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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BASKETBALL PLAYERS!!! Look at how it all turned out now...

I once was a basketball player!!! That's all I knew. I may have been born with a basketball in my big old hands. My love for the sport runs deep. Stemming from the deeply instilled programming of a basketball coach of a father, Coach "Ambo" for those who had the honor of being schooled by my biased opinionated fave. Not playing was NEVER an option for me. I remember shooting 3's at a Tooting Bec outdoor court in the rain, about 15yrs old, dropping them like it was nothing, my dad rebounding the ball and giving me half way decent passes intentionally. My brother side-lined and inspired, his big sister had game :) My brother having the best looking shot I've ever seen, I had to practice twice as hard. Playing for both the junior girl's and the women's team, I'd still practice with the boys.

Monday - Bishop Thomas Grant School/Wandsworth
Tuesday - Norwood Girls School
Wednesday - Brixton Recreation Centre
Thursday - Henry Thorton/Bishop Thomas Grant/Norwood Girls
Friday - Dick Shepard/Brixton Rec/Crystal Palace
Saturday - Away Game
Sunday - Home Game

That was my life. Add playing for the England squad to that schedule and it was more. Never worried about not being able to run, never worried about not being able to keep up with everybody. I was built for this! I'd even show up at other peoples runs. Show up at the court and get "That's Marvin's sister." I'd just smile. I loved it! I remember a tournament I played in at Crystal Palace and for some reason, one of the other teams thought I was injured. A few opposing bench players saw me suiting up in the locker room and looked as if they'd seen a ghost. I jog on the court and the other team looked like they were having an argument. Subject: "You told me she was injured!!!" LMAO

I also broke ankles. Literally!!! Well maybe she sprained it but it was bad. Another Crystal Palace incident. We were up by a fair amount so Coach Andrea Norton let me bring up the ball. Left to right, right, right, left. This chick was on the floor squirming, grabbing her ankle. The crowd explodes into "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH's" Ref blows the whistle, she's carried off court, I AM SO EMBARRASSED!!! I didn't mean it! I just crushed that girls dreams, or what I thought they were because of my passion for the game. I felt like Bobby in Karate Kid when he was asked to sweep the leg :(

I'd know a few weeks later how I assumed she felt. Scrimmage at Elephant & Castle court. Won most of the games except that last one and I do not want to leave the gym on a loss. One more game. That one more game changed EVERYTHING! Glendora was guarding me, I had the ball at the top of the key, waited on the pick, wasn't coming quick enough so I went to put the ball on the floor and all I hear is "CRRRUNCH" My foot felt like it shattered into a million pieces. I'm actually cringing and tearing up a bit as I write this because as my ankle shattered, so did the world around me. Everything I expected of me and my future disappeared into blackness. I remember everyone standing around me on the court, trying to help me get up. I don't remember my dad even getting there. I just remember crying in the car on the way to Kings College Hospital. Sitting in a wheelchair in A&E. Crying. My foot bruised and swollen. Crying. My dad holding my hand. Crying. My mother hugging me. Crying. The doctor "Torn ligaments." Crying. Wrapped up in bandages and iced out. Crying. I'd taken over my brother's room because it was on the 1st floor and the couch wasn't that comfortable, the thought of hopping to that 2nd floor bedroom. Crying.

A pen and pad lay next to the bed. I write down my thoughts and feelings. Some of which turned into poems or songs. One in particular. "Fly away"

"I'd fly away
Spread my wings so I'd escape,
If I was the sky
I'd let it rain to wash away the pain."

"If I was a Bird" was born out of true heartache. Getting injured in the pre-season. I'd been trying out for the England squad. I wouldn't be able to walk for a few weeks, let alone run. The coaches have probably forgotten about me. My world is over. I was determined to get back. I'd show up to the gym on crutches. Half time, get on the court and shoot 3's. Injured, I couldn't put that ball down. I'd annoy my mum dribbling the ball in the house. Torn ligaments! Whatever, I got back to where I wanted to be and did one better. Made the England squad anyway :) Had one of the best London Youth Games tournaments at Crystal Palace ever. One game in particular, want to say it was the semi-finals. I couldn't miss. I think at one point, I tried LOL I knew at that point, I could do ANYTHING!!!

