HAMLET — To the world, Melvin Ingram may be known as a professional outside linebacker for the San Diego Chargers. In Richmond County, he’s known for his generosity.
“It’s always important to come back to where it all started,” Ingram said. “As long as you never forget where it all began, you’ll never lose that edge.”
Ingram, an alumnus of the Richmond County School System, recently returned to Hamlet Middle School to see his No. 3 jersey get retired.
While at Hamlet, Ingram played quarterback for the Red Rams’ football team and graduated in 2004 before attending Richmond Senior High School.
As part of its end of the year celebrations, Hamlet Middle and principal, Jim Butler, recently invited Ingram back to recognize him not only for his athletic ability. but also his dedication to the district.
“I wasn’t the principal when Melvin was here, but I’m certainly honored to have the chance to recognize him today,” said Butler, who is taking the helm as principal of Richmond Senior High School.
After talking with Hamlet’s football players and signing a few autographs, Ingram was ushered into the school’s gymnasium before its talent show began — and was asked to say a few words before his jersey was retired.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “It’s just such an honor to know they think that highly of me. It’s really such a blessing.”
And after his recognition, Ingram stayed and cheered on the students as they performed in the talent show.
“This is where I come from,” Ingram explained. “It’s where I grew up in, and it’s really all I know. So, I think it’s important to come back and try to be a positive inﬂuence on not just the kids but the whole community.”
Ashley-Michelle Thublin is the public information officer for Richmond County Schools.