Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram has returned for his sophomore season in the NBA as a far better player than he was in his rookie year. Ingram is second on the Lakers in scoring at 15.7 points per game, and he’s often been the team’s go-to guy at the end of games.
Making those types of strides requires more than just natural talent. Lottery picks flame out or never live up to their potential all the time, so Ingram deserves credit for mining for the full breadth of his skills and become the best player he can be.
Also deserving credit is the coaching Ingram has received, some of which has come from Luke Walton and the Lakers’ staff, and some of it from elsewhere.
Ingram has been mentored by Raptors assistant coach Jerry Stackhouse since he was a kid, and after the Lakers’ loss to the Raptors, he shared how the former NBA guard had aided his progression as a player and person, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“Mentally. Just trying to be the best I can, trying to make the best decisions for myself on and off the basketball court. Defensively, he helps me a lot. He always gets on me if I get back-cut in a game, or using a stick-hand in a game. He’s always looking at the small details of everything I do to make be a better person.”
Stackhouse forcing Ingram to focus on little things like his off-ball defensive awareness are huge for a player of his caliber, because a lot of people would be in his ear to only focus on scoring.
The former NBA vet helping Ingram make good choices off the court can’t be overlooked, either. And it sounds like overall Ingram could do a lot worse in his choice of role models and teachers outside the Lakers organization than Stackhouse.
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