"Basket Case" addresses a dilemma that regularly occurs in schools to this day, the preferential treatment that star athletes receive and the assumption that they can breeze through classes without having to work for better grades. A classic opening finds Gabe stunned to be waking up making his father's noise (and adopting his father's walk), since he's 10 years too young to get out of bed with such a cry! Freddie 'Boom Boom' Washington is here established as Buchanan High's resident star basketball player, certain that his future with the hometown New York Knicks is a sure thing. It's examination day, and for the first time Barbarino offers up his 'What, Where' routine when Kotter asks to check his arm for the answers (he should have rubbed them off his leg too!). Gabe mentions his days as a basketball player, and the Sweathogs laugh it off. When Washington fails to finish his test and refuses to take it over, Kotter is determined to make him see the error of his ways. Mr. Woodman and the coach (Jess Nadelman) also try to force Gabe to give in and pass Freddie automatically. Ultimately, Kotter makes a bet with the athletic Sweathog, going one on one in a game of basketball and just coming up short, 20-16, convincing Freddie to cover his bases by taking the makeup test after all.
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