my coach.

This is a great school, Damien.

It puts you in a great position for college.

Dad, I'm a freshman!

Just because I'm coaching at Richmond... it doesn't change our plans for your future, all right?


Did you bring your ID with you? I forgot it.

Every day. Good morning.

Ken Carter.

Thank you, sir.

What's up?

Nice to see you again, Mr. Carter. You too, ma'am.

If the offer still stands, I'd like to coach the team.

Well, I hope you're up for the task. These young men need discipline.

The job comes with a $1,500 stipend and a major time commitment... for the next four months.

I accept. Great.

We're thrilled to have you. Gentlemen, I hate to be abrupt... but I do have a budget meeting I need to run to.

Mr. Carter, is there anything you need from us?

I just need about 25 copies of this document.

I'm all set. Ray, would you see that Mr. Carter...

Coach Carter gets these copies? Will do.

Gentlemen.

I'm not saying this is not gonna be a challenge... but, Kenny, you know the deal here.

Just keep in mind, these are good boys.

Guys!

Now, as you know, I've been... Hey!

You know I've been looking for a new coach... to take over for me this season.

This is Ken Carter. He went to Richmond.

He was a two-sport all-American.

Still holds records for scoring, assists, steals.

A basketball scholarship to George Mason University.

We're lucky to have Coach Carter.

Now, let's give him the respect he's due.

They're all yours, Coach. Thank you, sir.

Good afternoon, young men. As Coach White said...

I'm your new basketball coach, Ken Carter.

I guess I need to speak louder so you can hear me.

I'm Ken Carter, your new basketball coach.

We hear you, dog. But we can't see you.

The glare from your big, black-ass head is hella shiny, man.

Damn, do you buff it? You got jokes to go along... with that ugly jump shot of yours?

First of all, if you need to know my credentials... as Coach White said, they're on the wall there behind you.

Secondly, if basketball practice starts at 3:00... you are late as of 2:55.

You, shooting the ball. What's your name, sir?

Jason Lyle. But I ain't no sir.

You're not a sir. Well, are you a madam?

Little bitch.

As of now, you are a sir.

So are the rest of you. "Sir" is a term of respect.

And you will have my respect until you abuse it.

Mr. Lyle, how many games did you guys win last season?

Like four wins, 22 losses. Sir.

Sir.

I'm going to give you contracts.

If you sign and honor your side of them... we are going to be successful.

Damn, do I get a signing bonus for signing this contract?

Yes, sir. You get to become a winner.

Because if there's one thing I know, it is this:

The losing stops now.

Starting today, you will play like winners, act like winners... and, most importantly, you will be winners.

If you listen and learn, you will win basketball games.

And, gentlemen, winning in here... is the key to winning out there.

This contract states that you will maintain a 2.3 grade point average.

You will attend all your classes... and you will sit in the front row of those classes.

This is a country-ass nigger. Excuse me.

Did you say something, sir? Worm was wondering... are you some country church nigger, with your tie on and all that?

That's what you wanted to say? And what is your name, sir?

I'm Timo Cruz, sir.

Well, Mr. Cruz and Mr. Worm... what you should both know is we treat ourselves with respect.

We don't use the word "nigger."

Are you some preacher man or some shit?

God ain't gonna do you no good in this neighborhood.

I live in this neighborhood, sir.

Sir. Can you believe this uppity Negro, sir?

Okay, Mr. Cruz, leave the gym right now.

For what?

I'll ask you one last time to leave the gym... before I help you leave.

Before you what? Oh, man.

Do you even know who I am?

From what I can see, a very confused and scared young man.

Scared of who? Scared of you? I'm supposed to be scared of you?

Nigger, I ain't scared of nobody. I will lay your ass out.

I don't think so.

All right.

What you doing? Get off me.

Teachers ain't supposed to touch students.

I'm not a teacher.

I'm the new basketball coach.

This ain't over!

Is there anybody else who's not feeling this contract?

Come on, man, where you going?

I don't do high-school contracts.

You tell us when you need the real ballers.

I will do that, sir.

There goes our two leading scorers from last season.

There goes our two leading scorers from last season.

Then I guess we'II have new leading scorers this season, huh?

I cannot teach you the game of basketball... until your conditioning is at a level that allows me to do so.

Gentlemen, report to the baseline.

To the baseline!

I presume you all know what suicides are. So...

I saw the St. Francis game the other night.

None of you have a problem shooting the ball.

You all had a problem getting up and down the court.

If you are late, you will run.

If you give me attitude, you will do pushups.

So you can pushup or shut up.

That's up to you.

How many are we gonna do? Sir.

Yo, sir, how many are we gonna do?

Let's see how many you can do in... one hour and seven minutes.

Fellows, don't make me commit homicide.

I said, suicides. Put your hand on the line.

Man! I can't keep this shit up, man. I can barely walk.

I know. My legs is hella sore, know what I'm saying?

Need some Gatorade or something. That was your girl right there, son.

Yeah. What's with you and her homies? You gonna try to holler at them?

I'm hollering at both of the friends. Both of them?

Yeah, 'cause I need that. I need variety in my life.

I can't just have one girl. You know what I'm saying? I need both.

What's up, baby? How you doing?

Ladies.

Y'all heard about that two-for-one special, right?

Two of you, one of me. Now, that's special.

Please. Yeah, special ed.

Get your arm off me. I like this fox.

You working that chinchilla. Look, baby, me and you...

You need to tell him to stop playing it so close.

She don't even like him.

Why not? Worm's the man.

Worm is Worm.

Anyway, I got something for the baby today.

We don't even know if there's a baby yet.

I mean, it's kind of early. You ain't even been to the doctor yet.

Hello? I passed the pregnancy test, Kenyon.

Three times.

These are kind of cute, though. I know. I got good taste, right?

Yeah, all right.

Precious little shoes.

I got a little something for you, too.

This definitely is a little something.

Where'd you get this? Don't sleep on the 99-Cent Store!

Kenyon! What's up?

What are you doing? Give me.

Are you crazy?

You got that for 99 cents? You can get three brooms... and a bucket for 99 cents, with some toilet paper.

That's like thread. That's not even half a shoelace.

Would you like to see me in this shoelace?

Quick feet. Let me see, quick feet. Touch the floor.

Stay big. Three pushups and move.

One, two, three. Let's go! Explode!

Let me hear you!

Explode! Worm, explode! Touch the floor.

Give me five. Five. Push.

Go. Let me hear you.

Come on, close out. John, explode. Let's go.

Sir, you're 20 minutes late.

That's 10 suicides for the whole team, 250 pushups for you.

This ain't the track team, man. Nor is it the debate team, Mr. Lyle.

But you're right. And because you're right... that's 20 suicides for the entire team.

And you get the privilege of joining Mr. Battle... with 250 pushups of your own.

What, are you serious? Yeah.

This is bullshit!

Good answer, Mr. Battle. Johnny, tell him what he's won.

Because you gave such a good answer and gave the coach attitude... you win the bonus prize of 500 pushups!

And would you like to go for the grand prize of 1,000?

No, sir.

To the baseline. On my whistle. Let's go.

J.B. Come on, baby.

I can't even move, son. Every muscle in my body hurts.

You can't say nothing to him. Why can't I say nothing to him?

I'm a white boy?

Right here. Get this dude right here.

Where you going, homey?

I ain't got shit. Please don't shoot me, man.

Go on, take my bag, dog. What's this shit, homey?

That's some bullshit, Cruz! I'm gonna visit you in County, dog.

I'm just playing. Look at you!

Damn!

