This movie is about a basketball coach Marcus Marakovich who was the assistant coach for the Iowa Stallions but got fired after he lost his cool which he had to do community service for driving while intoxicated. He community service was to help people with intellectual disabilities but he was thrilled of the idea but slowly got used to them. He wanted to help the team played basketball but he was started to get the hang of the team from the Friends which the Special Olympics Basketball Team which it used remind of my days when i used to play challenger basketball in the high school team.
This is the first time that the movie is based on actual people with intellectual disabilities.
Marcus Marakovich, a hot-tempered but capable assistant coach with an Iowa minor league basketball team, loses his cool during a game and shoves the head coach, Phil. He gets intoxicated at a nearby pub after leaving the stadium, and when driving home, he collides with a police cruiser, landing him in jail. Phil bails him out the next day. He gets into a fight with Phil, feeling that he was correct and that if Phil had listened, none of the events of the previous night would have occurred. Phil explains why he didn’t listen to Marcus and tells him that he needs to get to know the players as people, not just athletes, and that their personal life affect their performance. Then he informs Marcus that the owners have fired him.
As Marcus arrives in court for his hearing, the judge gives him the option of either 18 months in jail or 90 days of community service with The Friends, a local community center’s intellectually challenged basketball team. He decides to volunteer and quickly understands that coaching this squad will be a personal and professional struggle. At the end of the first practice, he accepts a ride home with Johnny, one of the players, only to discover that the driver is Alex, Johnny’s sister and a past Tinder one night fling. While he learns how to coach the new squad, he and Alex begin a casual sexual relationship. As Marcus shows up for his hearing, the judge offers him the option of 90 days of community service playing basketball with The Friends, a local community center’s team of mentally challenged people. He decides to perform community service but quickly learns that leading this squad will be difficult for him personally and professionally. During the first session, he agrees to take Johnny, one of the players, on a trip home, only to discover that the driver is Alex, a past Tinder one-night fling and Johnny’s sister. While he learns how to manage the new squad, he and Alex have a casual sexual relationship.
As the squad progresses and Marcus gets to know the players more, he quickly learns that they are more than simply their technical abilities. Consentino, a previously injured player, is brought back into the rotation when one of the squad members, Darius, refuses to play for Marcus. Marcus meets Consentino while they are traveling to an away game. As the team “disrupts” the other passengers and gets ejected from the bus, Johnny contacts his sister to come pick them up in her Shakespeare vacation RV. Thankfully, Marcus and the others can persuade her to drive them to away games. Johnny develops feelings for Marcus and asks him to dinner, where Marcus shares Johnny’s news of going into a group home with some of The Friends. Marcus leaves the house as Alex grows protective and instructs him to keep out of family business, but Alex confronts him in the yard. Marcus understands that Alex uses her daily routine of caring for Johnny as a reason to break up with previous lovers before Johnny becomes connected to them. Alex then informs Marcus that they are no longer together. Johnny feels enraged with Marcus for inflicting harm on his sister and lying to him and refuses to participate, but during halftime of a game, Consentino informs him that he isn’t playing for coach, but for himself. Consentino tells him that he isn’t playing for coach, but for the rest of the squad, and that he needs to get over it. Luckily the won the match after Cosentino’s wisdom words to help the team for a wake up call to turn the team around.
Marcus has requested Sonny, an assistant coach from his old squad, to help him get a new job but Sonny’s uncle, an NBA GM, has turned him down. Sonny tries to befriend Marcus for a time, but eventually finds that Marcus was only being cordial to him in order to gain a position with the NBA. Sonny accepts to Marcus’ request for assistance in guiding The Friends once the latter recognizes how deceptive he has been. Benny, one of the participants who works at a nearby restaurant, has been unable to participate in games since his supervisor will not allow him to change his schedule. As the squad advances to the semi-finals, he tells his supervisor that he should be allowed to change his schedule to play with the team and is dismissed; nonetheless, he is now able to play and is a critical scorer.
Marcus and Phil happen to meet in a restaurant, and Phil informs Marcus that Darius, the player who refuses to play for Marcus, had a promising career before being involved in a tragic automobile accident and suffering brain damage. Marcus realizes it was a drunk driver that caused the accident. When Marcus discovers it was a drunk driver who struck Darius, he visits him at home to apologize and say he would never drive while intoxicated again but also to let him know he understands why Darius won’t sign with him. Darius chooses to start with Marcus and accepts to travel to Winnipeg for the Special Olympics finals after recognizing he must be able to forgive the lady who hit him. Marcus learns that the NBA club in Seattle has recruited him as a third assistant, but Alex informs him that it appears they are using his upbeat news as a cover for their ongoing scandal. The Friends are unable to express happiness when he informs them he is relocating to Seattle since they know it would separate them from him, and Johnny loses his temper with him once more as a result. Marcus comes up with a plan with Alex to blackmail the proprietor of the restaurant where Benny works after learning from Julio, the community center manager, that the city and state lack the funds to send the players to Canada. As a result, they are able to attend the finals. The size intimidates the Friends.
When the Friends are down during halftime, Marcus brings up all the circumstances that they’ve overcome and refers to them as Champions. This is because the Friends are scared by the size and reputation of the opposing team, The Beasts, and it shows in their playing. As Johnny gets back to the court, he goes up the stairs and tells Alex that he’s moving in with his teammates to have his “Champion” moment.
Marcus tries to build up a play so that Darius would make the winning basket as the Friends rally in the second half and are just one point away from victory. The other team will be all over Darius since they know he is the best player, according to his assistant coach, who advises against it. Marcus starts.
The Friends are scared by the size and name of the rival team, The Beasts, and it shows in their performance, but when they are down during halftime, Marcus recalls all the difficulties they’ve overcome and proclaims them Champions. After Johnny returns to the court, he goes up the stairs to have his “Champion” moment by informing Alex that he is moving in with his pals.
The Friends comeback in the second half and are within one point of victory, so Marcus attempts to build up a play in which Darius will make the last shot. His assistant coach believes it is a horrible idea since the other team knows Darius is the greatest player and will be all over him.
Marcus starts to correct him like Phil did, but he stops himself, admits the assistant is correct, and sets up a pick-and-roll play with Johnny. The play is successful, and Johnny is ready to score when another player, Showtime, cries that he is open. Johnny tosses the ball to Showtime, but Showtime immediately executes his signature reverse shot. The squad erupts in jubilation when he misses the hoop but strikes the rim despite never having done it before. Regrettably, the team loses, but because to Marcus’s motivational speech, they continue to think of themselves as champions. After the basketball tournament , the whole team went to the pool with a waterslide to enjoy themselves of paradise and brought some good laughs.
Marcus chooses not to accept the Seattle position after recognizing Alex was correct, and on the advice of the coach of the NBA “J-league “, the Iowa Stallions (the one he pushed), he is given a local coaching position at Drake University. Marcus and Alex start dating, his old assistant takes over The Friends’ coaching duties, and Johnny moves in with his pals at the group home.
During the credits scene, the whole crew had the basketball community dance party to celebrate their amazing achievements at the Recreation Center.