The story that has taken over the NBA at the end of the regular season is the one of Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Andre Ingram. He took advantage of his opportunities in the last two games of the season, as he scored 19 points in his first NBA game as a "rookie". Never heard of him? That's because he has spent the past 10 seasons in the G-League, the minor league affiliate to the NBA. At age 32, he was finally called up to play with the Lakers, allowing him to achieve his hoop dream after a long and difficult road.
Ingram played college basketball at American University and stayed all four years, which is a rarity these days. He was no slouch by any means as he also graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Physics! Unfortunately, he would not accomplish his initial goal of being drafted to the NBA, and ended up being drafted into the D-League (now the G-League) in the seventh round by the Utah Flash. He would play there for four years before moving on to the Los Angeles D-Fenders. In the 2015-2016 season, Ingram became the G-League's all time leader in three pointers made, and he still holds that record to this day.
Then, after a nice showing during this year's G-League playoffs, the Lakers would give him the call. It was an exciting realization. So much so that he brought his entire family to enjoy the special moment of becoming an NBA player. A Lakers jersey with your name and number on it. Suiting up to play a nationally televised game for the first time. Very magical.
Ingram was also excited about earning $13,824 for playing in just two NBA games! That's because the G-League salary is so low compared to other athletes, around 19,000 a year, that Ingram had to work another full-time job to stay afloat. He has reportedly been a math tutor for years all while playing in the G-League.
Stories like Andre Ingram are both encouraging and heartfelt, because it shows us that any dream is attainable if we believe enough and never lose hope. So thank you Mr. Ingram and best of luck with the rest of your NBA career.
Photo Courtesy of Lakers Nation
By Joshua Hamer - Contributing Sports Writer