Q+A Ashanti

Jan. 17, 2005
Jan. 17, 2005

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Jan. 17, 2005

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus
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Q+A Ashanti

The singer, 24, makes her acting debut opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Coach Carter, opening nationwide on Jan. 14

SI: You were a triple jumper at Glen Cove (N.Y) High School, and you also ran the 100 and 200 meters. When's the last time you raced somebody?

This is an article from the Jan. 17, 2005 issue Original Layout

Ashanti: I raced my cousin in Virginia in the dead of winter a couple of years ago, right after my first album. We had a bet. He's about 6'6", and I'm about 5'3"--and I beat him.

SI: You could have gone to Hampton on a track scholarship. How close were you to accepting it?

Ashanti: It was like, if it didn't happen for me musically, I was going to do it. At first I deferred the scholarship. I kept coming close to going to school because I had two record deals that failed. But I kept deferring because I felt that it was going to happen in music.

SI: What advice do you have for professional athletes such as Ron Artest who are trying to break into the music business?

Ashanti: Especially for people who already have lots of money, be really cautious about the people you're around. It's very cutthroat.

SI: A couple of years ago at the MTV Video Music Awards you presented the award for best hip-hop video with LeBron James. What were your impressions of him?

Ashanti: When I met him, I was like, Oh, man, he's how old? I couldn't believe it. He looks like a man.

SI: You held your high school triple-jump record for a couple of years with a leap of 33'9". Can one still be an R&B diva while jumping into a sandpit?

Ashanti: Maybe if it's a sexy jump--if you're barefoot and you have on some really cute shorts. --Richard Deitsch