TOBY WHEELER LOVES basketball and playing pickup games at the local rec center. No coaches, no practices, just nonstop action with his best friend, JJ, at his side. But lately JJ's been acting like he's too busy for Toby, and Toby knows it will only get worse once basketball season begins at their junior high. That's because JJ is the star of their school team, while Toby is just an ordinary gym rat.
When Coach Applewhite offers Toby a chance to join the team, Toby's eager to prove he can keep up with JJ. But then the coach announces the lineup, and Toby's hopes of playing ball with JJ are history: he's an eighthgrade benchwarmer! Befriending the coach's daughter only makes matters worse. Now the only way Toby will get in the game is if he starts thinking like a team player, on and off the court.