LeBron James and Kyle Kuzma aren’t the only Los Angeles Lakers forwards giving back to their hometowns this summer, as Brandon Ingram became the latest member of the Lakers to give back to the community that raised him over the weekend.
According to WNCT9, “the Ingram family teamed up with several sponsors like Adidas, American Eagle and local Walgreen’s and Staples stores to come up with the backpacks filled with gift cards, pencils, paper, pens and more,” which provided over 750 kids with bags for their books, as well as offering Adidas shoes for some of the kids, and teaching supplies for their instructors.
But while his act of charity is great for the community, Ingram told reporters that giving back was just as much of a gift to himself as it was to his hometown of Kinston, North Carolina (via WITN):
”I know my confidence goes sky high when I do things like this. I think it’s kinda like Jerry Stackhouse or Reggie Bullock being the blueprint for me coming out of high school. I just try to know that every time that I’m walking around and every time that I’m driving somewhere, somebody is always watching. I know it’s 300 or 400 kids watching me in here right now and I need to make the right move every time.”
Ingram has previously spoken about his gratitude to his tiny hometown community that is somehow the highest per capita producer of NBA players in the country, and wanting to make a difference there. Being able to finally do so was “a dream come true” for him (via WNCT9):
“Just to have these these guys and kids look up to me like this and having a opportunity to do something positive for this community and for my hometown, it’s like nothing else,” Ingram said.
Ingram also said on WNCT9’s broadcast that he is hoping that by giving back, he can inspire future generations to do even more:
”Just to see these kids walk through this gym, and fill the shoes that I’ve been in, I think it’s beautiful and that they have a chance to do something even better.”
It’s been written before, but Lakers fans are lucky to have as many socially-minded players on the team as they do, as this is just the latest example of a player doing something that can make their supporters feel good about the people, and not just the players, they’re cheering for.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.