I saw y'all walking from up the block like somebody put a pipe in your asses.

You all right, dog?

Look, y'all weren't winning with me, but you damn sure look sad without me.

But you know what? I'm gonna watch y'all play.

See y'all get your asses kicked.

I'd love to shoot the shit with you bitches all night, but I gotta go.

All right. Who's that, man?

That's my cousin, Renny. I'm gonna check y'all. Let's go.

Worm, you need a ride? No, I'm straight, man.

You sure? Yeah, I'm good.

All right, my nigger. Good looking.

All right, Lyle.

Don't let nobody else put a pipe up your ass, or you might like it!

You were scared, huh? I wasn't scared.

The state only requires that they have a 2.0 average to play.

You got it in here they need a 2.3.

If you have a 2.0, you have to score at least 1,050 on the SAT... to be eligible for an athletic scholarship.

If you have a 2.3, you only need 950.

Now, 2.3 is just a C-plus.

It shouldn't be that hard to maintain a C-plus.

These boys are student athletes. "Student" comes first.

It says they gotta wear coat and ties on game days.

They don't own ties. You gonna supply the ties?

There's a Goodwill and a Salvation Army store... less than two blocks from here.

And they got a box full of ties for 50 cents apiece.

What are you trying to say?

We too good to shop at the Goodwill and Salvation Army? Is that it?

Yeah, I ain't that broke. This is crazy.

A dress code, and they have to sit in the front row in class?

This is basketball, man! And basketball is a privilege, ma'am.

If you want to play basketball on this team... these are the simple rules you have to follow... if you want to enjoy that privilege.

Now, if you decide to follow these simple rules...

I need you and the boys to sign this contract.

They can bring the contracts to practice tomorrow.

If you come to practice.

I wanna thank you all for coming out and showing your support.

And I hope I have your support the rest of the season.

Good night. Get up and leave like that?

Look, I have a hard enough time getting my nephew to...

How you gonna make them wear ties?

I want the other coach back!

It's one of your contracts, sir. I've amended that contract.

You require your players to maintain a 2.3 grade point average.

I've committed to maintaining a 3.5.

You require 10 hours of community service... and I've committed to 50.

Any unexcused absences, any other disciplinary issues at school... you can nullify this agreement and send me to any school you want.

And how many days do I have to consider this offer?

None.

The second page is a letter you need to sign... that confirms my withdrawal from St. Francis.

They know I'm leaving. What?

You withdrew from St. Francis?

I called Richmond. They expect me in the morning.

You called Richmond?

You should have spoken to me about this.

It was a personal choice for me.

I can fix all that in the morning.

Sir, please, listen. All I wanna do is play for you.

If I'm one of the top students at Richmond.

I mean, one of the top in the whole school... and I have great SATs, I can go to any college in the country.

I'm asking you to trust me.

You really wanna do this?

Okay.

Part of growing up is making your own decisions... and living with the consequences.

Three-point-seven.

And you will earn every minute of playing time.

Open it, please.

That's a nice tie. Morning, sir.

My name is J. Lyle They call me wild It's all right Kenyon's mom tonight Say what?

You might think I'm wrong But she's got these thongs It's Malcolm X from St. Francis. Malcolm.

Whatever. What's up, man?

What are you doing here, son?

I transferred to Richmond. No, son. I think you're just lost.

I am actually lost. Can you tell me how to get to...

Bel Air?

Worm, tell your man Fresh Prince here how to get to his mansion.

Fresh bitch.

I hope seeing you in this hallway means I'll see you on the court today.

I can't wait.

With your five browns.

Everybody up.

Today we're going to play defense.

Sorry, sir.

Gentlemen, this is a new player, Damien Carter.

He is my son and he is late. Sir, you owe me 20 suicides.

It's my first day of school. I had to talk to my math...

Basketball practice starts at 3:00. As of 2:55, you are late.

Get changed in the locker room. Do your suicides... on the far side of the court so as not to disturb us.

All right, gentlemen, give me two lines.

Okay, young sirs, we're gonna take it to the next level.

Everything I know about basketball, I learned from women.

I have a sister. Her name's Diane.

She was always on my case about every little thing.

Matter of fact, she still is.

"Turn down that radio!"

"Did you eat the last piece of cake? Did you drink all the Kool-Aid?"

She was always in my face. So when I call "Diane"... we're gonna play straight man-to-man pressure defense.

Worm! No, sir. Look at your defensive posture.

Come on. Split your man. Back straight, butt down.

This hand guards against the passing lane.

This hand protects the crossover. All right? Palms up!

Get your head in the game.

Now we have Delilah.

She was my childhood sweetheart. Sir, was she hot?

Yes, sir. She was steaming hot.

But she was the devil. That girl was evil.

I remember once she tricked me into stealing brownies... from Christ the King First Baptist Church bake sale.

She smiled and got her way out of it... while I damn near had to wear a pillow on my butt for a month... before I could sit down.

Delilah, gentlemen. She's our trap defense.

Take notes, freshman. This is as close as you're gonna get to playing.

Come on. Move. Delilah!

I know you're all concerned... that we didn't work on our offense during practice.

We have all season to do that.

But what did we do in practice? Mr. Stone?

Run. That's right.

So, what do you think I want you to do on offense tonight?

Run? Correct again.

I want you to run.

I want you to run every second that clock is ticking... all game long.

Put him back on the bench.

Rebound!

Let's go.

Nice pass, baby!

Push it.

Screen, baby.

Worm. Let's go, Worm.

Stay alert! Pick him up right there.

Yeah! What's the call, ref?

White four, fifth. He's out of the game.

Ref, come... That's his fifth foul, Coach.

Time, sir.

Bad call ref, that was a jump ball, damn it!

Time-out, white.

Come on, fellows. Huddle up. Hustle up. Get over here.

All right. Huddle up. Mr. Carter, you're in.

But, Coach, he's a freshman. You wanna coach?

All right. Take a deep breath, guys. Come on. Deep breaths.

You tired? No, sir.

Those guys are exhausted.

That's why this guy's gonna miss that free throw.

When he does, Worm and Lyle are our first option.

Push the ball. Go hard to the hole. Everybody attack the boards. Got that?

All right, Richmond on three.

One, two, three, Richmond! Richmond!

All right, let's out. Step it up, let's go!

Look alive out there.

You're in better shape than they are. Push it.

Box out.

One shot.

Right here. Kenyon. Come on.

Come on, baby. Come to the ball. Right here.


Yeah, baby. That's what I'm talking about.

Tight pass, baby. Nice pass, dog. It was all you.

A win like that means nothing. They can't play anyway, you feel me?

Okay, Shaq.

So you dominated down low tonight. Any thoughts?

I dropped a 20-piece. Kobe played his game.

We're the champions till we ain't the champions no more.

Junior Battle. Undefeated until...

On the real, that was the worst game I've ever seen in my life.

I thought that shit would never end. I was dying up in the bleachers.

You were in the bleachers. We were on court handling business.

That's right. We 1-0, bitch.

On the real, Hercules is weak, and y'all barely beat them.

Damn, Timo, why you throwing salt? We undefeated.

Show us love, son. Yeah, that's right, we undefeated.

I'll knock all of y'all off.


I'll check y'all later, all right?

Let's do this.

Here's two bundles, all right? All right.

Be careful. The block is hot. I got you.

How you doing, man? Chilling, man.

You look good.

Got some paper for you.

Now we're talking, yeah.

How you living, Timo?

I'm good.

You all right? For real? Yeah.

Here, take some. I'm all right.

No. Take some, please.

You did good, man. You're doing good, bro.

