African Basketball Movies: An Exciting Genre Worth Exploring

Basketball movies have been a staple in the film industry for decades, and the African continent has not been left behind. Over the years, Africa has produced some of the most exceptional basketball talent, yet their stories have gone unnoticed by the mainstream. However, with the increasing popularity of black basketball movies, this trend is fast changing.

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the world of African basketball movies by exploring titles such as ‘The Air Up There’, ‘Sudan’, and other black basketball movie comedies. We’ll also touch on the lives of Charles Gitonga Maina and other African basketball players who have made significant strides in the sport.

As we tackle the different titles, we’ll answer some of the most pressing questions. Is ‘The Air Up There’ based on a true story? What is the movie about the Sudan basketball player? How much do African basketball players make?

So, whether you’re a fan of the 90s basketball movies or the latest black basketball movies on Netflix, this post has something for you. Get ready to be entertained as we bring you the most exciting and informative African basketball movie guide.

African Basketball Movie: A Look Into the Inspiring Story of Charles Gitonga Maina

If you’re a fan of underdog stories and basketball, the movie “The Air Up There” may have crossed your radar at some point. The 1994 film tells the story of a college basketball coach who travels to Africa to recruit a talented young player, Saleh, played by actor Charles Gitonga Maina. With high stakes, inspiring moments, and comedy woven throughout, this film remains a favorite in basketball movie lists.

Charles Gitonga Maina: From Acting to Sports

Charles Gitonga Maina was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and moved to the United States at the age of 19 to pursue acting. Despite his height (6’4″), Gitonga Maina had never played organized basketball before landing the role of Saleh in “The Air Up There.” During the filming of the movie, he received training from coaches who helped him develop his skills and athleticism.

An Unforgettable Performance

In “The Air Up There,” Gitonga Maina delivers a compelling performance as Saleh, a talented and determined young basketball player. His role showcases his natural athleticism and acting skills, earning him praise from critics and audiences alike. Gitonga Maina’s portrayal of Saleh remains one of the most memorable aspects of the movie, and his character’s determination and passion for the sport continue to inspire viewers.

Key Takeaways from Gitonga Maina’s Story

  • Gitonga Maina’s journey from acting to basketball shows the power of determination and hard work.
  • “The Air Up There” is a timeless underdog story with elements of humor, drama, and inspiration.
  • Gitonga Maina’s portrayal of Saleh demonstrates the importance of passion and dedication in sports and life.

african basketball movie

In conclusion, Charles Gitonga Maina’s story is a testament to the power of hard work and passion. While he may have started his journey as an actor, his role in “The Air Up There” gave him the opportunity to showcase his natural athleticism and inspire audiences with his portrayal of the determined and talented Saleh. Whether you’re a basketball fan or just looking for an inspiring underdog story, “The Air Up There” and Charles Gitonga Maina’s performance are definitely worth a watch.

“African Basketball Movie: The Air Up There Full Movie”

Looking for a basketball movie with a twist? Then, you should check out “The Air Up There full movie”. While the setting of the movie is Africa, it’s not your usual tale of African poverty. Instead, it’s a story of an American basketball coach who embarks upon a journey to find a talented African basketball player.

Here are some reasons why you should watch “The Air Up There full movie”:

The Storyline

  • “The Air Up There full movie” revolves around a coach who travels all the way to a remote African village to recruit a talented basketball player named Saleh. The coach, Jimmy Dolan, is a winning NCAA Division I coach. However, the plot takes a nosedive when he discovers that Saleh is an undisciplined player and that the village is on the brink of war.

  • Dolan is determined to transform Saleh into a star player to save his career. To do that, he has to navigate the cultural barriers to build trust and respect with the locals. But can he teach Saleh the American style of basketball while also respecting the African culture?

The Cast

  • The movie has a star-studded cast that makes it worth watching. Kevin Bacon plays the role of the ambitious coach, who has to provide results to save his career. He’s joined by Charles Gitonga Maina, who plays Saleh – an undisciplined player who needs to find his true worth.

  • Additionally, appearances by Mabutho ‘Kid’ Sithole and Yolanda Vazquez make “The Air Up There full movie” an all-time classic. Vazquez plays Kate, the only female character who plays an important role in the movie. Sithole plays Nyaga, a local who introduces Dolan into the African village’s political tensions.

The Basketball Action

  • The movie’s authenticity comes from the realistic portrayal of African basketball culture. Unlike other basketball films, “The Air Up There full movie” includes traditional African instruments like the djembe and bongo drums in the movie’s soundtrack.

