Rambling to the Final Four: Of Drake, Donte Ingram, and Instagram

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 15: Donte Ingram #0 of the Loyola (Il) Ramblers shoots the game winning shot over Sam Waardenburg #21 of the Miami (Fl) Hurricanes during the first round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at the American Airlines Center on March 15, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. Loyola defeats Miami 64-62. (Photo by Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Fame isn’t something that they thought about when the first stepped on the floor for workouts back in the fall.

Loyola was just hoping to make a name for themselves in the 2017-2018 college basketball season. Attaining stardom wasn’t exactly on the checklist, even if they might have desired it.

Well four wins in two weeks has flipped that schedule completely.

Their run as an 11th seed to the Final Four has made the once obscure Ramblers household names across the country – and maybe even the world as Sister Jean famously said a week ago.

But no one has a better example of this than guard Donte Ingram – which he told soon after the team’s rally at Gentile Arena for their first Final Four berth since 1963 – and it’s so 2018.

It involves Instagram and a famous musician, who has gotten caught up in the Ramblers’ story as well.

“I was scrolling down Instagram and Drake followed me on Instagram,” said Ingram, whose handle is “kingram.0”. “I was tripping, I was tripping,  me and my teammate Ben (Richardson)

It’s an impressive follow, considering that Drake (@champagnepapi), follows just 1,631 people compared to the over 400 million that follow him. But that wasn’t the only honor that Ingram got from the Grammy winner this past weekend as the Ramblers beat Nevada and Kansas State in the South Region finals.

“We ended up having a conversation through Instagram,” said Ingram of his interactions with Drake. “So that was one of the moments like “Whoa, we’re doing big things.”

While he was a bit in shock, his teammates were in a bit of awe that Drake gave Ingram the exclusive follow.

“We all love Drake. He’s may favorite artist by far, it’s not even close” said guard Clayton Custer. “I go to his concerts whenever he’s in town. “That was definitely the coolest thing.”

Marques Townes was just as impressed and was hoping that Drake, a noted Kentucky fan, would jump on the Ramblers’ bandwagon this weekend.

“That was, like, nuts,” said the guard of Ingram’s famous follower. “We were all like ‘Oh My God.’ We’re like ‘Tell him to come to San Antonio.'”

Whether that happens or not is to be seen, but many others will be following Loyola from San Antonio or afar when they take the floor against Michigan on Saturday. Safe to say that Ingram and his teammates appreciate it.

“We’re very fortunate to be in this position and obviously all the attention that comes with it,” said Ingram.

Especially when it comes from one of the world’s greatest performers.