Andre Ingram is living proof that patience and persistence always win in the end. The 32-year-old has played in the NBA’s G-League since 2007 with hopes of being called up to the big show. On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers finally made his dreams come true. By Tuesday night, the man who boasts a 48 percent shooting average was raining down threes on the Houston Rockets.
The American University graduate who holds a degree in physics was all set to head back home to his family after the season ended for the South Bay Lakers. With his bags already packed, Ingram went to his customary exit interview only to find out that he was being called up to play the last two games of the regular season.
Ingram wasted no time sharing the news with his wife Marilee and told her to get on a plane and head to the City of Angels. She was there to witness her husband taking full advantage of the long-awaited opportunity. Coming off the bench late in the first quarter, Ingram put on a clinic scoring 19 points in his debut. His stats were as impressive as any seasoned NBA veteran.
The crowd started chanting “MVP!” as the visibly gray-haired father of two shot a sizzling six-for-eight from the floor with four out of five of those from the three-point line. Ingram also grabbed three rebounds, handed out one assist, and snatched one steal. His rookie debut rivaled Lakers legends Magic Johnson and Jerry West. Ingram’s performance earned him the team ball and it took all of 29 minutes to get the job done.
Players from around the league were inspired by Ingram’s debut. Lakers forward Julius Randle called it “a testament to hard work, never giving up.” Jeremy Lin tweeted that Ingram was “too good” as he scored 11 points in his first six minutes of play. Even the Rockets’ Chris Paul applauded the rookie’s “focus and persistence” calling his achievement “well-deserved.”
You stay on the grind and at the end of your 10th year, you finally get the call.— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) April 10, 2018
Andre Ingram never stopped persevering and now his @NBA dream is a reality. #ThisIsWhyWePlay #LakeShow pic.twitter.com/1SZhc5SW7k
The Lakers lost 105-99 to the Rockets which made Ingram’s introduction to the league bittersweet. But that didn’t stop the crowd and the Lakers organization from going wild. If ever a man wanted to convince his employer that they made the right decision in hiring him, Ingram left no room for doubt. Magic told Ingram that he wanted to see that 48 percent from the floor and Ingram did not disappoint.