Thank you.

Don't thank me, thank you. You earned it.

Take a nickel bag, okay? Go get yourself something, man.

I'm gonna see you? Yeah, next week.

Okay, I'm gonna see you. Keep it up.

Yeah.

Shaqua, Denise, holler at me.

Rafeca, I see you looking.

Ain't nobody thinking about you, Worm.

Okay. Gentlemen.

Let's review the Hercules game, shall we?

Yell out my numbers, sir.

Mr. Worm, you were five and four.

No, sir. I had 12 points and eight assists, sir.

No, sir, Mr. Worm.

You had five turnovers and four missed free throws.

Now, we're talking about fundamentals here.

Until we learn them, I'm adding a practice every morning at 6:00 a.m.

We shot 56% at...

Mr. Cruz.

Are you lost, sir? What have I gotta do to play?

Mr. Cruz, you do not want to know the answer to that question.

Now, as I was saying, as a team... we shot 56% from the line.

From now on, before you leave my gym... you must pay an exit price of 50 made free throws... before you can go. That's everybody.

Come on. That's a lot of free throws.

Okay, Mr. Cruz.

Before you can play on this team, you owe me...

2,500 pushups... and 1,000 suicides.

Damn.

And they must be completed by Friday.

He ain't finishing that by Friday. He ain't making that.

Today's flavor: Offense.

Now we talking. I have a sister. Her name is Linda.

Linda is smart, she's political.

Well, actually, she's radical.

Linda's got a big Afro.

Linda is our pick-and-roll offense.

Before we get into that, let's warm up.

Give me a lay-up line. Let's go.

All right. Let's do it.

Damn, how many sisters has he got? Who knows?

Come on, get two more over here. Break it out.

Let's go, guys. Energy, guys.

We got this, let's go. I'm open.

I got him. Right here. I'm open. I'm sorry.

Come on. It's not my fault. He was early.

Yes, it's important to move without the ball.

But you gotta be patient on the weak-side screen.

Set up your man and come off his shoulder hard.

Okay? Okay.

Switch it up. We got it, come on.

Let's go. And call out them picks.

What is your deepest fear, Mr. Cruz?

That you're inadequate?

Give up, Mr. Cruz.

Go home.

All right, I want seven passes before you shoot. Seven.

All right. I got him.

Get that ball in there.

You know your task is impossible before Friday, right?

Move. Work it.

Run it back.


What time your mom getting home? She doesn't get off for another hour.

That's Myles.

What?

Come on.

Say, "Hi, Uncle Kenyon."

Say, "Hi." All right, don't worry about it.

He'II go back to sleep right after his bottle. Right, boo-boo?

Yeah, probably in time for your mom to get home.

Or when your cousin gets back from getting her hair fried and dyed.

Like she can afford all that shit. It's her baby anyway.

My mother had to work a double shift, but they cut her overtime.

And my cousin, don't be trying to diss her.

You said we'd be alone. You call this alone?

That's why we need our own spot.

Did you turn this off? Yeah, it was boiling.

Come on. Turn it down, not off.

This is milk, butter, and cheese. We can't afford to waste this.

And hold him up.

Making the baby's bottle for Myles.

All right, Myles, here we go. Gotta cool off a minute.

Ever think about what you were going to do before you were pregnant?

What do you mean, going to junior college?

Yeah. I thought about it.

I could go later, I guess.

You have to get some work after you have the baby.

Me, too.

So I'll work. How you gonna go to school?

Why you asking me all these questions?

And you gotta put your hands under his arm.

You gotta sit him on your chest. Hold him.

I am holding him.

You ain't doing it right. You gotta soothe him, Kenyon.

I don't know how to do this.

You'II get it.

Right?

Look, I gotta help my mom with some stuff.

See you later, all right? All right.

Call me later, okay? Later.

All right, keep riding on somebody. Don't get lost in there.

Stay with your man.

Box out. Position.

You don't get to your man. Stay and watch the ball.

When the ball goes up, get in good defensive position... get your body on your man and explode to the ball.

All right? Let's go.

Run it. You got it.

Throw your pass.

Work it. There you go.

Mrs. Fenton, the police are telling a very different story.

I wish you would. Yes, ma'am, I'm here all week.

Mr. Carter, how are the boys? They're great, ma'am.

We're 1-0. Very good.

How may I help you?

I had my boys sign contracts... requiring them to meet certain academic standards.

Yes, I believe one of the faculty members mentioned that.

Very interesting scare tactic.

In order for that to be successful...

I need their teachers to fill out weekly progress reports... so I'll know how the boys are doing in their classrooms.

Okay.

I haven't received anything from their teachers.

I don't see how this ties in to your job as the basketball coach, Mr. Carter.

I took this job with the understanding I could do it my way.

And you can. Our next faculty meeting is in two weeks.

I'll remember to bring it up.

That would be great. Thank you, ma'am.

Thank you, sir.

Bring it in, guys.

Let's go, hustle up. Bring it in, y'all. Hustle up.

All right, that's it for today.

We have a game tomorrow, so get some rest tonight.

And remember, ties and jackets tomorrow.

Clyde.

Mr. Cruz.

I'm impressed with what you've done. But you came up short.

You owe me 80 suicides and 500 pushups.

Please leave my gym.

Thanks, Clyde. Gentlemen, see you tomorrow.

I'll do pushups for him.

You said we're a team.

One person struggles, we all struggle.

One player triumphs, we all triumph, right?

I'll do some.

I'll run suicides, too.


I'll do some, too.

Clyde, let's keep count.

Call me when they're done.

Defense.

Push it. Move. Let's go.

Ball.

Move your feet. Go, defense. Go.

Good job. Worm.

White ball. Palms up, move your feet, right?

Come out.

Mr. Cruz! Good game, boy.

What is your deepest fear, young man?

Go in.

Why does he keep saying that? What does that mean?

Let's go. Move.

No, one more pass.

Push it.

Hands up.

Let's go. Don't relax.

Get back!


What the hell are you doing, Cruz? You allergic to lay-ups?

You do that again, you're gonna be glued to the bench.

Swing it.

Right here. Run them up.

Come on, last kick. Kick it in.

Let's go. Good work today.

You can't guard me, can you? What you gonna do?

Can't do nothing about it, can you? Delilah!

Jump! Yeah, Jason.

Kenyon, pose for me. Smile.

Kenyon, Maddux! Get back. Just play the damn game.

Linda.

There he is.

That's me, baby. I did that! I drew that up!

Run it again.

All right, one-four. Linda.

All day, baby. Can't stop that.

Coach, your shoe's untied, sir. Thank you, Mr. Worm.

Look at that bow. I tied that!

I tied that shit!

Can I get something on the bow? Let me get some.

Are you crazy?

What is wrong with you?

What's wrong with all of you?

Since when is winning not enough?

Playing hard not enough?

No. You have to humiliate your opponent.

Taunt him after every score.

You won four games last season.

Four!

What gives you the right to taint the game that I love... with trash talk and taunting?

What gives you the right to wear Richmond on your chests... and act like punks? Coach, they were jawing, too.

So? You can't show some class?

Act like a champion?

You owe me 500 pushups apiece.

On the line. Now!

Oh, man, come on.

Listen, shorty. I'm just gonna be real with you, okay?

You're my girl.

I get out on that court, and everything is just getting crazy... all I gotta do is just think about you.

Mr. Lyle.

Why aren't you in... geometry? I'm going there right now, sir.

Sir, this is Betty. Bella.

This is Bella, sir. Go to class.

Don't forget that these projects are due at the end of this week.

