Jay Ellis might play superstar wide receiver Bryce “The Blueprint” Westbrooke on the hit series The Game, but back in the day it was on the hardwood, not the gridiron, where Ellis could truly stake claim at the “star” label.
“Well, you know I was aiiiight,” Ellis said with a laugh. “I played football my freshman year in high school and I played basketball throughout. I was good enough to play in college. I played the three.”
His claim to fame?
A vicious dunk over a 6-foot-11 center.
Can you say “posterized?”
“That’s the most adrenaline I’ve ever had in my life!” Ellis said.
I caught up with the star of The Game to chop-it-up about everything from what fans of the show can expect as the season progresses to his dismal 5.0 speed to under what circumstance he’d choose to go by the name Steven Ogelthorpe.
Jason Jordan: I always like to hear about the sports backgrounds and experiences of all of my guests on the Celeb Chop-Up; what high school did you go to and did you play sports there?
Jay Ellis: Well, my dad was in the Air Force so we moved around a little bit, but I went to high school in Tulsa, Okla. I went to Metro Christian Academy for two years and I went to Booker T. Washington for two years. I played football my freshman year in high school and I played basketball through high school.
JJ: We you nice or just eh?
JE: (Laughs) Well, you know I was aiiiight… I played 3A ball and it was a smaller school so I played the four, but when I went to college I played the three.
JJ: Where’d you play in college?
JE: I played at Concordia University.
JJ: Give me your shining moment on the court?
JE: My junior year we went to the state tournament and I dunked on this kid that was about 6-foot-11. That’s the most adrenaline I’ve ever had in my life; it was all downhill after that.
JJ: You play a superstar receiver on The Game, is that hard to pull off or do you have skills on the gridiron too? I know you played as a freshman.
JE: Well, my favorite sport to watch is football and I think I pull it off well. I’ve had this conversation with friends before, but I actually think I could make an NFL practice squad. I’m not saying a roster, but I think I could make a practice squad as a receiver! I’m 6-4, 205!
JJ: Interesting, did you think this before you started playing a receiver on TV?
JE: (Laughs) Uh no, it’s just the delusions of being an actor.
JJ: You got 4.3 speed?
JE: Man, I’m probably a 5.0 on a good day!
JJ: Let’s take this thing random; what fast food restaurant has the best burgers?
JE: Ooh, Wendy’s!
JJ: When you play Paper, Rock, Scissors which object typically gets you the win?
JE: (Laughs) The rock.
JJ: What was your worst pre-fame job?
JE: Oh my God, the list is so long! I sold women’s shoes like Al Bundy! Another one was doing lunch prep for a kitchen so I had to be to work at 5:30 a.m. chopping salads. It was terrible!
JJ: What do yellow traffic lights mean to you?
JE: Hurry up! Don’t be playing around.
JJ: What movie absolutely deserves another installment?
JE: Bad Boys!
JJ: What’s the most overused slang word or phrase right now?
JJ: Choose one: 12 rounds against Manny Pacquaio or Floyd Mayweather.
JE: Oh wow! I’d have to pick Pacquaio; I don’t wanna see Floyd’s hands! Plus, my reach is just a little bit better than his.
JJ: You tap a car in a parking lot and no one’s around; do you leave a note or do you move to a different row?
JE: Oh, I’d move to a different row! I’m out. Well, I’d think about it; if the alarm doesn’t go off and there doesn’t look to be any damage then I’m out.
JJ: What current fad would you love to see die-off?
JE: Leather pants. Just, just stop.
JJ: What sitcom intro song do you know every word to?
JE: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air!
JJ: What was your worst childhood punishment?
JE: Any punishment where I had to be by myself and couldn’t talk to or be around people. When you made me silent it felt like the longest punishment ever.
JJ: Unfortunately you’ve found yourself in the Witness Protection Program, what’s your cover name going to be?
JE: (Laughs) Wow, hmm, my name is gonna be Steven Ogelthorpe.
JJ: What random fact can you just reel off to me right now?
JE: Eighty-five percent of the people in Los Angeles rent.
JJ: Interesting. Talk or text?
JJ: Blindfolded can you tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
JE: Oh no. Remember when they did that clear Pepsi challenge? That was crazy.
JJ: Twitter or Instagram?
JE: Instagram. I’m just a more visual person. I think it’s cool to kinda get lost in the stories that pictures tell.
JJ: Who would you never want to meet in a dark alley?
JE: (Laughs) Someone that got arrested for murder. That’d be scary.
JJ: Let’s hop into the DeLorean Time Machine (Back to the Future), what era would you love to drop in on for a week?
JE: Probably Hollywood in the 80’s.
JJ: Since you’ve got the skills to make an NFL practice squad in real life I know Blue has what it takes to bring the Sabers another Super Bowl on The Game.
JE: Well, he’s getting there. It takes a minute, but he gets his self together. You’ve just gotta keep watching the show.
JJ: Talk about what fans can expect for the rest of the season with Blue and Keira (Lauren London), the Sabers and everything else.
JE: Well, like everyone has been seeing, Blue and Keira are starting to realize that they may be moving a little too fast with the marriage and that they may need to slow down and enjoy being engaged. In that time they’ll realize things about each other and learn one another. I’m not saying whether they’ll get married or not; you’ll have to keep watching. I will say that it’s interesting to watch and it’s a situation that a lot of people go through and can relate to. The shows just keeps getting better so you guys have to keep watching.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY