Sometimes the best friendships are born in the worst circumstances.

Dani McNalley, Hannah Speer and Avery Adams arrive at the United States Military Academy at West Point in the summer of 2000, unalike in every way except one: they all want to play basketball.

Confident to the point of cocky, Dani sets out to dominate as point guard, even as she ignores classmates’ racist comments in the off-season. Resentful of Dani’s success, Avery seeks solace in the bed of an upperclassman who has a secret. And Hannah, sweet and unassuming, finds that she's constantly keeping the peace between her teammates. But September 11th, 2001 transforms what was supposed to be a ticket to college basketball into a path leading directly toward war. Together, they navigate military boot camps, hazing, college boys and their unpredictable, vindictive basketball coach, until circumstances force them to create an unlikely alliance, forging their friendship for life.

Beyond West Point’s stone gates, all three women catapult in different directions. For Dani, court-side injuries force her out of the Army and into the world of advertising, where she watches men shower in the name of research. But when her friends leave for war, creating commercials for razors seems superficial. Avery can’t seem to keep herself out of romantic drama—not that that’s anything new—and Hannah, newly wed to her college sweetheart, Tim, is the first to deploy to Afghanistan, where she leads an engineering platoon, building campsites for NATO troops.

No matter how hard they try to stay in touch, their lives feel more and more isolated—that is, until one fatal explosion blows everything apart and brings them all back together again.