The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Bahamian native Torres Ingraham will go far and wide in order to make it to the Division 1 level.

Jenilee Borek and Michael Dumansky

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Football is almost considered a religion for many Americans. It’s a sport that is ingrained in our culture, and many American children soak up every ounce they can as they work towards their dream of making it to the division one level.  Most of us are willing to sacrifice for our dreams, but how far would you go to bring those same opportunities to others? Torres Ingraham, nicknamed “Bahamas,” has gone the distance from the place he calls home and has embarked on a mission that is bigger than just his own dreams of “making it.”

Ingraham was born in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, and spent the first fifteen years of his life there. The first sport that he learned to play and excelled at was basketball. He grew up rooting for Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat, and in 2014 at the age of 15 he was honored to represent his country by playing on the under 15 national team. It was at this point in his life that he moved to Alabama where his aunt was a professor at Troy University. “I wanted to make the jump to move to America to get involved with high school basketball in order to get a Division I scholarship,” Ingraham said. His original goal was to one day play in the NBA.

“Football is like a religion there,” Ingraham said about Alabama. “I decided I wanted to play football for the simple fact that I was very undersized, even for basketball, so I thought that football would be a way for me to gain some size to my frame in order for me to dominate on the basketball court even more than I was already even at 15 years old.” Even though he didn’t know the rules of the game and had only followed football some while living in the Bahamas, he laced up his cleats and never looked back.

His high school football experience led him to being offered a scholarship to play football at a Division III college in Michigan. After some time there, he realized that it was not the right place for him and he decided to transfer to Independence Community College in Kansas. Independence was the school that was documented in the first two seasons of the Netflix docuseries, “Last Chance U.” Despite the football program being featured in the Netflix series, Ingraham didn’t feel that he was getting the opportunities that he needed to push him to the next level, so he decided to go to Fort Scott Community College. During his semester at Fort Scott Ingraham’s name was brought up in an incident, and he was asked to leave the football program. He had nowhere to go, no family anywhere close by, and he slept in his car while trying to figure out his next step.

Thinking outside the box, Ingraham decided to put his story on Twitter to help him find a new school that he could call home. With the help of some retweets, he was contacted by a student who he now calls a teammate. One of Ingraham’s  teammates, Milton Aguila, followed him and said, “‘Yo we could definitely use you over here at Glendale. I’m gonna give you coach Rome’s number.’” Coach Rome told him that they wanted him on the football team, but he also informed Ingraham that he would have to find and pay for his own housing.

By trading in the Forex market Ingraham was financially able to make the move to California and he has paid for all of his school and living costs. “I always said to myself I’ll go broke trying to make my dreams become a reality,” Ingraham said.

As he started to adjust to a new city and a new school, life threw him another curveball. After spending two weeks at GCC, Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas causing devastating destruction. When he described how difficult it was to get in touch with his parents who still live there he said, “When it first hit, I didn’t hear from them for like two days.”

Once he heard that they were okay he was relieved. Ingraham’s pride for being Bahamian and the anguish his country was going through drove him to wear his Bahamas sash around his shoulder pads for the team’s first game instead of just carrying it with him on his bag. He spoke to the defense before the game and told them, “Find your why today because the Bahamas is my why.”

Ingraham hopes to one day play in Division I football but his Bahamian pride is what drives him. His overall goal is to make it to the Division I level. He knows that there aren’t many athletes playing in Division I who are Bahamian, and he wants young athletes from the Bahamas to have another opportunity that could help their futures.

He is following the path that could make his dreams come true, but he is also trying to impact future generations in the Bahamas. His journey to play big-time college football isn’t stopping in Glendale. He has bigger and better plans for himself.  His journey, his story. The only question remains is how far would you go to make your dreams come true?

 

To learn more, watch a special report at: http://bit.ly/InterviewTorres

 

Jenilee Borek can be reached at [email protected]

Michael Dumansky can be reached at [email protected]

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