On Monday, UNC-W beat Hofstra thanks to a late-in-overtime three-pointer from this Chapel Hill High grad. We spoke to Denzel in our March issue to see what got him there. After being picked for the March Madness tournament, this underdog team will play Duke on Thursday, March 17.
When we last talked to Denzel Ingram, he was a rising basketball star at Chapel Hill High School. After two years playing for the 49ers at UNC-Charlotte (where he scored a career-high 30 points against William & Mary), Denzel needed a “change of scenery.” The now-redshirt junior at UNC-Wilmington says after sitting out a season, he learned his new teammates “loved to compete and played very hard” – two things Denzel likes to do himself.
Now in his first season of play, he’s hoping his time at UNC-W will help him fine-tune his game even more, crediting head coach Kevin Keatts with already improving his ball screens. Though he concedes college-level basketball is a lot more challenging than high school, Denzel is motivated to continue to compete in the game he loves. “I plan to play basketball until I can’t anymore,” he says, which bodes well for him, considering he’s had no major injuries so far.
Back when we interviewed him in 2011, Denzel said, “If you respect [your teammates], then they’ll show it right back.” It’s advice he’s followed over the years, especially when transferring brought him a new set of teammates. “The best way to show respect is to come in with a positive attitude,” he says. “Show them that you’re all in with them, and just be yourself.”
Someday Denzel hopes to be a lawyer, putting his major in criminal justice to good use. But right now, he’s focused on his first season on the court as a Seahawk and his final two years of college eligibility.