  • The movie showcases some impressive basketball action with some fantastic slam-dunks by Saleh. The games are intense, and the movie’s director Charles Lane has an excellent grasp on how to bring the basketball action to life.

In summary, “The Air Up There full movie” is a feel-good, entertaining, and motivational movie suitable for both basketball enthusiasts and non-sports fans alike. Its positive portrayal of Africa and the basketball culture sets it apart from other basketball films, making it a must-watch.

Black Basketball Movie Comedy

If you’re a fan of African basketball movies, you’re in for a treat with this subtopic. Black basketball movie comedies are a great way to combine your love of the game with some much-needed laughter. Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

What Are Black Basketball Movie Comedies?

Black basketball movie comedies are films that combine the sport of basketball with comedy. They usually follow a group of characters who play basketball and get into hilarious situations on and off the court. These movies aim to entertain and make you laugh, while still showcasing the love of basketball.

Popular Black Basketball Movie Comedies

If you’re looking for a good laugh and some basketball action, here are some popular black basketball movie comedies to check out:

  • “Semi-Pro” starring Will Ferrell
  • “Like Mike” with Lil Bow Wow
  • “Above the Rim” featuring Tupac Shakur
  • “He Got Game” starring Denzel Washington

Why Watch Black Basketball Movie Comedies?

Aside from the obvious entertainment factor, black basketball movie comedies are a great way to destress after a long day. They offer a perfect combination of fun and basketball action, which can lift your mood and put a smile on your face. Plus, they’re a great way to watch basketball in a different light, showcasing the fun side of the sport.

Final Thoughts

Black basketball movie comedies are a must-watch for any basketball fan who is looking for a fun and entertaining way to spend their time. With a variety of films to choose from, there’s something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the laughs and the basketball action.

African Basketball Movie: A Look at Basketball Movies Set in Africa

Are you a fan of basketball movies? Have you ever wondered if there are any basketball movies set in Africa? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at basketball movies set in African countries that you shouldn’t miss.

Basketball Movie Set in Africa

Basketball is not only played in North America or Europe; it is also a popular sport in African countries. This has led to the creation of several basketball movies set in Africa. Here are some of the best African basketball movies you should check out:

1. “Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters” (2017)

This movie follows several African basketball players as they try to qualify for the first-ever African 3-on-3 Basketball Championship. It showcases the challenges and struggles that African basketball players face both on and off the court.

2. “More Than A Game” (2008)

This movie depicts the journey of five talented African basketball players who go from playing basketball in impoverished neighborhoods in Ghana to winning the prestigious Junior World Championship in the United States.

3. “A Shot in the Dark” (2019)

This movie is based on the true story of a South Sudanese refugee who discovers his talent for basketball while living in a refugee camp in Kenya. It depicts his journey to play college basketball in the United States and his dream of representing his home country on the international stage.

Basketball movies set in Africa are not only entertaining but also shed light on the struggles and resilience of African basketball players. In conclusion, if you want to watch basketball movies with a unique and authentic African perspective, these movies are a must-see.

African Basketball Player Movie

Basketball is a universal language, and it has transcended borders and cultures to become a global phenomenon. In Africa, basketball is not as popular as soccer or rugby, but the sport has grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to African basketball players who have risen to prominence in NBA. Several African basketball player movies have been filmed as a celebration of their struggle to overcome societal barriers and their journey to the top of the sport.

african basketball movie

Here are some of the must-watch African basketball player movies that will inspire and entertain you:

1. Thunder Soul

  • Thunder Soul is a 2010 documentary film that follows the story of the Kashmere High School Stage Band, a renowned jazz ensemble from Houston, Texas. The band was led by their African American band director, Conrad “Prof” Johnson, who transformed the band into a musical powerhouse in the 1970s. The film documents the reunion of the band 35 years after their initial success, highlighting the impact of Conrad Johnson’s mentorship on the band’s members, one of whom is former NBA player Craig Ehlo.

2. Hoop Dreams

  • Hoop Dreams is a 1994 documentary film that chronicles the lives of two African-American high school students, William Gates and Arthur Agee, as they pursue their dreams of becoming professional basketball players. The film explores the themes of race, class, and opportunity in America through the lens of basketball. Hoop Dreams is widely considered as one of the greatest sports documentaries of all time, and it has been a source of inspiration for many aspiring basketball players.

3. The First Basket

  • The First Basket is a 2008 documentary film that tells the story of the first generation of Jewish basketball players in America. The film explores how basketball became a means of assimilation for Jewish immigrants in the early part of the 20th century and how it eventually helped break down barriers of discrimination and prejudice. The film features interviews with basketball legends such as Red Auerbach, Dolph Schayes, and Nancy Lieberman.

