“He helped me a lot. He gave me different options and he gave me different observations. But at the end of the day, he was happy with my decision,” Ingram said. “He thought it was the best fit for me. He was happy I made my own decision.”Immediate bondStackhouse sounds humbled when told Ingram credits him for “being there for support and being there to talk to about different things.” Stackhouse attributes Ingram’s journey to parents who stressed accountability (Donald and Joann), a 25-year-old brother who starred at University of Texas-Arlington (Bo) and a high school coach who preached team play (Perry Tyndall).“I thought the kid was talented enough and he would be in a similar situation,” Stackhouse said of Ingram. “The fact that I’m able to make him and his family feel that I’ve been instrumental in that, that’s enough for me.”The partnership started when Stackhouse met the fourth-grade Ingram at his father’s local gym, the Teachers Memorial Recreation Center.Ingram said he “didn’t have many good moments” playing pick-up basketball against Stackhouse during five-on-five scrimmages he said were “very competitive.” In another backyard pick-up game, Stackhouse grabbed one of Ingram’s arms while defending him. Incredulous that Ingram did not react, Stackhouse then instructed Ingram to knock his hands away.Still, Stackhouse became intrigued enough with Ingram’s skills and mindset to invite him to join his AAU team. Though Ingram initially resisted because he wanted to stay closer to his family, he soon relished the educational experience and family atmosphere.“It really got me prepared for college. It got me prepared for the level I am at right now,” Ingram said. “We definitely worked hard every single day.”There, Ingram traveled around the United States and in Europe playing with and against top talent. The team ran pro sets. The daily routine included waking early to go to the gym and plenty of film study.“That platform gave him the confidence that he can play against anybody,” Stackhouse said. “The teaching that he got on a day-to-day basis and what he was getting at the high school level was a perfect storm for him.”It also helped that Ingram thought so highly of Stackhouse, whose NBA career included stops in Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, Dallas, Milwaukee, Miami, Atlanta and Brooklyn. Stackhouse resisted talking much to Ingram about that journey because “a lot of times you have to figure things out on your own.”Stackhouse was right. Ingram, who has a Stackhouse Mavericks jersey and a handful of trading cards, says he has watched film from Stackhouse’s days in the NBA, at North Carolina and in high school.“He was fearless. Every time he stepped on the court, he played hard and he played extremely mad. It was inspirational,” said Ingram, who likens Stackhouse’s mannerisms to Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook. “I’m just going into every game playing as hard as he would.”Ingram was a senior in high school when the student first beat the teacher at his craft.“I could feel a different vibe with how he attacked me,” Stackhouse said of that day. “I felt he really started to go (all) out at me.”A helping handOnce Ingram enrolled at Duke, Stackhouse told him he would root for him except when the Blue Devils faced the Tar Heels. Of course, when Ingram encountered hiccups early in his freshman season, Stackhouse was there to pick him up.After failing to crack double figures in marquee nonconference games against Kentucky, VCU and Georgetown, Ingram was pulled from the starting lineup. Stackhouse sent Ingram a screenshot highlighting various social media posts praising him entering his freshman season and critiques written during his early slump. Stackhouse implored Ingram to stand up and support his teammates while on the bench. Before conference play, Ingram reclaimed his starting spot and finished sixth in the ACC in scoring (16.3).“He was someone I could talk to about doing the right things,” Ingram said. “His advice definitely worked.”Stackhouse has offered advice in other areas. He downplayed the constant focus on how much weight and strength Ingram should add to his 6-foot-9, 190-pound frame, and the Lakers have echoed that sentiment. So has Warriors forward Kevin Durant, another of Ingram’s idols who heard some of the same concerns when he was a rookie.“Players can do all the strength they need from probably a couple of (resistance) bands. But he’s going to naturally put that on,” Stackhouse said. “From the eating standpoint, (teams) were (recommending) a lot of things with his nutrition. But at the end of the day, let nature take its course. Once he does that, watch out.”Stackhouse predicts Ingram will have his breakout moment by Christmas Day. In the meantime, he has instructed Ingram to stay patient with a role that has predominantly entailed coming off the bench and contributing in ways that do not always show up in the box score.“He’s a little stoic and can come off almost like he’s lazy sometimes,” Stackhouse said of the sleepy-eyed Ingram. “People have to ward against thinking that. The game looks so natural and easy to him that they feel like he’s not working hard. He has shown he’s an extremely hard worker. He’s figured out how to pick his spots and understands what (Lakers coach Luke Walton) wants from him as opposed to coming in with a mindset of this is what he wants for himself.”As he has for nearly a decade, Ingram appreciates Stackhouse’s feedback.“He paved the way for different players that have the same dreams as him,” said Ingram, whose hometown also produced NBA players Cedric Maxwell and Reggie Bullock. “Anybody can make it out of the city. I just tried to go in everyday and tried to work extremely hard to get to where I am today.” TORONTO >> Brandon Ingram was in fourth grade when he met Jerry Stackhouse.A two-time All-Star who spent 18 seasons in the NBA, Stackhouse returned to Kinston, N.C., nearly every offseason to work with the youth in his hometown. Ingram developed an early bond with Stackhouse and joined his Atlanta-based AAU-program several years later. He learned a variety of skills through pick-up games and film study, watching hours of footage of his mentor.So, when it came time for Ingram to make his college decision, the answer seemed obvious to some. Ingram, who led Kinston High to four state titles, surely would attend North Carolina as Stackhouse did after also starring for the Vikings.Instead, Ingram chose Duke, the Tar Heels’ long-time Tobacco Road rival. Stackhouse’s reaction explains why Ingram considers him part of “my family.” Stackhouse knew of Brandon’s childhood fondness for the Blue Devils and said he abstained from trying to change Ingram’s mind. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I’m a firm believer in never trying to force anything,” Stackhouse said. “If you ask me what I think is a good situation and what’s not a good situation, I’ll (answer) that. But I’m not going to knock Duke. That’s one of the best programs in the country, and has one of the best coaches in the country.”Ingram, now a 19-year-old rookie, and the Lakers visit Toronto on Friday #tonight for print# at Air Canada Centre. Stackhouse, 42, is the coach of the Raptors’ Development League affiliate, so he might once again have conflicting rooting interests.And Stackhouse plans to provide more supportive feedback, the same way he did when Ingram chose Durham over Chapel Hill. Stackhouse is more focused on Ingram’s growth as a defender, ball handler and post player than his statistical contributions.“He’s not a kid that will start forcing it,” Stackhouse said of Ingram, who has averaged 7.7 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 35.6 percent in 25.5 minutes per game. “He still makes the right plays. That’s what I’m most proud about when I see him play.”Stackhouse has jokingly told Ingram the Tar Heels could have used his help against a last-second loss to Villanova in April’s NCAA championship game. Before Ingram left his mark with the Blue Devils as the ACC Freshman of the Year, though, Stackhouse’s feedback illustrated how he has advised Ingram while empowering him.