RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Andre Ingram was one of the feel-good stories of the 2017-2018 season. At 32 years old and after 10 years in the NBA’s developmental league, the Highland Springs graduate made his NBA debut with the Los Angeles Lakers, scoring 19 points.
So as a lifetime basketball player and longtime pro, Ingram watched with pride as players protested by refusing to take the floor in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Ingram knows how much athletes love to play the game and their passion for it, and calls this latest statement a powerful one.
“When you take away that and some of these players feel so strongly that they couldn’t even step out on the court and do the thing they love to do, powerful comes to mind,” the former Springer said. “It just lets you know how serious they were in all of this from the start.”
For many of the players, the riches and luxuries that come along with professional basketball were not with them since upbringing. They empathize with the communities impacted by social injustices and Ingram says the hurt and pain is visible on the faces of the athletes.
“It’s cool to play this game of basketball, it’s cool to make millions of dollars, it’s great to provide for your family, it’s great to live this awesome life,” Ingram said of NBA full timers. “But at the end of the day, the main thing still needs to be your love and care for people.”
Something else that has impressed the guard, the ripple effect the NBA’s movement had on the rest of sports. 10 Major League Baseball games have also been postponed, the NHL is pausing until Saturday, the WNBA has not held any contests for the past two days, and the MLS and tennis have taken action as well. Sports that cover many different demographics are all coming together for one cause.
“There are a significant amount of people who genuinely care about what’s going on, and genuinely care about people just in general,” noted Ingram. “We have more on those same sides, and I’m glad to see it in sports across all the demographics.”
Wednesday will go down as an historic day, and while some may question what the movement accomplishes, Ingram believes the answer is a great deal.
“All the meetings and all they’re doing now and all that comes out of this, it started [Wednesday], and that’s how we’ll remember that. It’ll be a time of tremendous courage, a time of tremendous change.”
Ingram appeared in 28 games for the G-League’s South Bay Lakers this past season, starting seven of them, before tearing his pectoral. He’s confident he’ll be ready for the upcoming campaign, whenever that may be. He appeared in six games over the course of two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers.
ESPN is reporting the NBA will resume its playoffs on Saturday.
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