Although "Coach " is his title, he is much more to his basketball team. A man that can see more than athletic ability or what the individual sees themselves to be. Based on a true story, the film, Coach Carter (2005), tells of when Coach Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his alma mater Richmond High School to fill in the newly opened head coaching position to save a struggling high school basketball team. Coming to the team, he brings his "my way or the highway " coaching style. Winning games is a priority for him, but he focuses on something more, his players' futures. The film presents a belief that coaches need to have a large impact on improving the skills of a player, however they need to be able to have an equal balance of that and improving a player's life. .
The improvement of the life of the students in the film is presented in the opening clips. It contrasts a private school, St. Francis High School, where the students get an amazing education and the graduation rate is 100% to a poor high school, Richmond High, where he students could not care less about their academics and the graduation rate is 25%. Teaching young players that academics are important is key. In the film, Coach Carter shows extreme contrast to the attendants of the uncaring school by his having the complete opposite ideas and enforcing them on his new basketball players there. His style is easily observed on the first day of practice by handing out the contract needed to play. When Coach Carter explains, "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."" A player responded by saying "Yo, this a country-ass nigga, dog."" In rebuttal, Coach tells the players to respect themselves by not using the term "nigga"." Teaching them about the seriousness of academics and respect on the first day represents how the film supports the structuring of young players through sports.