Degrassi Wiki
Degrassi Wiki

"I did fine? I wanna do better than that."
— Jimmy playing basketball.

Basketball Diaries is the seventh episode of the Canadian television series, Degrassi: The Next Generation.

Plot Synopsis

Main Plot

Jimmy desperately wants to make the basketball team. However, he is pressured because of his poor academic status. If he can't find a way to balance both school and basketball, he won't be allowed to play on the team. When he convinces hyperactive Spinner to skip a Ritalin pill and give it to him instead, he plays a great game, but not as a team player and gets cut in the end. Meanwhile, an unmedicated Spinner goes a little wild during the game too.

Sub Plot

Meanwhile, Liberty is tired of writing Ashley's video announcement speeches for her all the time and not getting any credit for it. She feels that she deserves to take over the announcements for once. Ashley knows Liberty won't be able to do it, but lets her anyway, embarrassing her in front of the whole school. Ashley later apologizes, and helps her improve so she can do better next time.

Extended Overview

Jimmy is training hard for the upcoming basketball game against Earl Grey High School and Coach Armstrong informs them that their performance in the game will decide who will make it to the final cuts. After practice is over, Jimmy and Spinner stay behind. Spinner warns Jimmy that he's going to be late for homeroom, but Jimmy is so focused on his training he continues to practice. Spinner assures him that he's doing fine already, but Jimmy says fine is not good enough. He shoots the ball again and makes the shot with Spinner cheering him on.

Jimmy gets to class late with Ms. Kwan expecting an assignment from him, but Jimmy informs her that his homework is not ready. Ms. Kwan alerts him that he has been falling behind and that she's worried that he's not going to be able to balance out both his academics and extracurricular activities at once.

Meanwhile, Liberty arrives at the morning announcements room late, with Ashley impatiently waiting. She tells Liberty to be on time more often. She then takes Liberty's note cards and starts reading them in front of the camera. Liberty heads to homeroom and tells her friends that television is so stressful. J.T. notices that Ashley doesn't seem stressed. Manny agrees and says that she's better than the people on the news. Listening to Ashley read her notes, Liberty informs her friends that those were her words that she wrote and put together. Emma tells Liberty that she finds it unfair how Ashley takes all the glory for her work. The others all agree and suggest that it's time that Liberty talked to her about sharing the video announcement air time equally.

Jimmy finds it hard to keep up with basketball and his school work.

In the meantime, Ms. Kwan's class is still discussing the book the have been reading, The Lord of the Flies. Remembering that Jimmy had not yet handed in his assignment, she asks him about his thoughts on chapter 8. Jimmy tells her that it was great. Ms. Kwan continues and asks him if he could relate to any of the characters. Jimmy freezes up and Ms. Kwan realizes that he still has not read the book. Out in the hall, Spinner tries to calm Jimmy down by reassuring him that Ms. Kwan can't stop him from playing in the game. Jimmy reminds Spinner that if he falls behind, Ms. Kwan will talk to Coach Armstrong who needed to cut 3 out of 15 players for a team of 12.

At lunchtime, Liberty walks up to Ashley and requests that she could go on air and recite the announcements. Ashley is surprised and says that she's a performer while Liberty is a writer and reminds her that they are very different. Ashley suggests that Liberty can do it next year.

The boys are back in the gym practicing, but Jimmy is reading his English book on the bench. Coach Armstrong calls him to take his turn and Jimmy gets up and takes a shot, but the class was actually practicing on their lay ups. Coach warns Jimmy that if he can't pay attention and keep up and would rather read, he could easily cut him from the team.

Jimmy takes Spinner's Ritalin pill before the basketball game.

Back in the hall, Liberty catches up with Ashley and asks her once again, if she could do the video announcements. When Ashley refuses, Liberty puts her foot down and tells her that she's going on strike and won't write any more speeches and notes until Ashley lets her do the announcements. Frustrated, Ashley agrees and says rather happily that tomorrows announcements are all for Liberty to do by herself.

In the gym, the boys finish practice and Sean and Jimmy assure each other that they will both do well at the game tomorrow. However, a worried Jimmy thinks that Sean's skills are surpassing his own. Spinner suggests that he and Jimmy go see a movie to get his mind off the game, but he reminds him that he has to get home to work on his English assignment. Spinner then takes his Ritalin pill because of his ADHD. Jimmy claims he wishes there was a pill he could take to energize himself. Spinner tells him that Ritalin would boost his energy. Jimmy is confused as he thought it was supposed to calm oneself but Spinner says due to a configuration in his brain it does indeed calm him down but it works oppositely for someone else. He then reminds Jimmy that drugs aren't the answer.

