The Air Up There (1994) - full transcript

Jimmy Dolan is a college basketball coach who wants a big promotion. To get it, he needs to make a dramatic find. He ends up deep in Africa, hoping to recruit Saleh, a huge basketball prodigy Jimmy glimpsed in a home movie. But Saleh is the chief's son and has responsibilities at home, since the tribe's land is threatened by a mining company with its own hotshot basketball team.

Decisive moments.

Those once-in-a-lifetime

That's what we're talkin'
about here, Buddy.

Remember your first uniform?

How you felt holding it,
seeing your number?

For me, it's like
it was ten minutes ago.

And I don't know about you.

But I ran straight home and
found the mirror. Am I right?

And in all my years as a player and all the
time I've put here as an assistant coach,

you wanna know the one
feeling that topped that?

In that runway...

Twelve guys dressed
in St. Joe's blue and gold,

listening to the sound
of 20,000 people...

Goin' out of their minds.

the six-foot, eight-inch...

Star forward
for the St. Joseph's Bulls,

from Chautauqua Falls, Illinois,

number 31,

Buddy Wilson!

You forgot the part about the
smell, the sweat and the liniment.

Look at him. He's out there dreaming
about his guest spot on Arsenio.

How many games are televised? Ten
nationally televised games per season.

I want it in writing that I crack
starting lineup freshmen year.


Ooh, it's not a problem, Buddy.

Pro scouts gotta see me
on the floor.

My agent said put it in writing,
or I sign with UNLV.

What else does your agent want?

He said the school I pick won't recruit
another power forward 'til my junior year.

And wheels. Something in a
convertible because of my height.

Saab's cool. Karl Malone
drives a Saab convertible.

Buddy, we gotta get going. You have
dinner with the cheerleaders, 7 o'clock.

Hey, how about an AC Cobra?
Isiah drives a Cobra.

Shit, yeah!

Maybe you oughta play for
Publisher's Clearing House.

Jimmy, ah Buddy,
what Jimmy means is...

Hey man, this basketball program
is only as good as the deal I get.

Look at the time.

Buddy, Coach Fox wants to see you
before we meet up with the Cowbelles.

Hey, did I tell you one of them
was asked to pose for Playboy?

I wanna see the head fake.

This is the spot, right?
1981 Championship.

Jimmy, why don't you show Buddy your ring?

This is the spot.

The Jimmy Dolan "shake-and-bake."
"The mouth that scored."

- Oh, shit.
- Bet you can't drive on me.

I'll take a rain check.

Nah, come on, let's do it,
50 bucks a point, 11-point game.

Some other time.

Come on, man.
I'll even spot you five.

So that's what, nine-three?

Me up six?
Fifty a point.

Six times 50 is what?

- Once more.
- Aw, this is ridiculous. This is...

Aw, you okay? Guys, guys,
we really gotta get goin'.

Seven times 50!

You're down 350.

Let me guess. Your agent
took your SAT's for you?

Keep your hands up!

Defense is more important
than breathing.

Buddy, we really
gotta get goin'.

There's nothin' uglier than
a bunch of hungry cheerleaders.

So, you wanna see the head fake?

Jimmy Dolan's

It's a three-stage process.
Pay attention.


you think I'm gonna go left.

So, I indicate left.

But you know I'm not gonna go with my first
move, not with this thing on my leg.

So, now...
I go left again!

Am I going too fast for you? You having
trouble following me with that megabyte mind?

Okay, pay attention.
Here comes the second stage.

You think I'm tryin' to sell ya
on my right side.

But what I'm really doin'...

That's the third stage.

Hey, don't worry about it.
When it's really workin'...

I don't know where I'm goin'.

Buddy, don't sweat the 400.

You can take it out of the
50,000 you were gonna pay me.

I'm not playin' for you!

But, Bud... wait, Buddy...

Th-the Cowbelles.

To hell with the Cowbelles!

How long we been
trackin' this kid?

Seventy-five mailings, coach.

Eight in-home visits.
Two trips to Disney World.

Thirty-seven sweatshirts
and, um...

And 19 lobster dinners.

That's a lot of lobster,
wouldn't you say, J.D.?

- There are better power forwards.
- Oh, yeah? Name one.

- Conover.
- Conover?

You can deliver Conover?

Damn straight! Talked to his father
yesterday. He's in the bag.

Your bag, the one
with Conover in it,

is addressed to Bobby knight.

Conover signed a letter of intent
with Indiana yesterday afternoon.

I bet you lost a lot of sleep
waitin' to tell me that.

Buddy Wilson was mine,
and you lost him!

Mark, get outta here.

- You get...
- Now.

Take a load off, J.D.

I said, sit.

Knee's hurtin', huh?

Docs say you don't watch it,
you end up in a

wheelchair by age 40,
but what do they know, right?

Always time
for a little one-on-one?

The Wilson kid
is an asshole, Foxie.

