Jason Hayward, James Hayward's 15 year old cousin, is out on the city streets begging for change. After one person gives him some cash, he and his friend Dickie go and meet up withTrotter Jordan, a newly-arrived drug dealer from Oakland. The three share a marijuana joint, and Dickie shoots up some heroin. Trotter convinces Jason to try snorting cocaine.
Meanwhile, after practice, the Carver players are discussing the evening's plans. Hayward plans to have dinner with his aunt (Jason's mother), little brother, and cousins. The players ask about Jason, who has seemed "out of it" lately. Hayward plans to talk with Jason tonight at dinner.
At his aunt's house that night, Jason arrives strung out from drugs. He goes straight to his bedroom with a lit cigarette. James goes in and tries to talk to him and puts out the cigarette and scolds him for being high and ignoring his family. James tells Jason that the two will talk the next day.
The next morning, James helps Coach Reeves out at a basketball clinic at Carver. He comes across a young camper named Gordy who appears to be a drug addict. Coach Reeves gives him a ride to his aunt's, but when they arrive, the aunt runs out of the house exclaiming that Jason is dead. Reeves and James go to the police station and identify Jason's body and conclude that Jason died from a drug overdose. James presses the cop on duty about the search for the drug dealer who supplied Jason, but gets no satisfaction from the response. He arrives ar his aunt's and comforts his little brother. Later, Reeves, James, and the team attend Jason's funeral.
Hayward stays out of school with his family for a few days, still pressing the cops for information. When he arrives back at school, Reeves tells him how proud he is that he's holding together two families in the wake of the tragedy and tells him to let the cops take care of the dealer. At practice, Gordy wanders in and tries to hawk drugs to the team, but James arrives, kicks him in the rear, and throws him out of the gym.
That night, James meets up with an old friend who's a recovering addict named Rennie. James wants the name of the dealer, but Rennie is reluctant to give it to him because he fears reprisal. After much consternation, he gives James the name of Trotter. Hayward plans to ignore the police and go after Trotter himself.
The next night, Goldstein exits an adult movie house and spots James making plans with a dealer named Rollo to meet up with Trotter. Goldstein is unaware of Hayward's plans and Rollo leaves the scene. Hayward chastises Goldstein for messing up the plans. The next day, Goldstein is asking the team why Hayward would be meeting with a dealer if he wasn't wanting to get high. He and the team conclude that Hayward is not looking to get drugs; he wants to get to Trotter to possibly kill him. After school, Thorpe, Reese, and Salami show up at Hayward's home to try to talk him out of going after Trotter, but to no avail. That night, Hayward meets Trotter, who is unaware that James is Jason's cousin.
Thorpe then goes to Coach Reeves with news of Hayward's plan. Reeves then presses the cops about their progress in the search for Trotter, fearing that Hayward is about to do something rash that will affect the rest of his life. He meets with Jim and Sybil and tries to convince them to let him take the team to town to try to head off Hayward, but they refuse. Meanwhile, Hayward buys a handgun in a dark alley to carry out his plan. Reeves then goes to town himself to try to stop Hayward.
Reeves and Hayward meet and Reeves begs Hayward not to go through with killing Trotter, but Hayward, in his anger over Jason, fights him off and throws him through a store window. James then reaches Trotter's place, makes a drug deal, and then reveals that he is Jason's cousin. He wrestles Trotter to the ground, points the gun and cocks it at him, but can't make himself pull the trigger. He then runs away.
That night, Hayward meets up with Gordy and promises to help steer him away from drugs so that guys like Trotter won't mess up his life. At practice the next day, Reeves asks Hayward about what happened and Hayward says he's got a lot of things to think about. Coach is happy Hayward didn't go through with his plan, and tells him to get to practice.