Mormon Yankees basketball movie shoots

Production began today on KW Films / McLaren House / The Steve Jaggi Company’s The Spirit of the Game on location in and around Melbourne.

The inspirational true story of the Mormon Yankees basketball team set during the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, it is directed by Darran Scott with photography by Brian Breheny.

The cast is led by Aaron Jakubenko (The Shannara Chronicles) as Delyle Condie and Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, Soul Surfer, God’s Not Dead) as his father Parley Condie.

The supporting cast includes Heath Ledger scholarship winners Anna McGahan and Emilie Cocquerel, Heidi Arena (Offspring, The Librarians), Marina Prior, Grant Piro (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries) and Mark Mitchell (The Comedy Company, Upper Middle Bogan).

It’s 1956 and 20-year-old Delyle Condie is on top of the world. MVP of his college basketball team (University of Utah) and engaged to Emily, his high school sweetheart, life is looking pretty good.

That is, until the second round of the NCAA tournament. Midway through the most important game of his young life, Emily unexpectedly breaks off her engagement to Delyle.

Heartbroken, Delyle makes decision to quit basketball and embark on a mission for his church. His destination: Melbourne.

In a city gripped with Olympic fever, Delyle’s first encounters with the Aussies are not encouraging. He struggles to maintain his spirits when faced with the indifference of the locals, but when an opportunity arises to help train Australia’s first Olympic basketball team, he sees his chance to connect with them.

His passion leads to the formation of the Mormon Yankees basketball team, and in the run up to the Games, fierce competition with the French leads to a bloody rematch, through which Delyle and his Yankees are able to prove their faith – and their mettle – to the world.

Producers Kate Whitbread and Spencer McLaren’s most recent credits include Surviving Georgia starring Holly Valance, Pia Miranda and Shane Jacobson and the AFI award-winner The Caterpillar Wish.

Producer Steve Jaggi’s most recent credits include the AWGIE best original screenplay nominated and Austin Film Festival winning Skin Deep, surf movie Circle of Lies starring Nikki Webster, and young adult film Ambrosia.

Australian theatrical distribution is being handled by MOMO Films.