Kid's 18.
You expect Gandhi maybe?

- He's not a team player!
- Yeah? Neither were you.

You were a showboat
and a ball hog.

I had to bench you almost as many times
as I brought you home for dinner!

Look at you now.
You're practically a functioning adult.

Jesus, Jimmy, we needed
that goddamn kid!

- Wouldn't want him on my team.
- It's not your team!

What is the matter with you?

I mean, we keep going over the
same ground time and time again!

You got one of the finest basketball
minds I've ever come across,

but you haven't got a clue as
to what coaching's all about!

Why? Because I don't coach the way you do?
No, I'm sorry, I don't play by the rules!

Because you don't see the big picture!
You're always thinking about yourself!

You think I've been grooming
you for ten years for fun?

Think I'm gonna be here forever?

Foxie, you've been sayin' that for years.
You're never gonna retire!

Not for you I'm not, because never once have
you proven to me that you're ready for my job!

- And Collins has?
- He can bring in the talent! He can recruit!

Hey, I gave everything
I had to Saint Joe's!

If I don't blow my knee out senior
year, I'm playin' pro ball!

Hearts and flowers. Only reason you're coachin'
here is because you can't be playin' there.

You still wanna be the star!

I don't need this.

There's only room for one star around here,
ray, and that's you! You got that covered!

Hey! Get your ass
back here! Jimmy!

Yo, yo, Jimmy D.!
We got somethin' for you.

Hold up, hold up. What's goin' on, man?
Where ya goin' so fast?

Yo, yo, what's your rush?
Check it out.

We switched numbers.

That's McGraph's number
you're wearin' on your head.

Man, you are trippin', man. When are
you gonna let me ride... go home.

Jimmy, when are you gonna gimme a
ride in this car? Come on, Jimmy.

♪ Your work is not done ♪

♪ With visions of glory ♪

♪ Prepare for the race yet run ♪

♪ The gold and the azure ♪

♪ Strive on 'til the day is won ♪

Thank you. Thank you very much.
Ladies and gentlemen.

If you go out and ask anyone
what they know about St. Joe's,

they'll say one thing:

The greatest basketball coach
in college history, Ray Fox!

Foxie! Foxie! Foxie!

Foxie! Foxie! Foxie!
Foxie! Foxie! Foxie!

Foxie! Foxie! Foxie!
Foxie! Foxie!

- Foxie! Foxie! Foxie!
- Thank you.

In the last 31 years,

I've won 641 basketball games,

seven National Championships...

And caught five fish.

I think it's time
to even the score.

This will be my last season.

In two weeks time,

I will make the recommendation
for my successor...

To the board of regents
at their annual meeting.

I know a lot of you
people out there.

You come to the games. You come to the dinners.
Some of your sons have played on the team...

...for providing serious
and catholic education...

To the farthest reaches
of the third world.

As you all know,
each year at our banquet,

we focus on a specific mission.

And tonight,
it is my honor to bring you...

The Winabi Parish School
in Kenya.

Students at Winabi...

Are matriculating
through all 12 grades.

And there are plans for a nurses'
training program next year.

Schools must
practically reach it's...

And although the average age
of the teachers is 32,

they seem to be teaching
enormously well, where ya going?

Under rather aggravated circumstances
because of the size of the class they have.

But of course,
having so many classes...

Sports becomes
a very, very positive part...


That's it.


It turns out
the school is run...

By none other than
father Kermit O'Hara,

the other guard
on Bob Cousy's Holy Cross team.

I looked up O'Hara's stats; He's six-foot.
Then, I had a kid in the physics department...

Take the angle of the sun, depth of the field
and the camera angle under consideration.

Given that data, this kid
is at least six-eight...

With a vertical leap
that's off the charts.

You're sayin' there was a second
gunman on the grassy knoll? Eat me.

- When's the last time you saw a big man move like that?
- Buddy Wilson.

Do the names Olajuwon Manute Bol,
Dikembe Mutombo mean anything to you?

- All native Africans, all playing in the NBA.
- The guard's got tits.

Small ones. You're right.
He's playing against a girl.

- So what? Collins, run that back, will ya?
- Turn it off, Mark.

I got a good feeling about this. All I need is
a week and you spot me the airfare to Africa.

I already got
a flight booked, Jimmy.

You're on a 6:30
to Boise.

Boise? Boise's a class D
tournament. Boise is...

His assignment.

Change of plans.

Nice try.

Excuse me.

Are we near "win-nah-bee?"



- Winabi.
- Winabi, yeah.

- Hey.
- Yeah?

Thank you.
Thank you very much.

That's it. No. The other one.
Blue and gold. Right.

Excuse me. Hi.
How ya doin'?

Uh... Jambo.

Can I help you?
You speak English.

Yeah. Uh, I'm trying to get
to this place... Winabi.

Is there a bus or something? When
do you wish to travel there?

When's the next one leave? I
will check the schedule for you.

