Andre Ingram became an overnight sensation at the tail end of last season when his call-up from the South Bay Lakers resulted in a couple performances that could not be summed up with mere words. His story was and remains an inspiration to those chasing dreams everywhere, even if this latest stint with the parent team hasn’t brought the same fireworks.
Ingram told Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times that, regardless of the amount of time he actually spends on the court, he’s cherishing these moments. He knows how hard they were to attain:
“Whether it’s four seconds or four minutes, doesn’t matter,” Ingram said. “To be valued means something to me. To be out there on the court means something to me. I’m thankful for every second.”
As with most inspirational figures, Ingram hadn’t really considered the impact his story might have on others:
“The reach shocked me, the reach of it,” said Ingram, whose story is being turned into a movie. “I don’t have social media at all. … I had no idea how far it reached out until my family members who do have those things told me. It was humbling that so many people were that touched by it and have been following me since. It was just overwhelming positivity for it all.”
Look, we could sit here and point out how blatant a PR ploy Ingram’s call-up this year was, especially now, given how little a chance he’s actually be given to help the team. That doesn’t change the fact that his hard work put him in a situation where that story can be taken advantage of.
Had Ingram not pursued this dream and made good on his efforts the way he did last year, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity — as brief as it might be — he’s been given this season, or the 10-day contract paycheck that’s more lucrative than his entire season’s salary in the G League.
Still, at 33 years old, a lengthy career in the NBA for Ingram is probably out of the question at this point. But quite frankly, that doesn’t particularly matter. He stuck with the pursuit of a dream and was able to do something millions of fans can only dream of, and in the process served as an inspiration to all others out there who work their asses off to one day accomplish some goal of their own.
Ingram deserves all the praise he’s gotten over the last year or so, and here’s hoping the fruits of his labor continue paying dividends in the box office as well. The Lakers currently employ a small forward/movie producer who might be interested in Ingram’s story, so maybe they can make something work.