Tyler Radcliff was miserable! His easy gym life in school had become a vigorous training site in basketball – a game he hated to play! With a fifth grade basketball bowl on the docket for May, Mapleton’s fifth graders were knocking themselves out to be the ones who would compete in the bowl. Since Tyler had done well in other sports, his classmates expected him to be of help in earning this honor. Instead, he was one of the worst in his class! Whenever he failed, which was usually every day, they tortured him with jeers and sneers.
One evening when Ty was grieving over that day’s ‘mess up’ in gym, Augustus, an unbelievable being from outer space, came to the rescue. Desperate to shine in basketball, Tyler signed a contract with Gussie even though he realized others would think he was lying or even crazy if he talked about having a humanized computerized coach that was visible only to him. In the weeks that followed, this tough humanized computer coach drove Tyler up the b ball ladder of success from the ‘flop step’ to the top step. Although Tyler loved Gussie for making him a ‘champ,’ he began to resent his unrelenting passion for making him a winner in everything. While the tutor and his student struggled to tolerate each other, they learned that Ty’s remarkable progress in basketball came with a heavy price. It was then that Gussie’s computerized abilities helped Tyler and his family deal effectively with a group of slick, nasty competitors. Thus Gussie’s mission was accomplished!