Back in Ms. Kwan's class, Jimmy hands in his assignment and tells Spinner about how tired he is and says he will have no energy for the game. He then asks Spinner for a Ritalin pill, but Spinner tells him that this was his last pill and he couldn't miss it. Jimmy pleaded him for just this one time, just to give him an energy boost and to prove himself to Coach Armstrong. Spinner hesitantly gives Jimmy his last pill and Jimmy asks to run to the washroom to take it.

Liberty does a poor job on the video announcements.

In the announcement room, Liberty is messing around in front of the camera, unaware that they were on air. When she finally realizes she panics and stutters while reading her notes. Everyone watching laughs and wonders what happened to Ashley. Liberty sadly signs off runs out of the room.

In the gym change room, Jimmy is full of energy and ready to play. Out on the court, a loud and pumped Jimmy is running around crazy and hogging the ball away from his team, while an unmedicated Spinner is hyper from not taking his pills. While Sean calls for the ball, Jimmy shoots it and scores putting Degrassi in the lead of 3-0. After awhile, Coach Armstrong notices Jimmy's odd and hyper behavior. At half-time, Degrassi takes the lead of 22-24.

Meanwhile, Ashley enters the girls bathroom to find an embarrassed Liberty crying in one of the stalls. Ashley tells her to come out and claims that she wasn't totally horrible. Liberty wipes her tears and comes out of the stall. Ashley assures her that she could get much better, she just needed some practice and a few pointers.

An unmedicated and hyper Spinner, moons the crowd.

Back in the gym, a wild Spinner is entertaining the crowd by turning on music and dancing. He then moons everyone. Mr. Raditch comes along, grabs Spinner and drags him into the office. Mr. Raditch tells Spinner that he could suspend him for this. Spinner reminds him that it's a medical condition and that he forgot to take his Ritalin. Mr. Raditch lets it go and says that from now on Spinner would take his pills in front of a school secretary.

In the meantime, Jimmy is still playing and is still hyper then from the medication. He then shoots the ball, ignoring the calls from the other players. He misses and Sean catches it. Jimmy runs up to Sean and pushes him, stealing the ball away. Sean lands on the floor, holding his ankle in pain. Jimmy shoots again and scores. Degrassi won 39-37.

Back in the hall, Emma, Manny, Toby and J.T. watch Liberty's video announcements. All of them are worried for her at first, but after watching they realized that she practiced, as this time she does a very good job. After the announcements end, Ashley congratulates her and says she did great. She offers Liberty to take her place in the announcements - next year.

Back in the change room, the boys are very excited about their win, but Coach watched how Jimmy played. He calls Jimmy over to talk to him and says that he ball hogged, show boated, blew plays and pushed Sean, thus almost breaking his ankle. Jimmy claimed that it was an accident and it will never happen again. Coach tells him that he can't take that chance and then cuts Jimmy from the team.

  • This episode shares its title with with a 1995 drama film and a book, Basketball Diaries, written by Jim Carroll.
  • After Parents' Day, this is the second episode to feature all of the main characters.
  • The character featured in the final freeze-frame for this episode is Jimmy (first time).
  • There is no soundtrack or music credited in this episode. However, when Spinner dances in the gym, he turns on music on the boom box.
  • The scene where Liberty is pressing her face before reading the announcements is one of the clips used in Sarah Barrable-Tishauer's video montage in the Season 6-7 opening credits.
  • It is revealed that Spinner got his nickname because he suffers from hyperactivity, and when unmedicated he will spin out of control.
  • This is the first episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation that deals with drug use.
  • When Jimmy knocks Sean over, Coach Armstrong asks Sean to wiggle his toes. However Sean was wearing sneakers so he wouldn't have been able to see his toes move
  • In the scene before Spinner and Jimmy were in the locker room, it can be seen that kids were leaving class before the bell.

  • Spinner: (to Jimmy) "You know son, drugs aren't the answer. Just say no."
  • Mr. Raditch: "What were you thinking?"
    Spinner: "I don't know. It was funny!"
  • Spinner: "My Ritalin, it's like speed."
    Jimmy: "I thought it calmed you down."
    Spinner: "Yeah, for me. Its got something to do with the configuration of my brain, or something."
    Jimmy: "You have a brain?"
    Spinner: "Ha ha."
  • Coach Armstrong: "Everyone! Pumped for the game?"
  • Spinner: "It's a catch 42."
    Jimmy: "It's catch 22."
    Spinner: "Like you know. You thought you were Lord of the Flies."
  • Sean: "Why spend more time at school than you already have to?"
    Toby: "You're going out for basketball"
    Sean: "My social worker says it's beneficial. Personally, I couldn't give a rat's..."
    Mr. Simpson: "Class! Sorry for the delay."

  • v - e - d

    Season One Episodes

    Mother and Child Reunion (1)Mother and Child Reunion (2)Family PoliticsEye of the BeholderParents' DayThe Mating GameBasketball DiariesSecrets and LiesComing of AgeRumours and ReputationsFriday NightWannabeCabaretUnder PressureJagged Little Pill