Ashanti: Mark Sullivan/
EW Staff
June 14, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Will Ashanti succeed in her movie debut?

MOVIE ”Coach Carter”

WHEN Jan. 14, 2005

PLAYING Kyra, the pregnant girlfriend of a benched high school hoops star (”Finding Forrester”’s Rob Brown)

WHAT’S THE STORY? Samuel L. Jackson plays real-life Richmond, Calif., coach Ken Carter, who in 1999 disqualified his entire undefeated team for poor academic performance.

WHY SHE MIGHT ROCK Ashanti does much of her best work in tandem with gruff guys (she’s dueted with rappers Fat Joe and Ja Rule).

WHY SHE MIGHT HIT A SOUR NOTE Still, we’re having a hard time picturing the pampered R&B princess as a struggling, pregnant high schooler.

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