Stephen Thompson followed the University of Alabama basketball team for the 1999-2000 season, recording their practices and travels over a six-month period. Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried participated fully with Thompson, allowing complete access into the pressure cooker that is NCAA Division I basketball. Delving into the ups and downs of an emotionally draining season, Thompson builds his story around Assistant Coach Robert "Rah Rah" Scott, who was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer just weeks before the season began. Given only months to live, Scott chose to spend much of his diminishing time trying to help the young athletes find their way, both on and off the court. Part sports book and part eulogy to a good and courageous man, A Gift Before Dying examines the inner workings of college sports, and shows how a team pulled together when all fell apart.