32-year-old Andre Ingram achieves dream of playing in the NBA

Ten years is a long time to wait for your dream.

For 32-year-old Andre Ingram, that dream became a reality on Tuesday night when he made his NBA debut with the Los Angeles Lakers after playing in the G League for almost a decade.

But it wasn’t just any type of debut. It was the stuff even movie producers couldn’t make up.

Facing the NBA’s top team, the Houston Rockets, Ingram made his debut with 1:53 remaining in the first quarter in the Lakers’ final home game of the season.

Once he started shooting, he couldn’t miss.  Scoring 11 points in the second quarter, Ingram would go on to achieve one of the more improbable NBA rookie debuts in the history of the league.

He finished with 19 points, going 6-of-8 from the field, and 4-of-5 from 3-point range in the Lakers’ 105-99 loss to Houston. But the final score did not matter. The story of the night was Andre Ingram and after the game, he talked about how grateful he was to have this opportunity.

“Seeing the fans, it was an electricity there. Something happened. There was an energy with the crowd.” Ingram said with a broad grin to ESPN. “It was amazing. The crowd, the lights, it was just once in a lifetime. It was awesome.”

At the age of 32, stepping on an NBA court for the first time, Ingram showed he belonged with the big boys. However, there were many years that he almost gave up on his dream. But receiving inspiration from others helped keep him going to achieve what seemed to be the impossible and make it to the NBA.

“You know they say I’m inspiring others, but I’ve received that inspiration to keep going. To have people encourage me to keep on keeping on, that helped,” he said.

Ingram is also a man of faith and in 2016, he talked about how important prayer is in his life.

“I pray more than I stretch, more than I shoot jump shots and all those things,” he said back in 2016. “My prayer time is a lot higher than how many shots I get up and what have you. That’s No. 1 for me in all that I do is my faith. I’m praying before games, I’m even praying during games to myself, and just kind of making sure I’m in line with God, because that’s what carries me through everything.”

Ingram will get another chance to prove his NBA worth Monday night when the Lakers finish our their 2017-18 season against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center.

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