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The Air Up There

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Air up there
The Air Up There
is a 1994 comedy film Distributed by Hollywood Pictures. It is directed by Paul Michael Glaser and starring Kevin Bacon and Charles Gitonga Maina with Yolanda Vazquez as Sister Susan.


Jimmy Dolan (Kevin Bacon) is a college basketball assistant coach who wants to find a new star for his team since he believes this will get him a promotion to head coach at the school. He sees a home video of a prospect named Saleh and travels to Africa to recruit him. Upon arriving in this continent, Dolan finds himself confronted not only with the challenges of basketball but also with the challenges of adjusting to and learning how to live in the midst of a brand-new culture. Though Dolan is initially opposed by Saleh's father who is also the leader of the village, he later agrees to let his son play. Dolan and Saleh both teach each other life lessons before they take the court for one final game with everything on the line. Dolan and Saleh win the match and the film ends with Saleh being recruited, and finally playing for the college basketball team that Dolan coaches. One of the most dramatic and exciting scenes in the film involves the tuition of Saleh by Dolan regarding the "Jimmy Dolan Shake and Bake," a basketball style made famous by the Bahr Brothers in the mid-1990s.


  • Kevin Bacon as Jimmy Dolan, a college basketball coach

  • Charles Gitonga Maina as Saleh, a basketball player from an African village

  • Yolanda Vazquez as Sister Susan

  • Winston Ntshona as Urudu

  • Mabutho 'Kid' Sithole as Nyaga

  • Sean McCann as Ray Fox

  • Dennis Patrick as Father O'Hara


For scenes taking place in the United States, the film was actually shot in Toronto & Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Copps Coliseum stood in for the University's arena. Scenes in Africa were shot in Kenya and Hoedspruit, South Africa.

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