NBA star Brandon Bass is like the proverbial fish out of water. He's at home on the basketball court, but it's a much different story in a swimming pool.

The hoops player is fighting his fears and putting aside his pride to learn to swim in a class full of kids who only come up to his knees.

This guy is used to dunking, not diving.

Bass is a 6-foot-eight, 250-plus pound forward for the Boston Celtics. Hard wood is where he is comfortable; the water, not so much.

"I don't know how to swim myself," he said.

So he decided on the best place to learn -- a local Boston pool with some decidedly un-judgmental classmates.

"I think I can swim across the pool but I would be dead tired," he said.

Since he was a child, Bass has feared the water. But learning to swim was something he knew he needed to do.

"You know, in the downtown Boston area, drowning is the leading cause of death for kids from the age of one to four," he said.

Stats like that are why the 28-year-old athlete thinks it's so important for adults and kids to learn to swim. Bass' 6-year-old son has been in the water since he was two.

"He has one up on me, he knows how to swim," Bass said. "Daddy might be able to beat him at everything else but he can beat me at swimming."

Bass hopes to serve as an inspiration to all

"Me putting out that I don't know how to swim and that I am willing to learn how to swim, I think it might encourage kids and even their parents to learn how to swim."

And now Bass will never feel like a fish out of water.

(Copyright ©2014 ABC News Internet Ventures.)

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