4. Undefeated

  • Undefeated is a 2011 documentary film that follows the journey of the Manassas Tigers, a high school football team from Memphis, Tennessee. The film documents the team’s struggles on and off the field, including the challenges faced by African-American players in a predominantly white community. The film is a powerful story of perseverance, hope, and triumph, and it highlights the importance of sports as a vehicle for social change.

In conclusion, African basketball player movies provide an opportunity to revel in the inspiring journeys of African basketball players on the world’s biggest stage. From the grassroots to the professional ranks, these films showcase the passion, struggle, and resilience that have propelled African athletes to the top of the game. So, grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy these must-watch African basketball player movies!

Black Basketball Movies on Netflix

If you’re a basketball lover who also loves movies, then you should check out these black basketball movies on Netflix. These movies showcase the talent, struggles, and triumphs of black basketball players.

“High Flying Bird”

“High Flying Bird” is a Netflix original movie released in 2019. The movie follows the story of a sports agent who tries to end an NBA lockout. Here are some key takeaways from the movie:

  • The movie stars André Holland, Zazie Beetz, and Melvin Gregg.
  • The movie infuses real-world social issues, such as racial discrimination, with basketball.
  • “High Flying Bird” was shot entirely on an iPhone XS.

“Uncle Drew”

“Uncle Drew” is a comedy movie released in 2018 that stars NBA star Kyrie Irving. The movie follows the story of Uncle Drew, an old basketball player who comes out of retirement to compete in a street basketball tournament. Here are some things to expect from the movie:

  • The movie features several NBA stars, including Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, and Reggie Miller.
  • The movie has a nice mix of humor, drama, and sports.
  • Look out for the hilarious dance battle between Uncle Drew and his rival, Mookie.

“The Carter Effect”

“The Carter Effect” is a documentary movie released in 2017 that explores the impact of NBA star Vince Carter on the basketball culture in Toronto. Here are some interesting facts from the movie:

  • Carter was NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 1999 and became an All-Star eight times.
  • The movie covers the period from 1998 to 2004 when Carter played for the Toronto Raptors.
  • The movie features interviews with several NBA insiders, including Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley.

“Love & Basketball”

“Love & Basketball” is a romantic drama movie released in 2000 that follows the story of two childhood friends in Los Angeles who both aspire to become professional basketball players. Here are some things to look out for in the movie:

  • The movie stars Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan.
  • The movie has a strong message of perseverance, passion, and love.
  • The movie is an excellent choice for a romantic night in with your significant other.


These black basketball movies on Netflix offer excellent entertainment value for basketball lovers and movie fans alike. Make sure you check them out and let us know which one is your favorite!

“Is The Air Up There” Based on a True Story?

If you’re a fan of basketball movies, you’ve probably heard of “Is The Air Up There.” This classic film follows the story of Jimmy Dolan, a college basketball coach who embarks on a journey to Africa to recruit talented players for his team. The movie has gained a cult following over the years, and many people are curious about whether it’s based on a true story. Here’s everything you need to know.

The Storyline

“Is The Air Up There” is a basketball comedy-drama that was released in 1994. The film takes place in the fictional country of Betu, Africa, where Jimmy Dolan (played by Kevin Bacon) is tasked with finding the best basketball players in the country to help save his college team’s season. He enlists the help of an African basketball scout, the comical Saleh (played by Yaphet Kotto), to navigate the cultural divide and convince top players to play in America.

The movie explores themes of culture clash, perseverance and friendship while capturing the sheer love and passion for the game. In the end, Dolan succeeds in his mission, manages to help his team clinch the state championship, and earns the respect of the people of Betu (whose appreciative chieftain even renames his own son ‘Dolan’ as thanks).

Facts vs. Fiction

While “Is The Air Up There” is not based on a specific true story, the film is loosely inspired by real-life events. The writer, Michael J. Murray, spent time in Africa, playing basketball and coaching in various countries. The movie incorporates Murray’s experiences and his love for basketball.

The film’s depiction of African culture, customs, and traditions is also relatively accurate. Filmmakers went to great lengths to source information, and consultations were made with African people to ensure that the film was as faithful to the reality as possible without being too dramatic.

In summary, the film “Is The Air Up There” is not directly based on a true story, but it does incorporate elements from true stories in a fictionalized manner.

Key Takeaways

  • “Is The Air Up There” is a basketball comedy-drama that follows the story of a college basketball coach who travels to Africa to recruit talented players for his team.