So if any of you need extra time... Excuse me, sir.

Are you Mr. Gesek? Yes.

I don't see Junior Battle in this class.

Junior Battle is like a solar eclipse.

We rarely see him. But when we do, it's always special.

Thank you.

"Surprise arrival to the poll is Richmond High at 19th."

Top 20, baby.

We're 19th, dog. "The Oilers posted a perfect 9-0 mark.

"Winning on the road against perennial powerhouses...

"Xavier and Baxter Union."

You should read the rest of this. They're blowing you up in this paper.

Come on, man, read it. Man, you know he can't read.

Shut up, Maddux.

"Richmond's center has been big as the Oilers are...

"boyed"?

"Buoyed." The word is "buoyed."

"Buoyed by Junior Battle's 19.8- Rebound-a-night numbers."

See, that's my big nigger right there, son.

If you were any bigger, you'd be my bigger nigger.

Sit down!

Nigger... is a derogatory term used to insult our ancestors.

See, if a white man used it, you'd be ready to fight.

Your using it teaches him to use it.

You're saying it's cool. Well, it's not cool.

And when you're around me, I don't wanna hear that shit. We clear?

Yes, sir.

Mr. Worm, what is it you want out of this basketball season?

To win that state championship, sir.

Who won the state basketball championship last season, Lyle?

Hell if I know, sir.

Does anybody know?

Okay.

What's your father do for a living, Mr. Lyle?

My father's in jail, sir.

I'm sorry to hear that, sir.

But that doesn't have to be your life.

My point is this: I have four seniors on this team.

Junior, Lyle, Kenyon, and Worm.

All of whom, I think, can play basketball at the college level.

College.

That's a viable option for all of you.

But you have to perform in the classroom to have that chance.

You have to have a vision.

Tell me, how do you see yourselves?

ESPN, baby.

That reminds me, Mr. Battle.

Mr. Gesek tells me he doesn't see you in his classroom very often.

Yeah, we cool, though, me and him.

Mr. Gesek is a big basketball fan.

As of now, you're suspended.

Oh, you can practice, but you can't play... until Mr. Gesek tells me you're caught up in his class.

And that's a shout-out to the rest of you.

You signed a contract. You made a commitment.

I have your schedules and I'll be getting reports from your teachers.

If you don't perform in the classroom, you will not play.

What's up with that?

Sit down, Mr. Battle.

All right, that's 500 pushups.

This is bullshit! We won those games, not you.

That's 1,000 pushups for Mr. Battle, Clyde.

You wanna try for 2,000?

Young man... think about the choice you're making if you walk out that door.

To the baseline.

All right. How about LaQuisha if it's a girl.

LaQuisha? Okay, yeah.

The ghetto called, and they want their name back.

Girl, LaQuisha? Be for real.

You might as well call the baby Food Stamp.

You're stupid. All right, I was thinking...

I could call her Harmony. I like Harmony.

Harmony, that's cute. I like that. What did Kenyon say?

Please, he wants a boy. Figures.

Speaking of Michael Jordan. What's wrong with a girl?

Yeah, dog, boys grow into men, and men ain't worth the trouble.

Don't you have someplace to go? Something to do?

Guess he wants me all to himself. See you later.

Don't forget, I need your notes for history.

All right, I got you. Yeah. See you later.

I bought us tickets to the dance.

Why you telling these loudmouth girls about the baby?

Now everybody's gonna know.

People are gonna know, Kenyon.

It's not people's business, Kyra.

Why you jumping down my throat? What's wrong with you?

Look, me and Coach been talking, and he thinks I can play college ball.

All right, so?

So how am I gonna do that and raise a baby?

I don't know.

I'm not saying that it won't be hard.

Hard? It's already hard. The kid ain't even here yet... and I'm worried about how I'm gonna feed it, pay for this and that.

Everything.

I'm not ready.

So, what are you saying? You want out?

Is that what you're saying? Go ahead and say it.

Look, if I wanted to be out, I would've been out by now, Kyra.

That's not it at all. I love you. I wanna be with you.

Yeah, as long as it's convenient.

I'm thinking about what's best for us.

You're not trying to think about what's best for both of us... you're thinking about what's best for you.

You don't want me to have this baby. You wanna leave Richmond?

You wanna go play college ball? So guess what?

We ain't got to be ready enough for nothing, all right?

I'm ready enough to do what I gotta do all by my damn self.

So you can take these and go to the dance yourself.

Progress reports? You're the basketball coach.

Progress reports? You're the basketball coach.

Ma'am, we talked about this. I don't see the problem.

Do you know what the API is, Mr. Carter?

No, I don't.

The Academic Performance Index.

They judge schools on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the best.

Do you have any idea where Richmond falls on that scale?

No, ma'am, I have no idea.

We're a one, Mr. Carter, and have been for the last seven years.

The state rewards schools for their performance.

So every year I have less money to pay faculty and staff.

Can I ask what it is you want, Mr. Carter?

I want my boys to go to college. College?

Mr. Carter, Richmond graduates 50% of its students... the higher percentage being girls. In my very educated opinion... you have 15 players on your team, you'II be lucky to graduate five.

I'm sorry, ma'am, but I don't agree with you.

These boys signed contracts. Maybe if you'd read one of them...

Your job is to win basketball games, Mr. Carter.

I suggest you start doing your job.

And your job is to educate these kids.

I suggest you start doing yours.

We had another good week.

Yeah, business is very good, Kenny.

But I'm on my own. You're never here. It gets crazy.

Look, I appreciate everything you do.

And I promise you... We're closed.

As soon as the season is over, I will be here for you.

Mr. Carter? I'm...

Junior Battle's mother. Yes, ma'am, I remember you.

Willa Battle.

How may I help you, ma'am? I got a phone call today... from a coach at a junior college in Sacramento.

They wanna see Junior play this Friday.

Well, that's great, ma'am, but Junior broke some rules...

And I agree with them. I'm not here to argue with your rules.

I'm not.

Almost two years ago now...

Junior's older brother, Anton... was killed, and it's been confusing and hard for me, and for Junior.

After you lose a son... every time the phone rings... your heart stops.

I'm not asking for special attention.

I agree he needs to get straight with his classes.

But the idea of junior college had never even occurred to my son.

I could move to the Hercules district and he could play there.

Moving is not gonna solve... But I want him to play for you.

I'm not gonna stand here and say I know how it feels to lose a son... because I don't.

And I do appreciate you putting your trust in me.

But I need to hear that from Junior.

He's in the car.

Junior!

Go on.

I'm sorry for what I said and did at practice.

And I promise to get caught up with my classes, sir.

Look me in the eye, sir.

Everything inside me tells me if I take you back...

I'd be making a mistake, and you'II make a fool of me.

No, sir.

You owe me 1,000 pushups and 1,000 suicides before you can play.

I'll see you at practice tomorrow.

Thank you, sir.

And you gonna do every last one of them.

Quitting basketball like you pay rent. I don't know who you think you are.

The next time you plan to make a decision, you better ask me first.

Junior, you did your thing tonight, man.

Good-Iooking out. Yeah, good shot, Junior.

Yeah, no doubt. Gentlemen, listen up.

I just received a call from the director of the Bayhill Holiday Tournament.

You have been invited.

Yeah!

Hold. Now, I have more good news.

I spoke to Principal Garrison today. She informs me that all your teachers... will have academic progress reports prepared by the end of holiday break.

Sir, our grades are tight.

Not only are our grades all right, but we're undefeated, homeboy.

Yeah!

We undefeated

Big ups to everybody who came out to the Richmond High winter dance.

