It’s basketball season. Camp What-A-Nut is putting on a clinic. Dale Jacobs and Tom Riley are coaching. Jimmy Barclay, Phil McFarland, and Rusty Gordon are participating. Phil is a hot-dog player, and not a bad one. He makes every shot he tries, but his style leaves little to be desired. Unfortunately, he thinks he plays great. Phil stubbornly refuses to listen to any instruction from Tom. Then Tom asks Rusty to play against Phil. Rusty is bigger, and better, than Phil. Rusty ends up blocking every one of Phil’s shots.
Phil is so humiliated that he steals Rusty’s expensive shoes and hides them in a locker. Jimmy lies about it for Phil. When Rusty’s father finds out, he is so upset about this, he doesn’t let Rusty come to the camp the next morning. But Rusty does return that afternoon, again showing up Phil.
Phil finally realizes that he doesn’t know as much about basketball as he thought. He seeks out Tom’s help. Finally, Phil’s shooting improves to the point that he actually scores on Rusty!
Meanwhile, Dale talks with Jimmy about the lie he told to protect Phil. Dale explains that Phil isn’t a Christian. His father hoped that sending him to the camp would be a good influence on him. Jimmy realizes that he’s made a mistake. In front of Phil, Jimmy apologizes to Rusty. The camp ends, and both Phil and Jimmy realize that sometimes the only way you can improve is by getting back to the fundamentals.
- Why did Jimmy lie for Phil?
- Why did Phil finally seek out Tom’s help?
- Why should we watch our actions and attitudes at all times?
Heard in episode
|Alex Jefferson||Gary Lydie|
|Dale Jacobs||Phil Lollar|
|Jimmy Barclay||David Griffin|
|Phil McFarland||Chad Reisser|
|Rusty Gordon (Malone)||Shawn Svoboda|
|Tom Riley||Walker Edmiston|
- This show marks Marshal Younger's directorial debut.
- The star basketball player in this episode, Alex Jefferson, shares the same name as the popular character Alex Jefferson from the Novacom era.
- This episode and #301: “The Good, the Bad and Butch” are both examples of Southern-born Marshal Younger using "tennis shoes" in the mouths of Odyssey characters who otherwise say "sneakers."
- The term "fundamentals" (meaning the basics) is commonly used in sports to refer to the generic technical skills required to play. The term itself is not used within this episode, though it would have been perfectly in context for any of the coaches to bring it up.
- Jimmy's interest in basketball was first mentioned in #48: “Heroes”.
- Phil McFarland mentions his favorite player being David Malone, a player for the Bulls, to the point of claiming his fadeaway jumper is similar to Malone's. Presumably, Malone is based on Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan (in the middle of his first retirement), who frequently used a fadeaway jumper in his later career. Malone's last name is also an allusion to Utah Jazz great Karl Malone.
Jimmy Barclay: All the knowledge in the world doesn't mean a thing unless you apply it.