My sister and I, Marsha Ambrosius were lucky enough to be a part of Brixton Topcats humble beginnings and learn the fundamentals of becoming great basketball players and bring that success into our adult lives. I started playing for Brixton Topcats at 4 years old and worked on my game with my father and Jimmy Rogers 3 times a week. I would borrow videos from Jimmy’s house to watch the NBA and NCAA games and marvel at how unbelievable the players were.
At the age of 9 I played my first big game at Crystal Palace with Sammy Sackey, Daniel Sandell, Benjamin Anderson, and Marcus Anderson to name a few and scored 12 points and we won.
I wasn’t the most athletic kid but I had great fundamentals and could shoot the lights out. Jimmy would shout “Helloooooo” every time I shot the ball and to this day that still echoes each time I shoot a basketball. I went on to be the youngest player in the under 19 junior league at 9 years old and played my first men’s division 2 game at 14.
I remember how hype I was to try out for England and I averaged 15 points in the lillyshaw regional tryouts coached by legendary coach Humphrey Long and I made the team.
I made the under 15 England squad at 13 being the youngest on the team and started as a shooting guard. I continued to get better each year playing for under 19’s and becoming captain and achieving 13 England caps. (1993-1998). I was lucky enough to travel the world and be awarded Southwark sportsman of the year at age 13 and a Princes trust award which helped fund my visits to basketball camps in the United States.
I was invited to many basketball camps in the USA from the age of 13 like Five Star camp, Adidas Camp and Atlantic Cape Camp for a number of years and throughout this entire period I was a Brixton Topcat and would never had been able to achieve any of the above without the discipline, motivation and methods of Jimmy Rogers and my father Paul Ambrosius.
We won the Junior National cup in 1994 and 1996.
I can’t count the amount of games I played, points scored, suicides run but I can recall the love I felt walking into the Brixton Rec and the feeling of being able to achieve anything.
That’s what Jimmy gave me. The ability to understand that nothing comes easy and if you want to achieve anything you have to work for it.
That’s what “Drive the body” means to me. Never give up, practice, be your best and never settle. Winning is about being consistent with your practice and I’m LUCKY I was able to transfer my skills into my life and career.
It’s not a coincidence that my work is to help others achieve success through discipline and motivation as it’s the very foundation of how I was brought up.
I’m now a TV presenter, personal trainer and fitness instructor and have my own television show on @skytv called Fit in 5 that I created for anyone who wants to know how to start there fitness journey.
Thank you Jimmy for all you have done for me and to the entire basketball community. May your legacy continue helping others find there path to success and happiness.