Reporter's Notebook

Undercover: July 2018

The story behind our cover story on 32-year-old NBA rookie Andre Ingram

Photo­graphy by
Jeff Watts

Andre Ingram with his daughters

As a consummate team player, we’d like to think that Andre Ingram would be proud of the work that went into this issue’s cover. In May, writer Mike Unger went to the Ingram residence in Richmond, where Andre grew up and still lives during basketball’s offseasons. There, after an interview in which he recounted his stirring NBA debut with the Los Angeles Lakers, he showed Mike a few of the trophies and keepsakes from his career that his mother had collected. One was a basketball with “68,280 miles traveled” on it. That’s how far she went to watch each and every one of his games at AU.

During a brainstorming session, that basketball kept bouncing back into the conversation. What if we made one of our own, and photographed Andre holding it? We recruited Dennis Fleming, a graphic designer in University Communications and Marketing with an artistic touch, to write some of Ingram’s accomplishments on a real basketball. Managing editor Adrienne Frank envisioned the pose; art director Maria Jackson and photographer Jeff Watts traveled to Richmond to photograph Ingram at a community center where he still works out. When the three entered the gym there, Ingram couldn’t walk a few feet without receiving congratulations from well-wishers. 

When we saw how the cover turned out, we exchanged a few high fives of our own.