Get down.


So give it up for the new kings of Richmond, y'all!

Yeah! Give it up, baby.

We 12-0, y'all, and I just wanna say...

I wanna see all the beautiful people up at that tournament.

You know! Y'all gonna wanna see the look on the faces... of them rich fancy-schoolers when the Richmond Oilers roll into town.

Holler!


Kyra, what are you thinking? You can't drink. You're pregnant, girl.

Stop.

It's soda, all right? Why don't you just go back downstairs... and find one of your little girlies to freak with.

It ain't even like that. Some girl just danced up on me.

Whatever. You shouldn't even be here.

If you're having this baby, you need to check all this bullshit.

Because if not... If not, what, Kenyon?

You wanna hold my hand through an abortion?

I don't know what I want. You're so sure you wanna have this baby... you tell me how it's gonna be, how we'II make it.

Everything's great, right? Your cousin is 19... with two kids already, Kyra. It's great?

It was great when we was getting down. You had no second thoughts about that.

You loved me when it came to that.

Kyra, I can't tell you what to do, but I look around... and I see exactly how I don't wanna live.

Paycheck to paycheck? Dead-end job?

You make it seem like everything's gonna be all good... like everything's so wonderful.

You don't care about me.

You just wanna go to college, play ball, and forget about me.

Kyra, that's not how it is. I don't care what you say.

I'm having this baby. And then what?

You got everything figured out, right? So tell me what comes next.

You got everything figured out, right? So tell me what comes next.


The third and final day of the 22nd Bayhill Tournament... finds the host team, Bayhill, trying to win the championship... against the surprising Richmond Oilers.

Defense! Get your hands up.

Get that ball!

Time, ref.

Richmond uses their last time-out with 1:20 remaining... in the fourth quarter and Bayhill up by six.

Time-out.

We're still in the game.

Don't panic.

We're six down with 1:20 left, all right?

We've been in these guys' ass the whole game.

We can do this. This is our time, right?

Yeah.

All right. Set up the one-four. Run Candy.

Damien's gonna hit the three. Kenyon, Lyle... set a hard screen down here.

When he hits the three, go right into Diane.

Pressure the inbound pass.

Suffocate that pass. I want the ball back!

Come on, baby, lock up. Hands in.

Let's go. "Our time" on three!

One, two, three! Our time!

Come on, let's go.

One, two, three, Cougars!

Let's go, guys!

One-four! Candy!

Hands up. Ball.

Watch him.

Watch your back. Come in. Take your time.

Watch the screen!

Make the shot, Damien!

Diane!

Defense!

Ball!

Right there. I got him. Ball.

Off him, ref. Richmond's ball!

Kenyon! Hattie Jean!

Hattie Jean!

"D" up! Check.

Right there!

Delilah! Get back!

Move your feet!

Let's go!

Chop.

A foul, ref!

Right wing, Kenyon. Wing!

And Richmond takes the lead for the first time in the game.

Seventy-eight to 76.

Slow the ball down!

Get back.

Defense!

That's a charge! Driving!

Basket's good!

The basket counts and the Cougars have tied the game.

That was a bad call, ref! Come on, guys.

Basket counts! That's a charge!

Foul's on red five. Don't call me like that.

On the block.

Coach! Please get back in the box! Please get in the box?

Please get your head in the game! Give me a break!

Cruz. In for Lyle.

Kenyon! Damien!

Sub, for five. Let's go.

Listen, we got nine seconds left. Get the ball, push it hard.

The ball's coming to you Kenyon. Run Linda.

You be open, all right? Let's go. You can do this.

Do it. Let's go. Come on, sirs. Hurry!

Let's go, guys! Let's go!

Let's go.

One shot. Backboard "D"!

And the Bayhill Cougars take the lead with nine seconds left.

Go to war, Miss Margaret, this is a tight one.

Let's go! Linda!

Linda! Watch the pick.

Stop the ball!

It's not there, to the hole.

Watch it.

D up, man!


It's all right, man.

Nice job, Coach. Nice game.

Thank you, sir.

Rich what? Richmond!

Line up! Let's shake hands. That's what I'm talking about, Coach.

Way to go, Lyle.

Good game, Son. Love you, Dad.

Ladies and gentlemen, I now present the 22nd Annual Bayhill Tournament... championship trophy to Richmond High School.

Oh, yeah!

Hey, Number 3...

nice game. Thank you.

Okay, cool.

Okay, come on.

Watch this door.


Load up.

Tonya, guess what? We won the whole thing.

That's right, 16-0.

Oh, and here's the best part: Your second-favorite man was MVP.

Wait. I shouldn't tell you that. He should tell you himself.

I'll wake him up so he can tell you. Hold on.

Why don't you try their doorbell with your ghetto self. Move.

Can you reach that?

Look at this place. Glad you guys could come.

You know, we try to be up in here, baby.

Yo. Yo, what's up? This is a nice crib.

Know what? He must be in somebody else's room.

Like I was saying, I'm Junior Battle. I'm the man.

That's what I'm talking about. I know.

So you ain't got no boyfriend? Maybe.

Yo!

You looking for your team? Yes, sir.

Baby. Hard biz. Know what I'm saying?

This is my style right here. I'm amazing. Feel me, Lyle?

Hey, Lyle. Let me get a coochie juice. I got you, dog. I got you.

Yo, Worm! What up, dog?

Damien. Yo?

I'm open.

Damien!

Damien, are you drunk? No. I don't drink.

Sorry about the thing. It's okay.

I see you. I see you, too.

I see her. Why don't we go swimming?

We're going swimming? Yeah.

Hey, I'm going swimming! I'm going swimming.

You're going swimming with the MVP!

This water's probably cold as hell, shorty.

I don't know. And swimming ain't my cup of tea, baby.

Know what I'm saying? Heated.

Probably 90 degrees. We don't have bathing suits.

Right. Neither do we.

So it's like that?

Show me the money, then, know what I'm saying?

Damn! Since it's like that.

Yeah. Oh, damn. Oh, yeah.

Yeah, that's nice.

Damn.

You are looking right.

I like that.

You guys coming?

We're getting in there.

I gotta take my chain off so it don't turn green.

Oh, man, I can't believe this. Heaven!


Excuse me.

Can I help you? I'm Ken Carter... coach of the Richmond High basketball team.

Richmond? You're a little lost, aren't you?

Well, I'm looking for my son.

The cab driver told me he dropped the team off here for a party.

Excuse me.

I'm telling you...

Piggyback!

Oh, my God, is that... It's Susan's dad.

You see your son?

Yes, sir, I do.

Damien Carter. Get your ass out of that pool.

Yes, sir.

Richmond High players, let's go. Hey, yo, Coach!

Coach. Hey, Worm, where did you go?

Worm? What up, Coach?

I got somebody I want you to meet. Now, I just met her... but she is fine as hell. Her name is...

Susan. Susan. He right.

Shit. My daughter, Susan.

You are not going to like what happens in practice on Monday.

You think you've run for me before? I come to your rooms... to celebrate with you, and you sneak...

I end up taking a road trip to the suburbs... where I find my drunk-ass point guard... on top of Daddy's little princess.

Actually, I was on the bottom, Coach. She was on the top.

Worm, do you wanna be on this team? "Cause you're about six words... from getting kicked off and kicked off the goddamn bus.

Cruz, open your eyes.

Ghetto hoop stars... signing autographs and humping the honeys.

Well, I'm gonna show you what humping is.

Coach, we won the tournament.

We undefeated. I mean, ain't that what you wanted?

Winners?


Oh, no.

