Published: Wed, April 11, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Andre Ingram, Lakers' 32-year-old Rookie, Dishes in NBA Debut

Andre Ingram, Lakers' 32-year-old Rookie, Dishes in NBA Debut

On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers chose to help make his dream come true when they surprised him with an National Basketball Association contract to play in the team's final few games of the season.

Someone who edited his page changed the second sentence to say that Ingram is considered to be the "Greatest Laker to play the game since the retirement of Kobe Bryant". He didn't miss a single shot until the fourth quarter of the game.

After a decade in the minors, Ingram - a 2003 graduate of Highland Springs High School in Henrico County - seized the chance to live his long-deferred dream by scoring 19 points for the Los Angeles Lakers. It was unbelievable. The crowd, the lights, it was just once in a lifetime. "I told him, 'Much respect.' I mean, 10 years grinding in the G League, to finally get an opportunity and to play like that, it's pretty special".

Ingram's Lakers teammates in Brook Lopez and Julius Randle were just as impressed.

Paul, like many others, was in awe of Ingram's inspirational story, which went viral Monday. Johnson and West are immortalized with statues outside Staples Center. He averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds.

"Of course there were times of, 'I'm not sure if this day is going to happen or not, '" Ingram said of doubts that often crept in during his grind. He also was The Times-Dispatch's male scholar-athlete of the year.

Ingram, 32, went undrafted in 2007 and had spent his entire career in the G League until he was signed this week by the Lakers, making his first appearance in a 105-99 loss to the Rockets at Staples Center.

Ingram will earn $13,824 for games against the Houston Rockets and L.A. Clippers to finish out the season, according to ESPN's Larry Coon - and one can argue he's already played his money's worth after a 19-point performance in his rookie debut. He briefly played in Australia in 2016 before returning to the G League. He has made a record 713 3-pointers while shooting 46.1 percent from beyond the arc. That changed on Monday, when the Los Angeles Lakers chose to give him a ring and sign him for the remainder of the year.

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