Lana Turner, legend has it, was discovered sipping a soda at a Hollywood drugstore. Charles Mainah was found in a far more improbable place: on a basketball court in Nairobi, Kenya.
There's nothing quite like a Hollywood Cinderella story, and Mainah, 18, qualifies as the latest one.A 6-foot-7-inch Kenyan with an easy smile, a winning personality and no acting experience whatsoever, he was chosen to co-star in a $17 million film, ``The Air Up There,' with Kevin Bacon.
Asked the other day if he had ever seen a Kevin Bacon film, Mainah said, ``Who's Kevin Bacon?'
``The Air Up There' is what Hollywood likes to characterize as a ``fish out of water' movie like ``Sister Act,' in which a nightclub singer, played by Whoopi Goldberg, hides out in a convent.
It's about a basketball coach who's having a few personal problems, and who travels to Africa to find a great basketball player. In the process, he finds - surprise! - himself.