Oh, great, thank you very much.
I appreciate it.

Why do you go to Winabi?

I'm meeting someone there.
Father O'Hara. You know him?

You're a priest?

Me? Jesus, no.

I'm afraid I have bad news for you.
You have missed the last bus.

Oh, shit.
When was that?


Welcome to Mingori!

I'm Nyaga.
Jimmy Dolan.

You dress strangely
for a copper speculator.

I beg your pardon? Come
on, Jimmy Dolan, please.

You don't go to Winabi
to sightsee.

How did you know
I was going to Winabi?

This is a very small town,
and I'm the biggest man in it.

Now, if you're interested in copper
mining Winabi, you talk the Turkey to me.

The Winabi hills will be belonging to me
soon, and I'll be looking for shareholders.

No, no, you don't understand.
See, I'm a coach. Basketball.

I'm here to scout a player, not copper.
You know what basketball is?

Come, come, Jimmy Dolan,
come and meet the guys.

Welcome to the home
of the Mingori Pistons!

I knew the sport traveled,
but where did you learn?

Satellite dish TV.

And we get ESPN,


And of course...

Home shopping network.

We defeated the Central Bank team three times.
We played the Tanzanian Rail Road team...

For two million
Kenyan shillings.

And of course,
the winner takes everything.

You mean, a bet? That's it!
A bet.

Ah, everyone...

And this gym was paid for
with those moneys.

New dream team, team Mingori!

Atlanta, '96!


- Yeah?
- Mifundo, meet the coach.

We're old friends.
You've got some nice moves.

I go for the iron.

Mifundo, the coach wants you.
He wants to take you to America.

And we make the deal right now.
Okay, Jimmy Dolan?

Wait, no, no, hold on a second, fellas.
I didn't say that.

I'm impressed that you guys
are so interested in the game,

but if you could please tell me,
how do I get to Winabi?


Someone is confusing you.
There's nothing in Winabi.

Do you know why the crows
fly upside down over Winabi?

No. Why?

It's because the place
is hardly worth shitting on.

Hey, just don't talk to me about places
not worth shitting on! All right?

I'm from Buffalo.

Aw, shit.

Thank god. Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow
down, slow down just one second!

Hold on, hold on,
stop, slow down... hey!

I just wanna know how do I... just
tell me... [ People on bus laughing

let me just ask you...
Which way is...


Second from the left.
Check him out.

Fourteen foot and he can dribble.
This is not the zoo. Africa, ray.

This is Africa. Jimmy Dolan,
international recruiter, reporting.


Live long and prosper?


Guys, I'll give you
anything you want.

Anything I have
if you could please...

Just tell me
how to get to Winabi.

Hey, guys?

Fellas, how-how-how
much farther is it?

Huh? Could you just
give me a clue?

Are we almost there?

Hey, yo, how we doing?
Yo, wait up.

Come on, 20-second timeout.


Hey, how are you?

How ya doin'?

Holy shit.

How ya doin'?

Hey, Buddy.
Hey, wait up.

Just-just a second.
Let me ask you...

Where ya goin'?

I'm looking for father O'Hara.




B, as in...

- Bingo!
- Bingo!

Another lucky winner.

Bring it up here and St. George
will take care of you.

Bingo! Bingo!

You are the same Kermit O'Hara who
played with Bob Cousy at Holy Cross?

Oh, I wouldn't call it playing, son.
The man never even passed.

- All right, that's enough now.
- But the picture...

If you're coming, Mr. Dolan,
you'd better hurry up...

Because I'm celebrating
mass in Ngorongoro.

It's a 52 kilometer drive
before sundown.

Well, if you could
just take a look.

- Ah.
- Beisa.

Beisa? Oh, tough luck, son.
She's getting married next week.

No, not the girl.
The guy in the background.

- I know it's a blur...
- Saleh.

- The boy's name is Saleh.
- "Sah-lay."

- Where do I find him?
- Ah, Saleh. Yes, Saleh.

The boy will tell you!


Well, I'll see you all
next week.

I don't speak...
Father, what boy?

What boy?

Ready when you are.

You speak English?

Your watch?
It's digital?



How ya doin'?

Jimmy Dolan,
St. Joe's College.


Great to meet ya.

You come halfway around the world
to see me play this: Basketball?

That's what I said.

Are you healthy up here?
Never said that.

Go on, take a shot.

Yeah, that's a little better.

Try not to slap the ball.

Try it again
with your left hand.

Are you very sad, Jimmy Dolan?

A little.

I disappoint you maybe?

Well, you're not exactly
what I expected.

Who is this person that tells
you I'm such a good player?

I told myself.

I played a good joke on you?

Yeah, I'm laughing my ass off.

Let's shoot some hoops.

Nice shot. But you know,

you've been coming down the right
side for the past two hours.

Do you think you can take me on the left?
Come on, it's all yours. Left! Left!

