Danny Walker is the best basketball player at St. Patrick's School and one of the two best players in the whole of Middletown. Blessed with good basketball genes - his father, Richie, was drafted in the first round of the NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors - Danny was unfortunately not blessed with great height and is not only short for basketball but short for his age. When he is left out of his travel basketball team because they want to "go bigger" this year, Danny is understandably frustrated and upset, especially when his being left out becomes the talk of the school. Danny's father comes to the house the day that the basketball team is announced, trying to cheer him up. He has been a mostly absent parent but Danny loves his visits even though he knows they will be short. This visit, though, is different and Richie tells Ali, Danny's mother, that he wants to start a new travel team and coach Danny himself.
Danny's best friend Will Stoddard agrees to play but at first the rest of the team is mediocre at best. Richie tries hard to coach them up to standard but the only player on the team with any real ability is Danny, who by now feels like he is on the wrong team entirely and wishes he was still a part of his old team, the Vikings.
As they are waiting for the girls' basketball team to finish playing Richie starts to watch their star player, Colby Danes, and after speaking with her father invites her to join the team. Danny aside she is by far the most talented player on the team. Richie manages to find a space in the travel league for the Warriors but despite the combined talents of Danny and Colby, they lose their first few games. Danny is dejected and almost gives up but his father changes his mind, aided by Danny's special friend Tess Hewitt who cannot bear to see Danny feeling downhearted.
History repeats itself when Richie, whose basketball career was brutally ended as a result of a car accident, loses control of his car and is rushed to the hospital. Anxious to avoid letting the team down he persuades their favorite coach from summer basketball to coach the Warriors for one game but afterwards they are back to square one - coach-less, and with a game to play. This time, the plan devised revolves around Danny who will be the team's coach, although his mother will actually be listed as the official coach on League documentation; Tess assumes the role of team manager.
Danny also has help in his coaching role from a surprising source : Ty Ross. Despite the fact he was injured as a result of playing Danny's team, Ty still regrets that he and Danny were ever split up and finds the Warriors a much more enjoyable team to be around than the Vikings. He draws up some plays for the Warriors who end up winning the game, but his father, who coaches the Vikings, is furious, verbally billing Ty after the game. Later Danny receives an instant message on his laptop from Ty telling him he wants to play on the Warriors.
Even though his arm is still injured Ty manages to play in the penultimate play-off game against his former teame that, if they win, will take the Warriors to the finals. Danny is overjoyed to see Richie, on crutches, come into the auditorium with Ali who picked him up from the hospital just in time for the game. Still the pride of Middletown, Richie is given a standing ovation. The game is close and hard fought, and Colby, the third best player on the team now Ty has joined it, is close to fouling out. It is a tense, hard and foul-filled game which Danny feels slipping away from them. When he and Ty look over to Richie's section they are amazed to see that Ty's father has taken the seat next to him and they are watching the game together. The boys realize that if Mr Ross extending an olive branch to Richie is possible, then anything is possible, and in true underdog fashion they win the game.
After celebrations, the Walkers go home and feeling bolstered by the victory, and the upcoming championship game, Danny measures himself against the height marks on the wall at the back of his closet and finds that he has grown almost an inch and a half! It also seems likely that his father will be staying in Middletown, making Danny happier even than winning the championship could do.