My down time due to injury is where I found my pen. I'd always written songs, my 1st one being when I was 8 called "Gonna Getcha"! I still have the Casio I played the chords on *well, I know where it is :) My dad was a bass player in the 70's to early 80's in the band "Supercharge" on Virgin Records. Of course influence starts in the home. I had musical instruments and a ball. I had a choice. Both. It wasn't until I sacrificed the other to be as successful as I wanted to be. Saying goodbye to basketball wasn't easy. I think my dad was more heartbroken than I was. Growing up as a tomboy didn't deter me from being a girl. First serious boyfriend was a basketball player. First major crush was on a basketball player. My first solo single is about basketball players! There is a deep rooted addiction to the game and all the discipline it taught me, all the experiences it allowed me to grow from.

Basketball.

THANK YOU! I love you, always.

Marsha Ambrosius

8 comments:

  1. I started playing because I thought I had something to prove. Somewhere in that..I found myself.I started writing..because I had to put myself somewhere.

    p.s Thx.

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  2. Luv it. Gonna make sure my daughter reads it. If I was a bird is one of her favorites. Also want her to know that you can have more than one dream in life

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  3. I played basketball 2nd grade all the way to 10th, I always was the STAR player, I was skinny and short bringing down girls bigger and taller than me! In the 5th grage I got the nickname Teaspoon, named after Teresa weatherspoon ! In 7th grade I got the nickname Lil AI (Allen Iverson) as I grew older I realized basketball was not what it use to be, ego's grew big, no one wanted to play as a TEAM, and I fell out of love for the game, every now and then I still play with my cousins just to show them I still got it and that they will NEVER beat me! lol Now I just write, been writing for 10 years now! :)

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  4. Love and basketball...and you can sing..i think you just mite be the mecca of womanhood..luv it

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  5. First, please forgive me as I see that this post is about your life with Basketball, but I have to say this

    I LOVE You...of course in a normal(not-crazy but yet a super fan) kinda way!

    I've been amassing all your mixtapes , floety stuff , and anything that I can get that has your name on it. You have always been GOREGOUS! and that shot with you in the window....(Don't get me started on that on)

    Seriously, I appreciate you and your music. I Look forward to a musical future filled with your albums. I can't wait to send you 20 bucks for some new music!!

    My subsequent posts will hopefully be less sugary..just know you have a big fan in Texas!

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  6. Shout out to you Marsha. When I was growing up I wanted to play football so bad. I grew up in the Bronx, New York. I liked the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants was my second team. (Sorry New York)You could not tell me I wansn't going to play for the Dallas Cowboys,i wanted to be a wide receiver. i wanted to go to dewitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. But my Senior year in Junior High School, was the first year Dewitt Clinton High Schoolwas excepting girls. Up until then gewitt Clinton was an all male School.(With one of the best football teams in the Bronx) So now that they were aloowing girls in, everybody wanted to go there.So i couldn't get in , and had to go to my Zone School. Taft High School. This crushed my dreams of being a wide receiver. I will even admit it, I cried. I was heart broken for weeks. I stayed in the house, and wrote rhymes all day. And i can trully say I began to discover my gift and passion for Music.Now I write rhymes and Murder Beats. I hope I don't offend you Marsha, if I do I apologise. I mean this with all sincerety. Im glad you are doing music and not basketball, because myself as well as the whole world might not of gotten to hear your beautiful voice. No one can cerenade a track the way you do. Thanks for sharing you story
    Peace
    The Lyrical Assassin

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  7. athletes always have thick skin...they learn to deal with adversity...sport in general teaches you so many valuable life sessions at such a young age...i'm a pro tennis player, so i should know :) good luck with your new album!!

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  8. I'm finding a real kindred spirit in you! Tell me you're still in the Philly area full-time? I'm also an ex-basketball player who saw the genius in your single as soon as I heard it. We're all pissed at the Kim Kardashians of the world (who the b-ball players all seem to want!). Next time you're in the area, come to Jersey: http://thefirehousecafe.net/index.html

    Perfect venue for you, in my humble opinion! Jersey and Philly are not the same place!

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