Oh, no!

God!

You guys were awesome!

Yo, Damien. All right!

What's up, Cruz? I don't know.

Coach giving us a day off, I guess.

I don't even know where the library's even at.

I bet you don't. "Library's at"?

He don't know where the library's at.

Quiet.

Gentlemen, in this hand, I hold contracts signed by me... and signed by you. In this hand...

I hold academic progress reports prepared by your teachers.

We have six players failing at least one class.

Eight players getting "incompletes" based on attendance.

Gentlemen, you have failed to...

No, I'm sorry. We have failed.

We have failed each other. Now, there are some of you... who have upheld this contract. But know that we are a team.

And until we all meet the terms of this contract... the gym will remain locked. Locked?

What do you mean, locked? What, like for the day?

He must mean for the day.

Mr. Thompson, Mr. Gesek, and Miss Sherman... have generously volunteered their time to help us reach our goals.

But, Coach, I have a 3.3. That's good, sir.

Do you score all the points for the team, too?

We are the Richmond Oilers.

Do you know what Oilers stands for?

Sir?

Know that you're not just walking out on me... you're walking out on them. I had to beg you.

And then I ran all those sprints. I did all that shit.

I killed myself for you, sir. To get back on the team.

This is bullshit.


You put a lock on the gym... and forced them to meet you in the library?

Are you crazy? Miss Garrison, I'm surprised... you know where my office is.

Take the lock off that gym. My phone hasn't stopped ringing.

Maybe someone on the other end of that phone... has a solution to our problem.

Your intentions are good, Mr. Carter, but your methods are a bit extreme.

You painted an extreme picture. No one expects them to graduate... no one expects them to go to college. So you take away basketball... the one area of their lives where they have some success?

Yes, ma'am. And you challenge them academically?

Yes, ma'am. And what if they fail?

Then we've failed.

Unfortunately, Mr. Carter, both you and I know... that for some of these kids, this basketball season... will be the highlight of their lives.

Well, I think that's the problem. Don't you?


Good morning, Coach Carter. Good morning.

Quite the Pandora's box you've opened. Oh, I get all the blame now?

Let's just say I'm happy to give you all the credit.

I've got every news reporter in town waiting to speak to you.

Got a press conference set up around the front of the gymnasium.

Coach Carter has taken the lockout to the next level... by canceling last night's game. Richmond forfeited the game... making it their first loss of the season.

And for now, the lock remains on the gym.

Here he comes. Here he comes now.

Coach Carter! Coach!

Can I get a question? Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

I'd like to thank you for your patience. At this time...

I'd like to introduce Coach Ken Carter. You may direct your questions to him.

Mr. Carter, is it unfair to the players whose grades qualify them to play?

Basketball's a team sport, sir.

We support each other on and off the court.

Anybody still think Coach bluffing now?

I feel like running right up in the middle of all those reporters... and telling them I think this is bullshit, son.

Maybe you should've gone to class, Lyle.

Maybe you should kiss my ass, dog. My grades are fine, homeboy.

It's Junior they should've locked out.

Maybe Junior will kick your dumb ass out.

Why don't you try spelling it, then?

Chill man. Damn. Junior, if you need help, I'll tutor you.

Man, I don't need no help. He didn't lock us out for no reason.

We been tripping lately, man. All y'all know it.

How will the community react to this lockout?

I'm not really sure. I hope they'II support these young men.

What, man? No, man, it's just funny, dog,'cause... you thought it was bad all us knew your dumb ass was failing science.

Now the whole world about to know your dumb ass failing science.

Hey, man.

And you have Fremont this Saturday, the biggest game on your schedule.

Now, Richmond is gonna riot if you forfeit that game.

Saturday is a long way off. We'II see what happens.

Thank you all for coming. That's all the time I have right now.

I have to get back to work. Coach, have you talked to the parents?

Thank you for your time, ladies and gentlemen.

I'd like to remind you that classes are in session... so as you leave campus, please do so quietly.

I ain't turning the cheek. He come up in my 'hood, I'm serious, it's on.

Young sirs. It's been a long day.

Reporters. Media everywhere.

Let's take this time to say whatever it is we want... while the doors are closed. You have the floor.

This is about us. Man, this shit ain't about us.

This is all about Coach Carter. We're the basketball team.

All I see is you on TV getting famous, eating that shit up.

Is that all you see? It's all I see.

You ain't lying. Well, let me tell you what I see.

I see a system that's designed for you to fail.

Now, I know you all like stats, so let me give you some.

Richmond High only graduates 50% of its students.

And of those that do graduate, only six percent go to college.

Which tells me, when I walk down these halls... and I look in your classrooms, maybe only one student... is going to go to college.

"Well, damn, Coach Carter, if I ain't going to college, where I'm gonna go?"

Now, that's a great question. And the answer... for young African-American men in here, is this:

Probably to prison.

In this county, 33%... of black males between 18 and 24 get arrested.

So look at the guy on your left. Now look at the guy on your right.

One of you is gonna get arrested.

Growing up here in Richmond... you're 80% more likely to go to prison than college.

Those are the numbers.

Those are some stats for your ass.

Now, I want you to go home and look at your lives tonight... and look at your parents' lives and ask yourself, "Do I want better?"

If the answer is yes, I'll see you here tomorrow.

And I promise you...

I will do everything in my power... to get you to college and to a better life.


I don't understand this. It's a letter, how can it be a number?

How is balancing those equations coming along?

Hold on. Come on, son. Don't give up yet, son.

Here's a story out of California that's getting national attention.

The entire boys basketball team at Richmond High School... has been benched.

The highly ranked Oilers have a perfect season on the court... but some players were in big trouble academically.

And in an unprecedented move, Coach Ken Carter canceled practice...

Iocked the gym and sent his players straight to the library.

Now, at the start of the season, I understand you made... all of your players sign a contract before they could join the team.

What exactly were the conditions of that contract?

The contract states that the players maintain a 2.3 grade point average.

And that the players must attend all their classes... and sit in the front row of those classes.

Coach Carter, it's an unusual strategy, and a risky one in a sense... in light of your team's winning record. But I think there's gonna be... a lot of people pleased to learn that at least somebody... still cares about the concept of the student athlete.

Thanks a lot for joining us today.

I'm so sorry to disturb you. I'm Coach Ken Carter... of the Richmond High School basketball team.

Oh, yeah. I need to ask you a favor.

My team is studying in the library, and I've been trying to tell them... that brains and beauty are a perfect combination.

I'm just saying, I mean, I'm Worm, baby.

How would you like to watch the Worm work?

Hey, where did you get that backpack? Watch out, Too Short.

Why study earth science or history... or algebra?

Getting good grades in those subjects, combined with basketball skills... can get you into college.

Girl, you should've bought it. I would've worn it.

You selfish son of a bitch. You snake.

Miss... No, don't "miss" me, snake.

Mr. Carter, you remember me?

After all the things that my son has been through for your team... for you to go and lock up this gym like this...

How dare you?

Open up the damn gym! Let the boys play.

What's up, little cousin? How you doing?

Got something for me? That's what I'm talking about.

Hey, put it down, man.

You Coach Carter, right? Yes, sir.

Yeah? Check this out, man. Hey, hold on, man.

Yeah. How you like that? Oh, hell, no.

What? You wanna get out the car?

Let's talk about this. Ain't nothing to talk about.

Just open up the gym, man. Let them boys play.

Trust me, you don't want me out of this car.

Yeah, see? Yeah. Get on.

Don't be no punk. Say what you gotta say.

Come on back, punk. Dad. Relax. Relax, let it go.