Come on, my grandmother can
dribble with her left hand.

Can she see enough to shoot?

Come on! Left.

Which one's left?
I'm always forgetting this.

Left hand.


- It's fun, yes, this game.
- No.

- It's more than fun.
- More than fun?

Do you have any idea
what's it's like to play

against top players in
the Championship Game?

It brings out the talent that's
sleeping inside your body.

It's talent you
never knew you had.

I mean, it's like
suddenly... you could fly.

I often think
I would like to fly.

Yeah, well, you can fly, my man.

- Number one Nubah draft pick.
- "Nubah"?

Yeah, "Nubah", NBA.

Oh, NBA.
Where did you learn about that?

Sports Illustrated, Swimsuit Editions.

You're going with me, Saleh.

And I promise you, you're gonna live
the rest of your life like a king.

Like a king?

Just like a king.

I like you, Jimmy Dolan.

- It makes a lovely idea.
- So you'll do it?

You'll come?


Hey, Saleh, wait up.
Hey, yo, where ya goin'?

Come on, we...

Hey, come on, where ya goin'?

Don't leave me here
with the goat.

Light with sugar.

- Ow!
- Sorry.

So, it, uh... must be hard
working out here all alone?

Mr. Dolan,
I am never alone.

How far do these kids
go in school anyway?

You want to know if Saleh
can get into St. Joe's?

It's not like he's got to
take quantum physics.

Don't be patronizing.

Winabi have survived adversities

that would've knocked you
out of the picture centuries ago.

They are remarkable people.

No kidding. This kid's got the
hang time of a hot air balloon.

- I'd forget about Saleh if I were you.
- Forget about him?

I just found a future NBA Hall of Famer.

- What you found is a headman's son.
- A what?

He's the son of Urudu,
chief of the Winabi.

Saleh's royalty, like a prince.

- Is that the reason for the bodyguard?
- Mm-hmm.

Saleh's gonna fit
right in at St. Joe's.

We got two princes, we got a Duke,
we got a sheik from Bahrain...

Saleh is the next in
line to lead his people.

His parents are
extremely protective.

Sister, parents
are my specialty.

All I gotta do is explain
to Saleh's mom and dad,

that I'm only gonna
borrow him for four years

and return him with
a first-class education.

And your NBA, are they going
to borrow him after that?

After that, we'll see. Anyway,
Saleh's already on board.

Oh, how so? I spoke to him last night
and he said very clearly, "jalang ."

Why, what's so funny?

"Jalang," Mr. Dolan, is a Winabi way
of saying "no" without insulting you.

It means, "I will consider it for
eternity." Keep that on for an hour.

You know, it's working.
What is it?

It's iodine, kerosene
and sterilized camel stool.

Is she serious?

Now, Saleh's father's name is...

- Urudu.
- Urudu.

Okay, and these elders,
they're all guys, right?

- Yes.
- Oh, excellent!

You see, I love talking to
guys about this stuff.

I mean, after all,
it's a male thing, right?

I mean it's that
"iron John" thing.

Excuse me, gentlemen,
if I might just... break in...

Uh, uh...

Which one of you is Saleh's dad?

Nubah! Nubah!

Nubah. Nubah.

Yeah, the NBA
No, I'm glad you asked that.

- He would make money like Air Jordan?
- Yes.

Saleh could be just like him.

Which one of you is Urudu?

'Cause if you could just...
Tell him...

That the NBA
Can be very generous.

That was Urudu?


Listen, I thought I would come
up here and try to explain.

Maybe I'm pressin' a little hard,
but it's only because your son...

Let me put it to you like this. I
could put him with any four guys,

any four guys and take that team
straight to the final four.

You probably don't even know
what the final four are.

Forget it.

Together, we could set up a package
that kept Saleh away from home...

A maximum five months
at the most.

You could visit. I don't know what
your holiday schedule is like, but...

I mean, if I may say so, sir, you
look to be in quite good health,

and I mean that
only to say that it...

I have this problem.
I... I can't shut up.

My tribe has many problems,
Mr. Dolan.

I'm sorry...
But I cannot listen to you.

Am I good enough
to play for you?

You're better than that.

Tell me about St. Joseph's.

Well, hmm...

It's very old.

A lot of tradition.

It's where I went to school.

That's where you played?

1981 Championship ring.


It's beautiful.

I'd like to play for St.
Joseph's, very, very much.

My father is a stubborn man. He says I
have a lot to learn before I am a leader.

He says I must put my people's
heart in front of mine.

Your father says
there's a lot of problems.

- Maybe I could help.
- You are an outsider.

My father does not trust you.

Of course he doesn't trust me.
He-he doesn't even know me.

You have no idea how many chicken
dinners I've had with fathers...

Just like yours just so
they could get to know me.

We do not eat chicken.

Yeah, well, whatever you do
eat, I'm gonna eat it too.

You guys go to work in the
morning, I'm workin' too.

