The 32-year-old Lakers guard who made his NBA debut after 10 years in the G League lit it up, earned 'MVP' chants, and became the feel-good story of the season

  • Andre Ingram, a 32-year-old veteran guard, made his NBA debut with the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night after spending 10 years in the G League.
  • Ingram lit it up in his first NBA game, scoring 19 points while shooting 6-for-8 and earning “MVP” chants from the crowd.
  • Support and praise for Ingram poured in from around the sports world, making it one of the feel-good stories in the NBA.

The NBA world was inspired this week when Andre Ingram earned a call-up to the Los Angeles Lakers for their two remaining regular-season games.

Ingram, 32, has played in the G League for 10 years since graduating from American University in 2007, passing up options to play overseas for more money in hopes of making the NBA.

The Lakers made that a reality this week by calling up Ingram, surprising him during his exit interview with his G League team, the South Bay Lakers.

On Tuesday night, Ingram, the G League’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers, made his debut, and he did not disappoint. Ingram finished a 105-99 loss to the Houston Rockets with 19 points on 6-for-8 shooting, including 4-for-5 from downtown.

He brought his family with him to the game to experience the moment.

Ingram sank his very first 3-point attempt with his lethal (but unorthodox) shooting form:

And then his second attempt:

He even showed a little off-the-dribble pizzazz, evading a closeout and then hitting a pull-up jumper while getting fouled.

While shooting free throws, Ingram even earned “MVP” chants from the crowd.

He earned the game ball from Lakers head coach Luke Walton.

After the game, Ingram expressed that the moment was indeed his chance to live out his dreams. He told the TNT “Inside the NBA” cast that he couldn’t eat or sleep before the game but was OK with it because he just wanted to live in the moment.

“I couldn’t do anything,” Ingram said. “I wasn’t hungry. I couldn’t really sleep. I couldn’t really get a hold on things. But I didn’t want to try to. I just wanted to feel it.

“Once I talked to Magic and everything, I was, I don’t know, just emotions were flowing, and I didn’t want to stop it,” he said, referring to Lakers president Magic Johnson.

Walton, who at one point played with Ingram in the G League, said the Lakers weren’t just doing Ingram a favour; they wanted to show he could play.

Walton also praised Ingram’s fortitude for sticking in the G League for so long while waiting for his opportunity.

“You don’t make a lot of money when you’re in the minor league system,” Walton said. “You’re playing a crazy schedule, you’re in small towns, and you’re just constantly waiting for other people to think you’re good enough. That can get really mentally tough on people. And I think it shows how mentally strong he is and how much he believes in himself and how much he loves the game to stick with it for this long.”

Ingram also earned respect from around the world, receiving praise from NBA, MLB, and NFL players, among many others.

Ingram acknowledged after the game to TNT that he had moments when he considered not returning to the G League but felt close enough to the NBA that he couldn’t give up. With one more game left to play, Ingram will get to continue what has been an unexpected whirlwind ride.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.