By Gene Phelps
Special to the Gazette
High school summer league basketball play comes to an end this week in Northeast Mississippi with the playing of the Summer Slam tournament in Ingomar and Baldwyn.
However, for Myrtle senior point guard Elijah Ingram, it’s a just the beginning … one he feels blessed to have.
Ingram was watching television April 29 when an intruder entered the front door of his home.
“As soon as he came in I jumped up,” Ingram said. “I don’t think he expecting anybody to be there.”
The intruder quickly pulled out a gun and shot Ingram, hitting him in his upper left arm. While he was on the floor, stunned and bleeding, the shooter stole the TV.
“If he would have asked for it, I would’ve given it to him,” Ingram said, then smiled. “I called 911 first, then called my mom.
“All I can say is, ‘Thank you, Lord.’’’
Luckily, the bullet went through his arm without hitting the bone. The wound has healed and he’s hoping his doctor clears him for a return this week to the basketball court. The Hawks are playing their tournament games at Ingomar.
“I was really looking forward to playing this summer,” Ingram said. “I think this is going to make me work harder, because I missed getting to play.”
Myrtle coach Rob Browning said Ingram had nothing to prove to him.
“You’re either born to be a point guard or you’re not. You have to embrace that role and Elijah Ingram’s done that,” he said.
Ingram averaged 12.4 points per game last season as a starter.
“I plan to be a better player this year,” Ingram said. “I think our team has a chance to get to state.”
Myrtle defeated Ingomar 47-44 in double overtime Monday in the first round of pool play. A driving layup by A.I. Nugent with 1:29 remaining was the clinching shot.
Ingomar, a state finalist last season, missed three shots in the final minute, including a 3-point attempt at the buzzer by guard Nathan Weeden.
“We’re going to keep trying to compete and play the best we can,” said Weeden, who helped lead the Falcons to the finals.
Added Ingomar coach Jonathan Ashley, “We’re going to find out if we can compete one way or the other this week.”
The Falcons are playing without injured forwards Zach Shugars and Clayton Stanford.
The tournament’s single-elimination quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are scheduled for Thursday at Ingomar. The championship team will receiver a set of uniforms from BSN Sports.
(Times subject to change)
11 a.m. – Play-in game
Noon – Quarterfinal game
1 p.m. – Quarterfinal game
2 p.m. – Quarterfinal game
3 p.m. – Quarterfinal game
4 p.m. – Semifinal game
5 p.m. – Semifinal game
6 p.m. – Championship game