Christian Ings: Leader of the Saints

Photo courtesy of Johnnie Photography

By David Cordova

For many years, the Philadelphia Catholic League has turned out plenty of talent. Some of them have landed at Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School, which is commonly known as Neumann-Goretti, and is located at South 10th Street in South Philadelphia.

The Saints have been known for producing top-tier talent such as Rick Jackson (Syracuse), Antonio “Scoop” Jardine (Syracuse), Tony Chennault (Wake Forest/Villanova), Ja’Quan Newton (Miami), LaMarr Kimble (St. Joseph’s) and most recently, Quade Green, who just finished his freshman season at Kentucky.

Now there’s another special talent coming out of the prestigious program. The name is Christian Ings, and he is an explosive guard that has drawn plenty of attention these last couple of years.

The 6-foot-2 point guard, who is a rising senior for the Saints, is an underrated guard who will do wonders for whatever Division I program he lands at next season. He plays above the rim, but also knows how to be a facilitator when it comes to passing the ball to his teammates.

Ings is the Cool Kid on the Block. (Photo courtesy of Johnnie Photography.

When asked what motivates him to be successful on the court, he replied, “My family, and I started playing when I was 12. People said I couldn’t be good, they said I couldn’t go Division I, they said I was too small, they said I was too skinny, so that just pushed me to get up every morning and just grind.”

On being from a place like Philadelphia, which is also known as the City of Brotherly Love, he replied, “It’s tough, every playground has some tough competition in this city, you know, I moved out of the city when I was 12, to begin my career. I still can make my name in the city with all the young bulls coming up.”

Going into his freshman year at Neumann-Goretti, Ings was one of the top young talents in the area, but he had to wait his turn behind Green.

“It’s a great experience,” said Ings about playing at the school, “I went to Neumann to be pushed. Quade Green was a sophomore going into his junior year, when I came in. It was a lot of hard work, he pushed me every day in practice, we pushed each other and we got better. Playing for Neumann, it’s like you’ve always got a target on your back, and you’ve got to live up to that name.”

Ings shoots a free throw for NEBC Philly. (Photo courtesy of Memories Over Everything)

As a junior, Ings scored 11.2 points per game and led the Saints to their fifth straight Class 3A PIAA state championship in a row this past season, while also making the second-team All-State 3A team.

“My junior year, it was a little tough year, it kind of ended a little earlier than we expected to in the PCL [playoffs], but it was a great learning experience,” he said about the season. “It taught me how to lead the team, how to be the one to count on when the game gets tough, you know, it’s definitely preparing me for [my] senior year, next year.”

This spring & summer, Ings has been playing for K-Low Elite, the team named for Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, on the Adidas Gauntlet Gold circuit. At the Adidas Summer Championships in Los Angeles this past week, he averaged 9.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and two assists per game.

When asked about his time with K-Low Elite this year, he replied, “It’s been good playing with K-Low Elite on the circuit. We won a lot of close games, we lost a couple of close games, we’re playing great. We’re playing harder than we should. People didn’t think we’d be that great, because of how Philly basketball is known to go outside the city and lose their mind, but we came back and played tough basketball and we’re winning a lot of games.”

In regards to his recruitment, he has received offers from St. Peter’s, Hartford, Robert Morris, Siena, Rider and Stony Brook and should receive more offers once the NCAA Live Period commences later this week.

If you’re a defender in the lane and you see Ings coming through, watch your head. (Photo courtesy of Memories Over Everything.)

When asked if he felt as if he has been overlooked, he replied, “Yeah, for a long time, I’v been overlooked, but it’s because I didn’t have the right engine behind me. Playing with K-Low, I have Coach Kyle Sandy, he’s pushing me in all of the practices and workouts. He’s telling the [college] coaches about me, this month is a big one for me.”

Now that he is a rising senior, he plans on leaving Neumann-Goretti with a bang in his last season. “Senior year, I’m trying to win three championships. I’m trying to win the city chip, the PCL and the state chip. I’m trying to finish out my career as a four-time state champ and then just going on forward, I’m trying to go to the top college I can make it to.”

With hard work, determination, and that chip on his shoulder to prove the naysayers wrong, Ings will surely make it to the next level, college basketball. But before he can do that, there is one thing he plans on doing: Practice.

“Right now, a lot of workouts,” he said, “Trying to get ready for the [Final] Live Period, and hopefully shock a lot of coaches.”

Highlights of Christian Ings:

Courtesy of Raw Sports Films.

Courtesy of Raw Sports Films.

Courtesy of BLF Sports.

Courtesy of BLF Sports.

Courtesy of BLF Sports.

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