Jim once had dreams of becoming a major league baseball player. Now he's the coach of the local school team. After confronting his team on their recent loss, he urges them to try harder and in turn, they urge their coach to chase after his dream once again.
At the Crenshaw school spelling bee, Dr. Larabee discovers Akeelah's natural aptitude for spelling. Akeelah spells many of the words given to her correctly, but misses one, which prompts classmates to make fun of her in front of everyone.