Brandon Ingram had a solid rookie season. The number two pick in the ’16 Draft averaged 9.4 points, 4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 79 games. In a time when most guys are taking nights off for rest, health is a key for Ingram. He wants to have a long career and play as much as possible. The former Duke Blue Devil’s already had a battle with right knee tendonitis, so the 19-year-old has teamed up with DonJoy to prevent injury.
“[DonJoy] just has so much technology,” Ingram says. “Just meeting with them, they sent me their product and as soon as they sent it, I tried it out. Of course I was having a problem with my right knee. I tried the neoprene knee sleeve that they sent me and I couldn’t feel it all while I played.
“When I use their product, I don’t feel any tendonitis. Nothing. No pain on my body,” he continues. “That definitely helps any athlete that’s dealing with nagging pains. And of course, prevention. Using those early.”
Ingram’s soaking up as much information as possible, for both basketball and minimizing the risk of injury. He speaks with Andre Iguodala about defense and he grew up watching Metta World Peace before eventually becoming his teammate.
“A lot of hard work, a lot of dedication,” he says about MWP lasting so long. “Mentally and physically. It all comes with making sure you take care of your body. Making sure you’re taking care of all the things that helps you be the best basketball player that you can be.”
Ingram is on his way to being the best ballplayer he can be. Besides staying healthy and putting up respectable numbers in his rookie campaign, he was part of the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend and he established himself as a posterizer.
This summer he and DonJoy are working on preventing injury and making sure he’s fresh for next season. Even though his scoring average went up to 13.2 after ASW, Ingram says he felt the effects of the NBA grind.
“Around the end of the season is where you could run into a wall. Of course, they call it the rookie wall, with us playing 32 games the season before and coming into this, playing 82 games. It definitely takes a toll on your body.”
With a full summer to get his body ready, and the Lakers once again having the number two pick, Ingram’s in for a big sophomore season.