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Friday, March 4, 2011
Marsha Ambrosius talks hoops, music with Page 2


Marsha Ambrosius
"Late Nights & Early Mornings" by Marsha Ambrosius reached No. 1 on iTunes on its release date.

Many entertainers want to be athletes, and lots of athletes are wannabe entertainers. But in the case of R&B songstress Marsha Ambrosius, she was a baller long before she ever deemed herself a singer.

Ambrosius, best known as half of the neo-soul duo Floetry, surrendered her hoop dreams after suffering a severe ankle injury in high school. While it wasn't career threatening, it was such a devastating reality check that the Liverpool, England, native decided it was time to think of something besides basketball.

Even though her father, Paul, was heartbroken when she decided to give up the sport, Ambrosius' instant musical success proves it was the right choice.

Ambrosius' solo debut, "Late Nights & Early Mornings," was released Tuesday, and as of Thursday, it was holding steady as the second-most downloaded album on iTunes. The album was No. 1 the day it was released.

The buzz on Ambrosius has been strong ever since Floetry, which sold nearly a million albums worldwide. Ambrosius also garnered widespread acclaim for penning the song "Butterflies," which appeared on the late Michael Jackson's "Invincible" album. In fact, she updated the song for "Late Nights & Early Mornings."

Even though it's been an exhilarating week for Ambrosius, she found some time to catch up with Page 2 to discuss plenty of hoops-related topics, including how good her game was, the current NBA player she used to school back in the day, the inspiration behind her much-talked about single, "Hope She Cheats On You (With A Basketball Player)," and her two biggest basketball crushes.

Page 2: How did you start playing basketball?

Marsha Ambrosius: My father [Paul Ambrosius] coached and he played. It was something I was just born into. He was a bass player in a '70s band and a coach. Basketball was always around me.

So what happened? Why did you stop?

I got hurt. It was such a complete shock to my system that I had to think, Wait, I have to fall back on something. So I stayed in school, got my grades up, but I didn't concentrate so much on basketball.

So how much did you know about Georgia Tech when the school recruited you?

I just knew the logo (laughs). Coming up, basketball was an import. We had -- and I hate to date myself here -- VHS tapes of games and we would just watch them over and over. I was a Georgetown, Georgia Tech, and Michigan fan. I just identified them by their logo. It was more of a fashion thing.