The Air Up There

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

The Air Up There (Hollywood Pictures Movie)

“The Air Up There” is a sports comedy film released in 1994, directed by Paul Michael Glaser. The movie stars Kevin Bacon as Jimmy Dolan, a college basketball assistant coach who travels to Africa in search of a talented player to recruit for his struggling team.

The story follows Jimmy Dolan, a brash and ambitious basketball coach whose career is on the line. He learns about a potential basketball prodigy named Saleh, who lives in a remote African village. In an effort to save his job and boost his team’s chances, Jimmy travels to Africa to convince Saleh to come to America and play for his college team.

However, upon arriving in the village, Jimmy faces cultural barriers, language differences, and a community hesitant to let Saleh leave his home. He must learn to adapt to the local customs and earn the trust of the villagers if he wants to fulfill his mission.

Throughout his time in Africa, Jimmy forms a bond with the village and its people, and he begins to question his motives and priorities. As he immerses himself in the local culture and witnesses the transformative power of basketball in the lives of the villagers, he starts to reevaluate his own values and discovers the true meaning of coaching and teamwork.

“The Air Up There” is known for its mix of sports, comedy, and cultural exploration. It offers a light-hearted and entertaining look at the universality of sports and the power of sports to bridge cultural divides.

The movie received mixed reviews from critics but has found a following among viewers who enjoy inspirational sports films with a focus on personal growth and cultural exchange.

“The Air Up There” serves as a touchstone for those seeking a feel-good and entertaining film that celebrates the joy of sports and the connections that can be formed across cultures. It remains a heartwarming and fun sports comedy that delivers an uplifting message about the transformative power of basketball and the importance of embracing diversity and understanding in our interconnected world.

Additional Details


  • Kevin Bacon: Jimmy Dolan
  • Charles Gitonga Maina: Saleh
  • Yolanda Vazquez: Sister Susan
  • Winston Ntshona: Urudu
  • Mabutho ‘Kid’ Sithole: Nyaga
  • Sean McCann: Ray Fox
  • Dennis Patrick: Father O’Hara
  • Nigel Miguel: Halawi


  • Director: Paul Michael Glaser
  • Producers: Paul Cort, Ted Field and Rosalie Swedlin
  • Writer: Max Apple

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.