I believe in you, Saleh.

I believe...
In what you can do.

And once your father
understands that, he will too.

Are you with me?

Yes, I'm with you.

Let's do it!

Who, whoa, whoa,
slow down, hey, hey!

Come on! Hey! Fellas, fellas,
fellas, take it easy!

Slow down!

Fellas, slow, slow.
Come on, don't run!

Whoa, whoa, hey!

Whoa, whoa, you don't wanna do that!
Stop, stop, stop! Whoa!

Come on, make... stop! You
don't wanna go over there.

There's a McDonald's over there.

Now, you give me a sump pump
and a three-inch pipe,

and I'll cut your workload in half.

But then we could not
visit with each other.

We'll start...
With the fundamentals.

Now, all I want you to do...

Is bend your knees, just let
it roll off your fingertips.

You don't even have to jump.

Nice shot.

Jimmy. This is Harimbo. He's not
so much with the shooting but...

I defend like a Buffalo.
You smell like a Buffalo.

Don't start, Ntzuko. I'll
crush you like a cockroach.

Excuse me.
I'll play.

My sister's bridegroom-to-be. My
game is much larger than I look.

I bet you say that
to all the girls.

All right...
Let's get it on.

Thank you.

Sign you up for a St. Joe's
season ticket packet, sister?

I wouldn't uncork your pom-poms
just yet, Mr. Dolan.

How 'bout your ring?

Not if I was dying
of thirst. Forget it.

What is it?

Goat's milk.

I'll be right back.

Nature is screaming.


I'll be right back.

Are you okay?

I'm fine.

Case of the Winabi trots, I'd say.
I see.


- Hey, sister.
- How ya' doin'?

I got Christmas tree lights
from father O'Hara.

I thought maybe we could hook them up
to your generator for the wedding.

And I took you for a typically American,
selfishly opportunistic sports pimp.

And all the while you're actually a
Samaritan, and a handyman to boot.

You're allowed to say "pimp"?
Only if I really mean it.

Hey, what is it that pisses
you off so much about me, Sister?

Please, tell me, what?

You're always playing
a game, Mr. Dolan,

but you don't have a clue
who or what you're playing for.

- Is that right?
- Yes.

You're frightened if you actually
stop playing, you'll disappear.

You're doing a mile a minute,
going absolutely nowhere.

The gospel according to Susan?

Something wrong, Mr. Dolan?

At least I'm playin' instead of dropping
out and hiding out here in the wilderness.

What did you say to me?

Who do you think...
You're kidding?

Do you know what
the elders call you?

"Nada ndimu."
The lemon nun.

Well, there's a new Winabi word for
the village idiot. It's a "Dolan"!

You know, you're just jealous.

You're just jealous because you
know all the wonderful things

I'm gonna be able to do for these
people once I take Saleh back with me.

After you finish winning the
hearts and minds of the Winabi?

You don't think I'm gonna
get Saleh to come back with me?

You don't have a prayer!

You see this ring, sister?

This is a 1981 National Championship ring.

You can't buy
these rings, sister!

Fourth quarter. We're down
seven points to Georgetown.

Nineteen seconds on the clock.
Their ball!

We won that game, sister!

So don't talk to me
about a prayer!


Goddamn... button fly!

Oh, no.

Brace yourself...
Or I'm a dead goat!




I... I...

I... I... I mean, I...

I don't know what to say.
You, you saved my life!

Are you all right?

Fine! Fine.
Never better.

This is my sister, beisa. She
has something for your stomach.

Mmm. Thank you.

- Beisa.
- Beisa.


She wants you to come
to her wedding to Ntzuko.

Great, thank you, yeah.

Where is Ntzuko?
I haven't seen him around lately.

- Not getting cold feet, is he?
- Ntzuko is far away.

He is on a journey he
must make to become Winabi.


Beisa asks if you're married?

Uh, no.

No, I, uh...
Have a lot of girlfriends.

What did she say?

It's an old Winabi saying:

"The hunt is fun... But does
not keep you warm at night."

She's gonna keep Ntzuko busy.

We're very happy
Ntzuko is marrying her.

What's wrong?

Jimmy, there is something
my father hasn't told you.

Over a year ago, a man named Nyaga
came to us, wanting to buy our land.

Nyaga? That's the fat guy
who owns Mingori? Yes.

He wants to own our land too.
It's very rich with copper.

But my father refused to sell.

So Nyaga began attacking us
and stealing our cattle.

Cattle are a big thing
for you guys, right?

We depend on cattle. Without them,
we'll have to leave our land.


Let's just hope cows aren't
considered a recruiting violation.

You're beating me up on this. This is
the latest model camcorder they make.

100,000 shillings
for the plane ticket,

50,000 for the camcorder;
That's my best.

You believe this guy? If you need cash
in a hurry, there's always a premium.

It's true the world over.

- Jimmy, are you sure you want to do this?
- All right,

150,000 for the ticket,
100,000 for the camcorder.

