Winning is important, but it has to be fun to mean something--so Freddy ""Nutty"" Nutsell learns after basketball victories become virtually automatic. Nutty's team, the Lab School Labradors, resides in the league basement and seems destined to stay there once Nutty's father, given to gung-ho exhortations and courtside faux pas, takes over the coaching job. Nutty seeks help from his ""genius"" friend William Bilks, who ""reads up"" on basketball and soon has the team working on the game's fundamentals, a chore Coach Nutsell is quite willing to delegate. William also teaches Nutty to concentrate on shooting the ball; almost in a trance, Nutty now almost never misses. The Labs pile up wins, the media discovers Nutty, and his teammates grow increasingly surly as he alone gets the glory--and their ire for hogging the ball. Nutty soon finds that playing like a machine is a downer; be feels both cheated and like a cheater. But in the last game, with the season on the line, Nutty makes the winning shot on his own and rediscovers the true joys of winning. Nice character turns here, especially an 11-going-on-45 William and the bombastic but deep-down decent coach. Nutty's teammates have a fullness and depth that even the non-sports-minded will appreciate.