32-year-old Lakers rookie Andre Ingram sizzles in NBA debut, hits 4 3-pointers off bench

Where has this guy been?

Andre Ingram, a 32-year-old veteran of the G League, found out Monday he got the call up to the Los Angeles Lakers for his first NBA action after spending 384 games over 10 years in the developmental league.

On Tuesday, Ingram got the tap from coach Luke Walton late in the first quarter to take the Staples Center floor against the Houston Rockets.

Shortly after, he did this.

And then he did this.

Minutes later, he finished this jumper from the wing despite a foul and completed the and-one at the line.

Ingram finished the half with 11 points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field, 3-of-3 shooting from the line with two rebounds, a block and a turnover. And he got some M-V-P chants from the Lakers faithful along the way.

Ingram kept up the good work in the second half to finish the game with 19 points, including 4-of-5 3-pointers to go with three rebounds, three blocks, an assist, a steal and a turnover in a 104-99 Rockets win that stopped his great night just short of perfect.

Not bad for the oldest American rookie in the NBA in at least 50 years who couldn’t get a taste of the big-time despite shooting 46.1 percent from distance and being the all-time G League leader with 713 3-pointers.

“It was electric. It was energized,” Ingram told TNT of his experience leading up to the game and in warmups. “I don’t know — something came over me. It was just a feeling. It just kept getting better. And coach subbed me in. At that point, I felt pretty relaxed.”

32-year-old rookie Andre Ingram stepped onto an NBA court for the first time Tuesday to lead the Lakers in scoring in the first half. (AP)
32-year-old rookie Andre Ingram stepped onto an NBA court for the first time Tuesday to lead the Lakers in scoring in the first half. (AP)

Ingram joined what was then the D League league from American University in 2007, where he has spent most of his professional life. The New York Times reports that Ingram played a brief stint in Australia and took a year off to raise his daughter while his wife worked on her college degree, but he has otherwise been loyal to the NBA’s developmental league.

“My story’s endurance,” Ingram told TNT of his long run in the developmental league. “But there were times, of course, that it didn’t seem like it would happen. I kept coming back because I genuinely felt I was close each year. So I passed up a lot of overseas opportunities. I wanted to play in this league. I knew that from the start. I always felt like the D League or G League was the best route.”

Now if he can turn this run into an actual guaranteed NBA contract, his story will truly have a happy ending.

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