A hundred and twenty-five
for the ticket,

50,000 for the camera.

But you said we might have more.
Don't worry about it.

You know, if I still owned
the video camera,

I would want the battery
to go with it.

- Wait a minute.
- When you need cash in a hurry,

you gotta pay a premium.
It's true the world over.

Good morning!

Lose your traveler's checks,
Coach Dolan?


So, trying your hand
at cattle ranching, huh?

That's none of your business.

Everything in Mingori...
Is my business.

Not anymore.

I strongly suggest that you take
your memories back to America...


Not until I'm done
seeing the sights.

My father should have
seen that. Naftalanja!

Naftalanja! By the way, what
the hell does that mean?

Naftalanja means the
smell after a heavy rain.

But when you say it, it means...

"Today my life starts fresh, and
my troubles are all behind me."

Naftalanja, my friend.

Saleh. Hey, what the
hell are you doing?

Who was that?


My brother.
Your older brother?

No one... you never said anything
about an older brother.

When Nyaga first offered to buy our land, Halawi
tried to make a deal without my father knowing.

He thought Nyaga was the future.
My father felt betrayed.

So, he banished him.
He went to work for Nyaga.

To my father,
Halawi does not exist.

Man, I know how that feels.

Moo, sister.


They don't call us the St.
Joe's Bulls for nothing.

Chief Urudu?

And this must be
the lovely Mrs. Urudu.

And may I say, you look way too
young to have a son Saleh's age.


These cattle are a gift to your tribe
from my tribe at St. Joseph's.

I'm sure they'll come in handy now given the
upcoming expense of your daughter's wedding.

I-I-I want you to know that my goal here is
to give to your village, not to take away.


Jalang, huh? Hey!

Is that the same jalang that means
for eternity? The very same.

They don't sound too happy.

You just tried to buy the headman's
son for a herd of cattle.

What'd you expect?

Hello, Mr. Ray Fox.


He did it!

A blue chip big man.
For 40 cows.

This is Saleh.

I'm a...

Jimmy told me
all about St. Joe's.

Let's send him a couple hundred rabbits.
Maybe he can find us a point guard.

Send him the cash!

Make it express.

Watch out! Come here!
Come here! Hey!

Hey! Come here!
Grab my arm!

It's all right. It's okay.



Everyone's alive,
Mr. Dolan.

Where's everyone going?

To a different place.
Away from Mingori.

You're just gonna walk away?
Quit? That's it?

Jimmy, I am a Winabi.

I must do what my leader says.
You are a leader.

You understand that?


No, I guess I don't.

I'll walk you to Mingori.

To say good-bye.

Andrews is dribbling,

and tips it up to Hatchinson
who's at the top of the key.

Bill dribbles right,
pulls up a 22-footer. Yes!


Your father
is reporting a crime.

Mr. Basketball.
Mr. Big Coach.

So what's this?
Are you leaving us?

Ahhh. We'll miss you,
Jimmy Dolan.

But tell me. Aren't you sorry now that you
didn't let me sell you one of my players?

Hey, I'm just waitin' for a bus.
I'll be outside.

Who did you expect to find
in Winabi? Shaquille O'Neal?

Hey, I'd take the Winabi women
over your starting five.

What's the matter? You think
I cannot beat the women?

Not on your best day, butthead.

Thirty-two inch TV!
With remote.

Wish to make a bet?

We play basketball game.

Mingori versus Winabi?

What do you wish to play for?

Quiet! I am still
headman of the Winabi.

We bet all our land...

Against the cattle
you have already stolen.

And an agreement in front of the army
commander that you leave us alone forever.

I hear nothing but a breeze.


You said with my son you can take
any four men and win everything.

That was the truth or not?

W... w... wait a minute.
No, it's not that simple.

You will be our coach.

I don't think this
is what you want.

Shut up, Halawi.

So, it's a bet.
Count me out.


I'll go back with you.


If we win, I'll go back
to St. Joe's with you.

Are you sure about this?

Father, do you agree?


- Yes.
- Wah!

If we win, I get Saleh.

No more jalang?

You've all lost your minds! The
Winabi will be ground to dust!

Get the army commander.
Tell him to bring the seal.

Mingori versus Winabi.

We make this bet official.

All right. Come on.

I'm definitely gonna need
St. George, father.

He's the only guy we got who can bring
the ball up and get it to Saleh.

Ruwala. Sololo. Yeah, you did
a good job with them. Opozo?

There are two opozos.

Well, I hate to break up a pair.


The guard has tits.

All right. Listen up. When I
call your name, step forward.

You call this off. And you call it off now!
Hey, slow down a minute.

Now, sister, you...
Stuff it, father!

Have you no conscience? Do you
realize what they're risking?

Sometimes you gotta put it all
on the line and go for it.

Spare me the beer commercial! These
people have been here since before time.

