Ingram Experiences UNC Family

KINSTON, N.C. --- The state's top prospect in the junior class, Brandon Ingram, made his first official recruiting visit by spending a weekend at North Carolina.

"It was a great experience," said Ingram, who has made double-digit trips to Chapel Hill of the unofficial variety prior to this official trip on Jan 25-26. "The college is full of history and tradition, and it was like a big family out here. I wasn't pushed into a commitment, but I did talk to Coach Roy Williams and the rest of the staff, who mainly talked about life decisions."

Brandon's father, Donald Ingram, said he liked the environment and planning Carolina provided during the visit.

"They treated us like family and made us feel welcome," the elder Ingram said. "The school itself has a great tradition and a renowned history. The agenda was laid out and there was never a dull moment."

The itinerary included going to practice, taking a tour of campus, sitting with coaches and attending the Tar Heels' 80-61 victory over Clemson.

Three current players — Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks and Marcus Paige — were Ingram's hosts. Ingram said he liked their personalities and the information the players and other UNC teammates provided.

"Kennedy jokes a lot and I joke a lot, so I enjoyed that," Ingram said. "Marcus is known as the smart guy and he doesn't make a lot of mistakes. Brice talked to me about weight training and how he gained 20 pounds since he came to Carolina and he can jump out of the gym.

"My most memorable moments were sharing good laughs with the players, riding around with them and eating breakfast."

Ingram said he wants to further explorer the recruiting process before making a final decision.

"I want to get out more and see what other schools have to provide," he said. "I don't want to make a decision too early, but then again, I don't want to make my decision too late either."

Ingram claims nine scholarship offers, including five ACC schools, and recently added Louisville to the mix, with other programs like Kansas now showing more interest.

Ingram is a three-year starter at Kinston High School, who has led his Vikings to two state championships his first two seasons; the Vikings are favored to win a third this year. Ingram is doing his part, averaging around 23 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks a game for Kinston, which also produced former Tar Heels Jerry Stackhouse and Reggie Bullock.

His coach, Perry Tyndall, says the 6-foot, 7-inch, 180-pound Ingram is not only a versatile player, but a class act as well.

"Brandon is an all-around guy," said Tyndall, a 2002 UNC graduate. "He does a lot of things for us and wears a lot of different hats. He distributes the ball at times, shoots it well, is attacking the rim, he's rebounding well for us, blocking plenty of shots and causing problems defensively. In different games, we need him for different things and he's more than willing to do that." For now, Brandon Ingram said he'll just continue to stay humble and continue to work on his craft.

"I don't let this get to my head," he said. "I see a lot of fans on social media tweeting me, but I have to stay level-headed. There's work to do, and it doesn't stop here."

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