The crowd pours into the Whitey Durham Field House. The b-ball game is in full swing. Cheerleaders wave their pom-poms, but I can't see Peyton amongst them. Mouth's there with his recorder, telling us that Nathan's scored thirty-eight points already and they're still early in the fourth quarter. Dan sits on the bleachers, smiling at his son's performance. Nathan's got the ball again, and scores a three-pointer -- he's a basket away from the record. Brooke waves her pom-poms and smiles. Haley looks on and smiles too. Nathan's got the ball, but when he goes up to score, he bashes into a Cove City player and the ref blows the whistle -- I'm guessing to call a personal foul. The ref refuses to call the basket, something about charging. Nathan argues with him for a second and almost gets himself thrown out of the game. Whitey calls a time-out just in the nick of time. The ref yells at Whitey, "Coach, you'd better watch your boy." The boys sit down on the bench, and someone hands Nathan a glass of Gatorade. Haley sits beside Keith. She asks him, "What's he doing?" Whitey: "Nathan, I don't care how many points you've got -- you keep this up and I'll move you so far down the bench they'll have to pump air to you." The buzzer goes and the boys huddle up, call "D-Fence," and get back into the game. Nathan says to Luke, "Just get me the ball." As they walk back onto the court, Luke says, "You all right?" Nathan replies, "I will be two points from now." The game picks back up with a Raven grabbing the ball mid-shot from a Cavalier. Nathan jumps up, grabs the ball, and passes it to Luke, who waits for Nathan to get free, but when he gets the ball, Nathan starts to waver. He sees his father, then looks at Haley, then crashes to the floor. The whistle blows, and everyone, including Dan, is on their feet. The team gathers around Nathan, but he's out cold on the floor.
When Nathan comes around, Dan's standing beside his hospital bed, running his hands tenderly through his hair. It's the first almost-parental thing I've ever seen Dan do, and he seems genuinely concerned for Nathan's well-being. He says, "Easy, son, you're okay. Can you hear me?" Nathan's hoarse. He replies quietly, "Yeah." Dan says, "You collapsed in the game." The doctor comes up and asks how Nathan's feeling. He says, "I have to piss." The doctor laughs: "You were severely dehydrated. We had you in these ice packs because your body temperature was very high." The doctor wants to get to the bottom of why Nathan collapsed. He wants to know if Nathan's taking speed. But Dan jumps in and says, "Hey, Doc, he's an athlete, not a junkie, okay?" Well, duh, hasn't Dan read or seen The Basketball Diaries? The two categories aren't actually mutually exclusive. The doctor asks to speak to Dan alone, but before Dan leaves Nathan's side he says, "Listen to me, son, you're going to be fine, okay, we've been hitting it a little hard lately, so we'll dial it back a notch or two. You'll be as good as new. Hell, the scouts won't even remember this come the post-season." Dan leaves Nathan to chew on that while he talks to the doctor. Blah he'll be fine, blah speed in his system, blah say that again, blah lawsuit blah. Nathan overhears the doctor telling Dan that Nathan could have a serious problem. Dan refuses to listen. He just threatens the doctor, because the reality he makes up in his head is so much better than the one he lives in each day.