You've been here a week, and
they're about to lose everything.

Wrong, sister. They're about
to gain their self-respect!

These people are not children.

They made a decision for themselves,
and I'm just helping 'em.

You do whatever you want.

I just hope you're as good a coach
as you are a bullshit artist.

You're allowed
to say "bullshit"?

Only if I really mean it.

Well, go on.

Every day I thank the
lord she's on our side.

All right, guys! Let's get to work.
We only got eight days.

That's right.
Time your jump.

I want you in the air
when the ball hits the board.

Make Mingori feel like
they're glued to the ground.

That's good. Way to go.
Saleh, this is yours.


Here we go.
Come on, move it, move it.

High step.
Get 'em up. Get 'em up.

Get 'em up. Get 'em up.
Get 'em up. Step, step, side.

Side. Side. Side.

Come on, get back, get back.
Let's go, let's go.

All right, watch St. George.
Go right!

And back! Up! Jump!

Left! Right!

Harimbo, your other right.

Arms up! Arms up!
Arms up! No!

Saleh, defense.

Defense is more important
than breathing.

We will win by shooting. Not by waving
our hands in the air like crazy people.

You shoot. I'm gonna wave my hands
in the air like a crazy person.

My turn.

I'm Mingori mining.
I've just stolen your cattle.

Now I'm going after your family.

That hoop is your boma.

If I get past you...
I'll kill you!

Yeah. Right. Kill me.

But next time,
do it without touching me.

That's defense.

What's wrong with them?

You say defense is more
important than breathing.

They took you by your word.

Okay, you guys, let's go, let's go!
Come on, sharp turn!

Last man in does it again!
That's right. Go! Go!

Show me your stuff!
Show me your stuff!

Come on, Harimbo!
Keep moving! Come on!

Come on!
Let's go! Go, go, go!

Keep your hands up.
Don't be lazy.

Come on. I've seen you guys throw Spears.
It's the same deal.

It's a matter of life and death.
Remember: Pass, pass, pass.

Or the coach will kick our ass.

- Thank you.
- You're welcome.

Come on! Watch St. George.
He's the man, our playmaker.

- Eyes on St. George!
- No, watch him!

Ow! Ow, ow, ow!

What is it? What's wrong?
Move over, guys.

It's these ridiculous snow tire sandals.
Let Itumbo see him.

You will not cure him with Itumbo's
chanting and antelope oils.

Without him, we can't get
the ball out of the backcourt.

He keeps off it,
he'll be playing in a month.

Wow, that's just great.


Where're you going?


I spoke to the elders. Can
any of 'em play guard?

You can play guard.
We want you to play for us.


Wake up.

You know the rules.
It's Winabi versus Mingori.

You must become one of us.

You mean like Ntzuko?

Forget it.

You're serious?


This is all my fault. I should
never have said yes. Damn!

Why? Look, you
gotta call it off.

It's over. It's finished.
You gotta call it off now.

We would not even if we could.

You don't get it, do ya?
You're gonna lose.

Cattle. Land.

Didn't you say that the game is not
over until the fat lady sings?

Forget what I said!
I'm nothing but talk!

We can win with you.
You're a champion.

No, I'm a has-been. I'm nothin'.
I'm an assistant coach.

- You won a ring.
- But I blew out my knee!

I blew out my knee!

I believe in you, Jimmy Dolan.

I would like to be your brother.

Is that a fact?

That is a fact.

Well, assuming that I do this,

can we skip the part with the
rap music and the large knife?


With no map?

I follow the river
to a wall of wood,

face the sunrise and look
to the air up there.

Come on. Now, this...
Th-this is ridiculous.

I can't do this.

It is said that you must leave
a large part of you there...

So that you can take
a larger part of you away.

Standing in that runway...

For the first time... 12 guys
dressed in St. Joe's...

Blue and gold, watching the lovely
Cowbelles shake their pom-poms.


Not too low.

All right, guys,
let's show 'em what we got!

All right, hands in!

Winabi! Winabi! Go!

No, no, no.

He can't play!
We made the rules.

It's Winabi only!
Get him off the court!

He is Winabi.

Read it and weep.

Let him play.

With or without him,
it doesn't make any difference.

That's two points!

Let's go!

Heads up!

Yes! Yes!

No, no, no, no, no, no, no!

- Hey!
- Get out! Get out! Play!

Hey, you better watch it!

Don't worry about it.
Don't worry about it.


Okay, boys!
Let's go! Let's go!

Mingori! Mingori! Mingori!

Mingori! Mingori!

- Mmm! Beautiful!
- Ohh!

Winabi! Winabi!

Winabi! Winabi!

Winabi! Winabi!

Back door, Saleh!

- Ohhh!
- Foul!

That was a charge!

It's all right.
I'm all right.


Beisa! Beisa!

Beisa, you bring the ball down, all right?
Saleh, post up low.

Look to him. But if you get open,
let's see that sweet shot.


