The Air Up There
- 1 hr 47 min
The Air Up There is the 1994 comedy about a assistant college basketball coach looking to cash in a dynamic player so that he can land a head coaching position. The film was directed by Paul Michael Glaser and features Kevin Bacon as coach Jimmy Dolan. Jimmy (Bacon) has been an assistant for a few years and badly wants the opportunity to coach his own school. When he receives a tape of an African basketball phenom named Saleh (Charles Gitana Maing), he decides to travel to the young man's home to recruit him. Once Jimmy arrives in Africa, he finds that Saleh isn't very interested in becoming a famous basketball player. As it turns out, his father is the village leader and he is a prince. Saleh's father scoffs at the idea of his son playing basketball and believes his talents should be utilized elsewhere. As Jimmy lives among the tribe, he and Saleh bond as friends. He learns a great deal about the African culture and that they are a very proud people. Jimmy continues to press Saleh about the advantages of living in America and going to college. The lure of fame, women, and an eventual fortune is attractive to Saleh but the thought of leaving his homeland is a hard sell. Saleh's village is also in the midst of controversy. It seems that a powerful mining company wants rights to the land and is intent on displacing the entire village. The company also has its own basketball team that is undefeated and features a star player. With the fate of the village on the line, Saleh and his team must go up against the mining team. The film ends with Saleh being recruited by Jimmy and them returning to the U.S.