Seventies-set film about an inspiring swimming teacher. Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard) was a superior swimmer in the 1960s unable to use his gifts because of the fact he's African American. Ten years later and he's in Philadelphia, unsuccessfully trying to find a job teaching maths. Desperate for work he accepts a 'closing down' job at a condemned Philadelphia Recreation Center tended by the downtrodden Elston (Bernie Mac) who resents the intrusion into his domain. Ellis restores the centre's swimming pool and gradually initiates a swim team for troubled teens who are new to swimming and even newer to the idea that they can rise above their surroundings. Ellis teaches the team to swim like champions and to have faith in their abilities. Will the young African Americans win the championship in a city still plagued by racism?