You came. All right! Come on!
Play! Play hard!

I didn't know you
wanted my job that bad.

Come on, ref, watch his hands!

- Hey, come on!
- He's all over her.

- Yes!
- That's our guy?

- That's him.
- Tell me you've got him locked up, Jimmy.

Tell me you've got him locked up.

Only if we win.

Go Winabi!


She's out? What are you, blind?
Get a dog!

All right, I'm goin' in.

Rhino! Rhino!

Winabi! Winabi!

Winabi! Winabi!
Winabi! Winabi!

Winabi! Winabi!

Lace him up, boys. Courtesy of
the east African bingo project.

If you don't stop playing, Mr. Dolan,
there may be nothing left to tape.

You're going to injure yourself
permanently. Yeah, yeah.

Jimmy. Please, no more.
Where's my brace?


I'll go back with you
whether we win or not.

What do you want?

I want to win.

Yeah, me too.

This isn't about you
going back with me anymore.

The deal's off.

When this is over, you do
whatever you want, all right?

All right. Jimmy! You
heard what you just said?

We need this kid
at St. Joe's.

Foxie, this
is not St. Joe's.

All right, all right, you guys.
Gather 'round. Listen up.

Saleh, come here. Ruwala, Sololo, I
want you guys to get into the flow.

I want to open up this game offensively.
Look, Mifundo is a brute,

but you can out think him,
you can outsmart him.

Hey, guys, we're down 14 points.
We're playing at home.

And we got new shoes. Let's
send Mingori back to the mines.

What did you say?

- Yes!
- I can't hear you.


Go, Saleh!

Way to go!

All right, get your man.
Tough "d"!

Come on, Mifundo!

Saleh, he's all over you!

Is he stronger than you?
Is he tougher than you?

Winabi! Winabi!


All right. Hold on.
Take it easy.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Get off him, man!

- Time-out! Time!
- Mingori's chokin'!

Look out, Saleh!
He's goin' baseline!

- Yes! Yes!
- That's it!

That was a foul!

What are ya doin'?
That was a hatchet job.

No weight on this leg.

Who are we gonna use now?
Jimmy, who do you want?

I don't know. We have nobody. Come
on, Jimmy, we gotta use somebody.

We need a point guard.

Halawi! Halawi!

Halawi! Halawi!

Halawi! Halawi!

- Halawi!
- Huh?

Halawi! Halawi!

I am playing for Winabi.

No! He cannot play for Winabi.
He doesn't belong here.


He plays for Winabi.

Hey! Your brother.
Can he play?

Does a zebra have stripes?

Come on!

Let's move! Let's move the ball!
Pass! Pass!




Come on, get in.

Come on! Arms up!
Guard 'em! Guard 'em!

Time! Time!

- You saw it! He touched it!
- Time!

- Number 30. You saw it!
- He touched it! Yeah!

Time, time, time, time!

All right.
Come on, come on.

All right. Listen up, you guys.
Give me your eyes.

We're gonna call this play
"warthog in the weeds."

All right, Halawi,

I want you to take the ball out
of bounds and pass it to Ruwala.

Everyone's lined up
on the free throw line.

The object here is to draw
your man away from Saleh.

I want him isolated.

One on one
with the big ugly guy.

It's up to you, my man.

All right, here we go.
Hands in. One...

Two... three...


Forty-one seconds left. The Winabi's
have got no time-out remaining.

You've got lots of time now.
Twenty, twenty.

Lots of time.

Come on!

Jimmy Dolan "shake and bake."

That's it!

Winabi! Winabi!

- Yes!
- Yes!


Winabi! Winabi! Winabi!

Winabi! Winabi!


Winabi! Winabi!

You're allowed to kiss?

Only if I really mean it.

Jimmy! Jimmy!

♪ Your love, is lifting me higher ♪

And standing six-foot-nine,

out of Winabi, Africa,

the Bull's new power-forward,

number 11, Saleh Wintambuh!

♪ Forever more ♪

♪ You know your love ♪

♪ Keeps on lifting me ♪

♪ Higher ♪

♪ Higher and higher ♪

♪ Listen, now once ♪

Ladies and gentlemen,

it gives me the greatest
pleasure to introduce to you...

A new era
in St. Joe's basketball.

A familiar face.

One of our own.
Your new Bull's head coach:

Jimmy Dolan!

♪ Keep on lifting me, oh ♪

♪ Lifting me higher and higher ♪

♪ Oh, baby, your love
keeps lifting me ♪

♪ Come on ♪
♪ keeps on lifting me ♪

♪ So here we go ♪
♪ lifting me higher and higher ♪

♪ Higher ♪
♪ your love keeps lifting me ♪

♪ Keeps on lifting me ♪

♪ Lifting me higher and higher ♪

♪ Higher ♪
♪ I said, your love ♪

♪ Keeps on lifting me ♪

♪ Lifting me
higher and higher ♪