Andre Ingram waited 10 years for his shot, and when it finally came, he didn't disappoint.
After a decade of traveling the country by bus and plane, staying in affordable hotels in small cities while having to tutor youngsters in math on the side just to keep his National Basketball Association dream alive, Ingram finally played in an National Basketball Association game at age 32.
The NBA's latest debutante, 32-year-old G League lifer Andre Ingram, shares more in common with the Association's elder statesmen than the teenagers who comprise the bulk of the 2017-18 rookie class.
Ingram, a native of Richmond, Va., who holds the all-time G-League record for most 3-pointers made, hit his first four shots against the Houston Rockets, going 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, scoring 19 points, and even hearing "MVP" chants at the free throw line. His fourth 3-pointer with 51 seconds left trimmed Houston's lead to 102-99, but the Lakers still fell 105-99.
"It was open arms from everyone: all the teammates, all the coaches", Ingram said, per Lakers.com.
"From the team warm-ups, the atmosphere was electric. It was unbelievable. The crowd, the lights - it was once in a lifetime".
"When he said he was being called up to the Lakers, I literally lost it, and started screaming", his wife Marilee said.
Ingram also earned respect from around the world, receiving praise from NBA, MLB, and National Football League players, among many others. 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. "But there were times, of course, it didn't seem it would happen".
"I told him I heard about his story, and that grind is unbelievable", the also 32-year-old Rockets All-Star point guard Chris Paul said. "I suggested him, 'Rather a lot respect.' I indicate, 10 years grinding throughout the G League, to lastly get a risk and to play like that, it's pretty explicit".