G-League Veteran Andre Ingram’s NBA Debut Is A Lesson Of Perseverance

Andre Ingram is a lesson in persistence. In a world that is increasingly filled with entitled individuals, Ingram spent 10 years in the NBA G-League/D-League before finally signing a 10-Day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers at the age of 32 on Monday. 

Los Angeles Lakers on Twitter

You stay on the grind and at the end of your 10th year, you finally get the call. Andre Ingram never stopped persevering and now his @NBA dream is a reality. #ThisIsWhyWePlay #LakeShow https://t.co/1SZhc5SW7k

For most aspiring pros the opportunity to step into an NBA arena, don a jersey with your their name on it and kick it on the bench with the official cats is a dream come true. Ingram decided to give himself another 24 hours of relevance in the social media news cycle by not only playing in his first NBA game but dropping buckets, flexing his shooting prowess and leading the Lakers with 11 points at halftime and finishing with 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting and four treys against the Houston Rocketswho are the current hot choice to win the NBA championship. 

Los Angeles Lakers on Twitter

Andre Ingram leads the Lakers at halftime with 11 points on a perfect 3-of-3 clip from the field.

He stole the show from James Harden and Co. on national television. A nobody out there killing NBA greats to the delight of the crowd, social media and appreciators of a classic underdog story such as myself.  It was one of those ill Hollywood moments that you can’t script because unexpected greatness of that nature is purely organic. 

It was all unexpected, even for Ingram, who thought he had showed up on Monday to do his annual G-League exit interview. 

It was actually supposed to be an exit interview, Ingram told Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnsons  TNT crew, I was prepared to go in there and talk about our D-League season. My bags were already packed I was supposed to leave the next afternoon and talking to the coaches and we’re having an interview like normal and Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson walk in… I knew something was up at that point…camera crews following me, I knew this wasn’t the normal exit interview..When they walked in…all the emotions you could think. I was like, this could be it. It was everything you would think it was

Andre Ingram Lakers DEBUT 2018.4.10 LA Lakers vs Rockets – 19 Pts, HUGE Moment! | FreeDawkins

Andre Ingram Lakers DEBUT | April 10, 2018 | LA Lakers vs Houston Rockets – 19 Pts, 3 Blks, HUGE Moment! FreeDawkins – NBA Video’ –Like And Subscribe For More! Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/DawkinsMTA Boxscore – DISCLAIMER – All clips property of the NBA.

Seeing how effortlessly he could get his shot off against NBA defenders, made me wonder why it took him until age 32 to make The League. I guess the undrafted 6-foot-3 guard out of American University was just one of those talented ballers who somehow never got called up to the big-time. It’s not like he was a scrub  either. It’s obvious he was just overlooked and as he got older scouts had more questions about his game than compliments for his talents. 

Ingram has been putting up numbers. He finished his college career as the schools fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,655 points and is the G Leagues career leader in three-point field goals, with 713. Hes also dropped the fifth-most points in league history (3,901) and is a two-time D-League 3-Point Contest champion (2010 and 2016).

Ingram is like that aspiring rapper who has been on the underground circuit for a decade and is past his roaring 20s but keeps going back to the studio and the clubs and performing because he has a slight buzz, then one day the majors sign him to a single deal and he goes platinum off the rip.  

Shootaround: Andre Ingram (4/10/18)

Andre Ingram speaks to the media following his first shootaround with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ingram endured four seasons with the Utah Flash between 2007 and 2011, and 3 seasons with the Los Angeles D-Fenders between 2012 and 2016. After a short stint in Australia with the Perth Wildcats, Ingram returned to the D-Fenders in March 2017, when he joined the re-named South Bay Lakers for the 201718 season, before eventually getting the surprise call-up with the Los Angeles Lakers on what will forever be remembered as a magical Tuesday night. 

There are times, Ingram told the Inside The NBA crew, that he contemplated hanging his cleats up 

“(The thought of retirement) happened within that 10-year span, said the NBA G League career leader in three-point field goals, with 713, fifth all-time leading scorer (3,901) and two-time D-League 3-Point Contest champ ( 2010 and 2016). 

Lesser men would have. 

J. R Gambler on Twitter

Andre Ingram Is Still lighting it up. If Lakers kept him in they’d be up. He played 384 pro games and his 385th is in the NBA and he has 19 points and getting “MVP” chants https://t.co/XNqq2Q0uPt

My story is endurance, but there were times that it didn’t seem like it would happen,” Ingram said. “I kept coming back because I genuinely felt I was close each year. I passed up a lot of overseas opportunities I wanted to play in this league and always felt the G-League was the best route. I was going to keep at it until I physically couldn’t do it or my wife said come on home. 

When Ingram walked into Staples Center to a resounding ovation, flanked by his wife and kids,  he knew he had made the right decision by continuing his quest to make it to the NBA. 

Bleacher Report on Twitter

Andre Ingram’s wife couldn’t be more proud of her husband in his NBA debut https://t.co/oQZFOm3nDv

I was wondering at what point it would really hit me…,” Ingram said. “It was something about actually taking them out there on the court. The court just seems a bit brighter and I got out there for team warm-ups and the crowd is going crazy. It was electric. It was energized. It just kept getting better. 

The fact that he was hit like fish grease on Tuesday was icing on the cake. 

“Coach subbed me in and at that point, I felt pretty relaxed” Ingram reflected afterward. “(Kyle) Kuzma was asking me If I was nervous and I said, ‘I think Im OK.’ I didn’t really know how to feel, but it turned out well.

Ingram hit his first three shots and the crowd went crazy. 

NBA on Twitter

Andre Ingram knocks down his 1st NBA 3-point attempt! @nbagleague #LakeShow https://t.co/TGv2Pyrcmt

The rest is some basketball Gods-blessed history.  He had the announcers hooked, the players were geeking off it hard and the NBA world stopped to get a glimpse of the epitome of perseverance, patience, and passion for anything you want to do in life. 

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