The film is both a story of two aspiring athletes trying to negotiate passion for sport with other necessary pieces of real life and a critique of contemporary men's and women's sports at various levels. Emphasizing the inseparability of the basketball element from the love story, the film is divided into quarters. The first quarter opens when nine-year-old Monica Wright and her family move in next door to former Los Angeles Laker Zeke McCall and his family. Tomboy and basketball fanatic Monica marches confidently over to her new neighbor's yard, where the two McCall boys are shooting hoops, and demands that they let her join. An instant attraction/rivalry ensues between Monica and one of the brothers, Quincy, as they discover that they both want to play in the NBA. Quincy's attempt to harness the tension by asking Monica to be his girlfriend fails as Quincy's macho assertiveness clashes with Monica's feisty determination. By the time the second quarter opens, the two neighbors are nearing the end of high school. Monica and Quincy have resolved their unavoidable rivalry by close friendship and individual pursuit of their similar goals. Both are stars on their school teams, eagerly awaiting recruitment letters from Division I schools. But while Quincy glides easily from court to home to recruitment letters with encouragement and social perks, Monica struggles to prove herself as a controlled player on the court and comes up against constant demands to conduct herself as a lady off of it. Their turning point occurs when the two find that they will both be playing for the University of Southern California. Caving into what seems like destiny, they finally begin a serious romance. Into the third quarter, at USC, Monica again struggles to prove herself to her coaches and teammates. Quincy becomes an instant star on the court, but he discovers that constant glory and admiration can have a price when a secret from his father's past is revealed.