When Scott Beck was younger, he was really, really good at basketball. Everyone figured he was a shoo-in for the NBA. But like the dreams of many prospective players, he just never quite made the cut.
Now, he’s 39. Instead of sweeping the floor with an opposing basketball team, he’s mopping the floors of his old high school while barely making ends meet. The whole situation has made him feel a bit jaded towards God and His plan.
Meanwhile, the Knoxville Silver Knights basketball team is feeling its own pressures—after all, new team owner Ryan Aikens has decided to cut her top two players because of domestic abuse charges against them as well as allegations of point shaving. There’s less than a month before the season starts, and now they’ve got two spots to fill. And with little money to the team’s name, they’ve only got one card left to play.
“Why don’t we try open tryouts?” Ryan asks her general manager, perhaps half jokingly. Better yet, why not film the tryouts, reality-TV style. It’s almost guaranteed to bring in enough drama—and with it, money and talent—to solve every issue the team has.
But for Ryan, it also brings something unexpected back into her life. Because when Scott—her ex-fiancé—arrives for the tryout, he’s trying to do more than win a spot on the team. He’s also looking to repair their relationship. He wants to win a spot in Ryan’s heart, if she’ll give him a chance.
And through it all, God just might be repairing Scott’s relationship with Him, too.
Scott’s friend Nick struggles with anger issues, but he actively works to manage his volatile emotions. Elsewhere in the film, Scott is hesitant when it comes to helping high schoolers pursue their dreams—after all, his didn’t work out.
“It’s better to see the glass half empty, so when it spills, you’re not a wreck,” he says cautiously—a guarded sentiment that we can easily understand stems from the hurt he’s experienced.
But as Nick disciples Scott, and as the former basketball player sees how his pessimism deflates the spirits of the students, he has a change of heart. So he begins to guide them toward their goals.
Discussions about God are woven throughout the film. Nick wants to become a pastor, and he frequently references God to practice his “pastor-speak.” He mentions that he’s been removed from seminary four times (apparently due to that anger problem). Nick also runs the high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) chapter. Nick and Scott go to church and ask a pastor for help. We also see various groups of people pray.
Nick tries to guide Scott in what he believes is God’s will for his friend’s life. In the moments Scott feels like giving up, Nick’s there to build him up again.
A sermon about not giving up briefly includes the first part of a gospel presentation; the pastor mentions Christ suffering on the cross for our sins. A pastor motivates Scott by visiting him. The same pastor shows humility by allowing Nick to express critical feedback on his sermon.
Scott and Nick have many discussions about God’s will. Nick quotes John 10:10, which includes Jesus’ promise about abundant life. But Scott disagrees with the suggestion that God gives abundant life, referencing his own difficult circumstances. In that moment, it seems Scott believes the passage refers to material abundance, not the spiritual kind.
The film further explains that distinction at an FCA meeting, where Nick provides tells the student athletes there, “God never promised us life free from trouble or free from failure.” Instead, God often gives us trials so that He would be more greatly glorified through accomplishing His plan through us and so that we would grow in our sanctification.
Various verses are referenced in the film, including Job 14:1; Psalm 37:4; Proverbs 3:6 and 25:2; Matthew 5:14; and many others. Nick ends a prayer before a basketball game by saying, “In Jesus’ name we play.” A man says they should end a game before people start building statues to a man.
A song by the Planetshakers is based around the verses Matthew 19:26 and Philippians 4:13.
Scott and Ryan share a few kisses throughout the film. Ryan wears a couple of low-cut shirts. Various people reference the attractiveness of a woman.
Scott’s tires are found slashed. Two players get cut from the Knights partly based on domestic-violence allegations. People are knocked over during basketball games.
Scott’s dad takes prescription medication, and beer bottles litter his house. At one point, Scott picks his impaired father up from a bar. It’s strongly suggested that his father is an alcoholic.
We hear that Scott left Ryan at the altar. People manipulate Scott for drama and ratings.
When the Lord allows us to experience trials, they come with a purpose: helping us grow in spiritual endurance; requiring us to lean more on God; and, most importantly, bringing glory to Him (1 Peter 1:6-7).
But sometimes, it’s hard to see the point of our trials when we don’t know the Lord’s reason for allowing our suffering. Nothing Is Impossible strives to help viewers find rest amid our struggles, even when we can’t see how things will ultimately turn out.
“When God is going to do something wonderful, it seems He always starts with a hardship. But when God is going to do something amazing, He starts with the impossible,” one character says.
Scott Beck has to learn these lessons the hard way as he pursues a woman’s heart and the unlikely dream of landing a spot on an NBA roster. Along the way, Nothing Is Impossible reminds us that being a Christian doesn’t mean that this life will be free of struggle or hardship—after all, we still live in a broken world.
But even when our lives are filled with hardship, we should not be shaken, because our hope is in Christ, not our circumstances (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”