No, I ain't letting nothing go. These people in Richmond...

God damn it! Relax, Dad.

Damn it! Relax. Chill out. It's over. All right?

He doesn't mean anything. It's over.

Let it go. Come on, get back in the car. Let's go.


I think you know who she is, but she's got a friend.

I mean, dog, you gotta hook me up. Why I always gotta hook him up?

Sound like I'm the Love Connection. Just start a conversation.

I'll take care of it. Yeah. Yes, girl.

You don't remember me, but I knew your cousin.

I was just ready to duff Duke out. Some serious shit.

You should have did it, man. You talking all that shit, just do it.

Know what I'm saying? You let somebody do that to you.

Oscar, man. What?

Don't go nowhere. I'll be right out. I gotta talk to you.

I already told you... No. You guys is kind of passing...

I know I'm fine. But I'm not feeling myself. I'm feeling you.

Hey, I'm gonna holler at my boys across the street for a quick minute.

Come on, man. Hurry up, man. All right.

You know who we are, then? Here they go.

What do we have here? The Three Stooges from Richmond.

Larry, Co, and Dummy.

Dummy and dumb and dumber. I mean, what the hell... is the bitchman from Richmond doing on our side of the turf?

You garbage. I can't believe y'all won.

Shut up, homey. Don't be...

I don't understand how y'all won. Y'all wack-star niggers.

Y'all wacked. Wacked.

Yo, shut your bitch ass up.

I don't wanna hear you talking shit. Homey, you a benchwarmer!

Get the hell out my face, whitey!

Let's do it, homey.

What you trying to do? He got a piece, man.

You feel me right now, huh? You feel me right now?

Y'all brought a gun. Pinole homey. Feel me?

Keep it up the block, homey. I'm right here, homey.

I'm right here. Right here.

It's all good. Y'all brought a gun! Pinole!

Bitch-ass. Pinole, right?

Are they serious? I'll knock his braids out.

Nice to see the fight in you, dog. Know what I'm saying?

Appreciate the backup. Word.

I'm gonna see y'all later, all right?

All right, homey. Good looking.

No doubt. I'm gonna check y'all. You got this.

I don't have it this week, man.

This is my paper, man. I'm not playing.

Then why don't you stop getting in my face?

Renny!

I can't believe this, man. He was just standing there.

Renny! Oh, shit.

Come on. Help me. Get 911. Call 911, man.

Yo, I need a phone. I need something. I just need you to stay with me, okay?

Hold his head up.

Somebody help me!


Cruz? I wanna come back, Coach.

What's going on? I wanna come back on the team.

What the hell happened? They shot him.

Renny. They shot Renny. I mean, we was just there.

We was just there. Everything was good.

Come inside. Come on. Everything was good, Coach.

I mean, you know... Come inside, son.

Come on. You don't understand.

I wanna come back on the team. What do I gotta do to play?

Don't worry about that, son. Just come inside.

Whatever you want me to do, I'll do it, okay?

Okay. I got you.

Come on, you're back with us now.

I can't believe they shot him. Just come inside now, all right?

Come on. I just wanna be on the team.

Come on. Whatever you want me to do...

I'll do it, okay?

The state only requires a 2.0 GPA for participation... in extracurricular activities. Yes, ma'am.

And according to your contract... the players are agreeing to maintain a 2.3?

That, among other things. Yes, ma'am.

Other things like? Attending all classes... sitting in the front row of those classes, and wearing a tie on game day.

I see. Mr. Carter, does the lockout include practices and games?

And do you have a set period of time? There will be no basketball, ma'am.

Please! Quiet, please!

That includes practices and games, until we as a team... reach the agreed-upon GPA.

Please, quiet.

Quiet! Thank you, Mr. Carter.

In the interest of time, l'd like to open this board meeting up for comments.

As a teacher, I was offended when asked by a coach... to provide progress reports.

Nowhere in my contract does it say that I have to do so.

It creates more work. This lockout has brought negative media attention... that questions our abilities as educators.

End this madness. End this lockout.

I'm Jason Lyle's uncle.

That boy lives to play ball. Comes to school every day now.

You take away basketball, God knows what he'd be into.

Yesterday, he canceled the Fremont game.

Now, that's the biggest game of the year.

I have scouts coming to watch my boy play.

Me, too. These boys are 16-0.

This whole school, this whole community, is behind this team.

Everybody goes to every game. Basketball is the only thing... that these boys have got. Now, are we gonna let Carter... come in here and take that away from them?

No! I don't think so.

Not gonna happen.

I'd like to make a motion.

Yes, Mr. Walters? I move that we remove Mr. Carter... as head basketball coach.

Please. Order.

This board does not have the authority... to terminate employment of a staff position.

Then I move we end the lockout and let the kids play.

I second the motion. Okay.

If I may? Yes, Mr. Carter.

You need to consider the message that you're sending these boys.

It's the same message that we as a culture send to our pro athletes... which is that they are above the law.

Now, I'm trying to teach these boys the discipline... that will inform their lives and give them choices.

If you endorse the fact that 15, 16, and 17-year-olds... don't have to honor the simple rules of a basketball contract... how long do you think it'II be before they're out there breaking laws?

Now, I played basketball at Richmond 30 years ago.

It was the same thing then.

Some of my teammates ended up in prison.

Some of them ended up dead.

I took this job because I wanted to effect change... in a special group of young men, and this is the only way...

I know how to do that.

If you vote to end the lockout, you won't have to terminate me...

I'll quit.

Good.

Good. Thank you, Mr. Carter.

The board now recognizes five voting members.

In this instance, we will be accepting the vote of Principal Garrison as well.

Now, I put to those members the vote on whether or not... to end the lockout. All those in favor of ending the lockout... will raise their right hand when called upon.

I will vote first by not raising my hand.

Principal Garrison?

Valerie Walker.

Benson Chiu.

Parent rep, Mr. Cepeda.

And Miss Nyugen.

Thank you. Yes.

The lockout ends with a vote of 4-to-2.

If there's no other business, this board meeting is adjourned.

Thank you all for coming.

Mr. Carter, are you sure you wanna do this?

Look, I know we haven't always seen eye to eye... but you've done such a great job with these boys... it seems wrong to just... Look. No offense, ma'am... all the work I did with those boys... was negated when they ended the lockout.

I don't think that's true. The board sent the message... loud and clear. Winning basketball games is more important... than graduating from high school and going to college. I'm sorry.

I just can't support that message.


Sir, they can cut the chain off the door, but they can't make us play.

We've decided we're gonna finish what you started, sir.

Yeah, so leave us be, Coach. We got shit to do, sir.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

"Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

"It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

"Your playing small does not serve the world.

"There is nothing enlightened about shrinking...

"so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

"We were all meant to shine, as children do.

"It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.

"And as we let our own light shine...

"we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

"As we are liberated from our own fear...

"our presence automatically liberates others."

Sir, I just wanna say thank you.

You saved my life.

Thank you, sirs.

All of you.


Academic progress reports, young men.

These things are... unbelievable.

I know you've been trying.

I guess there's only one way to say this.

Gentlemen, we've reached our goal. Let's play ball.

Rich what? Richmond!


Get back.

Settle.

Watch the baseline.

Yes. Find a man.

Don't let up! Swing it.

Go!

Go!

Pick him up.

Go Richmond.

Hold the ball.

9, 8, 7, 6, 5...

4, 3, 2, 1.

Good game, Coach. Good game.

Richmond returns from their lockout and keep their streak alive at 17 games.