  • Although not directly based on a true story, the film is inspired by real-life accounts.

  • The depiction of African culture, customs, and traditions is relatively accurate.

  • The movie is an enjoyable and funny film, great for basketball fans and anyone who enjoys a good comedy.

Hopefully, this answers your questions about whether “Is The Air Up There” is based on a true story. Whether it’s based on actual events or not, it certainly captures the spirit of basketball and the joy of playing the game. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth a watch!

How much do African basketball players make?

African basketball players are becoming a force to reckon with in the international basketball scene, with African players achieving great feats in the NBA and other leagues worldwide. However, the financial aspect of playing basketball in Africa and for African players has always been a topic of concern. Below is a breakdown of how much African basketball players make.

Salaries of African basketball players

  • African basketball players’ salaries vary depending on the league, team, and player’s skill level.
  • The average salary of African basketball players playing in the local leagues is usually between $1000 to $5000 per season.
  • In the NBA, African players like Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who hail from Cameroon and Nigeria respectively, have become superstars and are among the top earners in the league. Embiid, who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers, makes over $29 million a year, while Antetokounmpo, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, makes over $45 million a year.
  • The NBA G League also offers African basketball players the chance to earn a decent salary. Players in the G League make a minimum of $35,000, and some players can earn up to $115,000.

Factors that influence African basketball players’ salaries

  • The level of competition: The salary of African basketball players is usually determined by the level of competition they play in and their skill level.
  • Experience: Experienced African basketball players who have played in top leagues and tournaments tend to earn higher salaries than younger and less experienced players.
  • Performance: African basketball players’ salaries are also influenced by their on-court performance, with outstanding players commanding higher salaries.
  • Endorsements and sponsorships: African basketball players who have lucrative endorsement deals with top brands like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour can earn a substantial amount of money outside of their contracts.

In conclusion, African basketball players’ salaries vary widely depending on several factors like league, team, experience, and performance. While some players earn a lot of money playing basketball, most African players still struggle to make a decent living playing the game that they love. However, with the continued growth of basketball in Africa and more exposure to lucrative leagues like the NBA, we can expect the salaries of African basketball players to increase in the coming years.

What is the Movie About a Sudanese Basketball Player?

Basketball is a universal language that transcends borders and cultural differences. It is a sport that has impacted countless lives and has inspired many great stories, both real and fictional. One such story is that of the Sudanese basketball player, Manute Bol, which has been adapted into a fascinating movie. In this subsection, we will explore the movie’s plot, which tells the story of an African refugee who fought against all odds to become a successful basketball player in the United States.

A Brief Overview of Manute Bol’s Life

Before diving into the movie’s plot, it is essential to understand who Manute Bol was and why his story is so inspiring. Manute Bol was a Sudanese-born basketball player who stood at an astounding 7 feet 7 inches tall. He played in the NBA for ten seasons with four different teams, known best perhaps for his shot-blocking abilities, leading the league twice in this category.

Manute Bol’s story is not just about a Sudanese man who made it to the NBA. It is a narrative about overcoming adversity, reaching for your dreams, and making an impact, no matter where you come from.

Plot of the Movie

The movie tells the story of Manute Bol, focusing on his childhood in Sudan, his journey as a refugee, and his eventual rise to NBA stardom. Here is a breakdown of the movie’s plot:

  • The film begins in Sudan and showcases Manute Bol’s childhood, where we see the civil war affecting his community.
  • Manute and his family eventually flee Sudan and become refugees in Egypt.
  • As a teenager, Manute’s height catches the attention of American sports agents who see his potential as a basketball player.
  • He is brought to the United States, where he receives training and eventually becomes selected in the NBA draft.
  • Manute becomes a star in the NBA but never forgets his roots, always giving back to his community back home in Sudan.
  • The film ends with a tribute to Manute Bol, highlighting his philanthropic work and his impact on the NBA.

Key Takeaways

  • Manute Bol was a Sudanese basketball player who defied the odds and made it to the NBA.
  • The movie tells the story of his childhood in Sudan, his journey as a refugee, and his eventual rise to NBA stardom.
  • The film highlights the importance of perseverance, hard work, and determination in achieving one’s goals and making an impact.
  • Manute Bol’s story continues to inspire people all over the world, and he continues to be remembered for his philanthropic work and his impact on the NBA.

In conclusion, the movie about Manute Bol’s life is a testament to the human spirit’s resilience and the pursuit of excellence. It reminds us that no matter where we come from or what obstacles we face, we can achieve greatness with hard work and determination. The film is a must-watch for anyone interested in sports, human interest stories, or inspirational narratives.