After 10 years of hard work in the NBA's minor league playing for the South Bay Lakers, Andre Ingram at last got the call. The 32-year-old G League veteran suited up to play for the Los Angeles Lakers last night against the Houston Rockets. He scored 19 points, went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc and inspired "MVP" chants from the Staples Center crowd.
"It was once in a lifetime," said Ingram after the game.
The South Bay Lakers general manager Nick Mazzella delivered the news of the call up to Ingram alongside the rest of the coaching staff in a touching video posted to the Lakers' Twitter page. The accompanying message reads, "You stay on the grind and at the end of your 10th year, you finally get the call. Andre Ingram never stopped persevering and now his @NBA dream is a reality."
"No wonder why those two big guys are back there," Ingram responded, gesturing to Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka.
As Mazzella pointed out in the video, Ingram earned the promotion after shooting at an impressive 48 percent beyond the arc this season with South Bay. He also holds the active record for the most three-pointers in the G League with 713 throughout his 10 seasons. The next closest player has 437.
"I know all of you guys went to bat for me," Ingram, wearing a shirt that says "Always in pursuit," told his coaching staff in the video. "That's why it means so much." The father of two then called his wife to tell her the news and informed the camera crew that she was screaming on the other end.
"Everyone season I have genuinely thought, 'This could be it,'" he told reporters after a shoot-around with the team before his debut game. "That's why I hung around. That's why I kept coming back."
His next and final game this season is tonight against the Los Angeles Clippers.
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