A team that only won four games last year... is now a Cinderella team... that has to be thinking that there's a chance... of getting the phone call to come to the dance.

Is Richmond headed for the State Tournament?

So, what else y'all gonna do at the park when you go?

Seesaw. Seesaw?

You're gonna seesaw? Yeah.

Who's gonna push you?

My mommy's gonna push me. Yeah?

That's good. I wish I could go with you.

Come on, baby. But I'll see you later, okay?

Okay. Bye.

Bye. Bye.

How you been? Good.

You look good. Thank you.

So do you. Considering.

You know, everything's been crazy, with the lockout.

Yeah, it'II be all right. For sure.

Can we sit down somewhere?


I've been trying to get my head straight about things.

A lot of things. Especially us.

Kenny... Kyra, just listen. Please.

For a long time, it's just been my moms, my boys, and you.

And that's what I counted on. I'm trying to count on myself now... and I'm all right and shit, it's just... without you nothing good feels as good.

I'm missing some happy part of me.

I got you something.

And it ain't from the 99-Cent Store. Shut up.

They gave you a scholarship? Yeah, baby, a full ride.

Oh, my gosh. That is crazy.

Oh, my gosh. I know you gonna kill it up there.

No, we gonna kill it up there.

I told them about you and the baby. They wanna help us.

Kenyon... there is no more baby.

I decided not to go through with it.

I had a choice to make... so I made it. For me, Kenny.

Well, when...

Why didn't you tell me? I would have gone with you.

I'm so sorry.

Kyra, I'm so sorry you had to go through that by yourself.

My mom went with me.

But I think that... I think you should go to school... and play ball and do your thing.

You know? I want that for you. And that's real.

I think you should be all you can.

I want you to come with me.

Kyra, I love you. I want you to come with me.

You serious? I'm serious.

Oh, my God. I love you.

I love you, too.

Ken Carter.

I understand, sir. All right. Thank you, sir.

We're in. Yes!

That's what I'm talking about.

Guys, now, listen.

It's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be a long road.

We're a really low seed. Who did we get, Coach?

St. Francis. St. Francis?

They're ranked number one in the state.

Hey, yo, Junior, man, don't worry about Ty Crane, dog.

You'II get him. We got this.

That's all right, baby. One game at a time. We got this.

All right, guys. It's on.

Bring your "A" game, young man. Yes, sir.


Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first round of the CIF playoffs.

St. Francis is one of the best high school teams in the nation... with Ty Crane believed to be a shoo-in for the top NBA draft pick next year.

On the other side of the court is Richmond... a team that's had a media-worthy season as well.

Richmond High has never played in a state tournament.

Let's go.

All right. Settle down. One-four.

All right. Settle down. One-four.

Ball.

Move!

Good shot, baby.

Get back.

Run motion. Motion 44.

Defense! Right here.

Swing it.

Force him left.

You gotta force him left. The baseline's another defender.

"D" up!

You better get somebody else to hold me. I'm dropping 50 tonight.

Set up!

Get on him!

Get over here and help. He shouldn't be scoring.

Yeah! Get back, get back.

Find your man! Now, watch out. Watch that trap.

Watch the trap motion.

That's the one. That's it.

Yes! S-C-O-R-E, Score!

Ball, man!

We'II take that!

Lyle, stop the ball. Less talk out there.

Come on. Let's go, Richmond!

You gotta help Junior on the weak-side pick.

Delilah! Defense!

Get there. Trap, trap. Left side!

Use the pick.

I got it.

Yeah!

That's what I'm talking about. Foul, Number 3.

Huddle up. Mustangs, bring it in.

Count the basket. Time-out, sir. Time.

Come here, come here! Damn it.

Come on, guys, keep up the defense!

Come on, what you gonna do?

We still in this game. Come on, fellas.

Gentlemen, you told me you deserved to be here!

Well, you're not playing like it!

All season long we played our game!

Right now, you're playing theirs. When we step on the floor... every second that clock is ticking, we are pedal to the metal!

We run the ball. We pressure the ball!

And most importantly, we control the tempo of the game!

We make them play Richmond Oiler ball!

Worm, you can take this kid!

Force him left, and when he crosses over, you jump him!

Damien, push the tempo. Kenyon, Lyle, crash the boards!

Cruz, when you're in the game in transition, take that jumper you love!

Junior, just keep doing what you're doing.

Hold on to that monster.

You do those things, gentlemen, and I guarantee you... at the end of the game, we will be there!

All right, hands in. Game time.

All right, take control of this game. Who's gonna win this game?

One, two, three. Richmond!

Let's go. Let's do this.

One, two, three, Mustangs!

Get up.

Go.

Yeah!

Yes.

There he is.

Reach-in foul. That's the only damn one.

How you gonna call that on me, ref? Good call, ref.

Cruz. In for Kenyon.

Ball! Run it.

Get back, get back! Everybody get back!

Yeah! Come on!

Damn. "D" up.

Yeah! Get back.

Ref, you gotta call that. This is my house.

Push, push. Can we get a call?

Take care of the ball, man. I'm gonna catch my breath.

Yeah!

Come on, get back!

Swing it right here. I got it.

Charge.

Go get them, boys. Yeah, baby.

Charge, Number 30.

Red ball. Come on, ref, you wasn't even there.

Red ball, red ball. Red. Yes.

Richmond's ball. What?

Okay, let's go. Let's go.

Red ball. Junior, good block!

I know that's a foul. It's all ball.

What are you talking about? What's up, man? Back up.

Hey!

Knock his bitch ass out.

Calm down, man. We're still in the game.

Come on. Ease back.

Bring it in.

Get out of my way, man. Get off me. It's just a bad call.

Let's go.

All right, baby, it's all us now. It's all us. Let's go.

They're standing on the edge of a cliff... all we gotta do is push them off. We're gonna run Candy.

Worm, you gotta sell them the pass to Damien.

Junior, we come to you on the weak-side seal.

But, gentlemen, just because you deserve this... doesn't mean they're gonna give it to you.

Sometimes you gotta take what's yours. You ready to do this?

Hell, yeah. Let's go.

All right, hands in. Come on, take this.

Richmond on three. One, two, three, Richmond!

Let's go! One, two, three, Mustangs!

Careful of the foul, all right? Let's go.

I got you. One-four! All right.

Defense! Mustangs! Let's go!

Candy!

Ball, Damien.

Move. Help!

Junior, get back!

Get back, get back!

Junior, get back!

Hands up!

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about, baby. Yeah!

I'll take it home.

Yeah! Mustangs!


Yeah!

Hold on, let me down.

Battle!

You're real, man. I mean that. All right?

All right? Keep your head up, baby.

Well, not quite your storybook ending, huh?

Not for us, anyway.

But you men played like champions.

You never gave up.

And champions hold their heads high.

What you achieved goes way beyond the win-Ioss column... or what's gonna be written on the front page... of the sports section tomorrow.

You've achieved something that some people spend... their whole lives trying to find.

What you achieved... is that ever-elusive victory within.

And, gentlemen...

I am so proud of you.

Four months ago, when I took the job at Richmond, I had a plan.

That plan failed.

I came to coach basketball players, and you became students.

I came to teach boys... and you became men. And for that, I thank you.

If someone walked in this door right now... and offered me the coaching job at any school in the state of California... you know which team l'd choose?

St. Francis?

I'm just saying, man. Kenyon?

Richmond? Rich what?

Richmond. Rich what?

Richmond. Rich what?

Richmond. Where we from?

Richmond! What's my hometown?

Richmond! What do we love?

Richmond! Rich what?

Richmond!

Done by (c) dCd / January 2005