Following up on a breakout 2020-21 season that saw the Canadian product put up a near double-double on top of 2.6 blocks a game, fourth-year forward Stephane Ingo is ready to cement his place as one of the University of Maine basketball greats this year. From Mississauga, Ontario, the six-foot-nine-inch power forward was able to dominate the paint down low, while commanding his defenders to stick to him as he showcased his range at a multitude of points the past few seasons.
Coming out of Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine, Ingo was considered a top prospect, with the stats to back it up. Averaging a double-double with three blocks a contest, paired with 50% shooting from the field, defenders struggled to halt such an imposing force.
Ingo was redshirted as a first-year, training with the team and honing his skills before being added to the rotation in his second year with the program. In his first full season with the team, Ingo started in 13 of the team’s 30 games, putting up 4.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and just over a block a game while shooting 40% from the field.
Ingo’s high-flying putback dunks and blocks made him a star attraction as he fought his way into the starting lineup, pacing the big men around him in blocks, rebounds and steals. Ingo ended the season with a statline of 3 points, 14 rebounds, an assist, 3 steals and a block in the team’s final game against the University of Vermont, showcasing his athleticism.
The rising star was able to grab at least 10 blocks in each of the team’s final five matchups to conclude the year, swatting nine shots over that same timeframe. The forward finished the year ranked third in the conference in blocks with a staggering 40.
After proving himself the prior year, Ingo started all nine of the Black Bears’ games in a COVID-19-shortened season, while subsequently being named team captain. Though he shot nearly twice as much, shooting numbers across every category improved when compared to the previous season, further proving his versatility. One of the more notable leaps seemed to be the development of a consistent three ball, where he was able to jump .063% from the 2019-20 campaign and shoot 30% from deep in 20-21.
On the defensive side of the ball, Ingo was able to rip seven steals to go along with 23 blocks on the year. Academically, Ingo was an America East All-Academic selection, complementing a 3.663 GPA last year, while double majoring in Management and Finance.
Q&A with Stephane Ingo:
Q: What does being named the captain mean to you?
A: It’s an honor to be chosen to lead a group of guys and personally, it helps me raise my level of play knowing that they look to me for leadership especially in those tough moments. It means a lot knowing that your peers have that kind of respect for you and it’s my job to be the best teammate every day. As a senior, I’m the most experienced and my goal every day is to push everyone and transfer everything I’ve learned over the years.
Q: What are you most looking to improve on compared to last season?
A: I’m looking to improve on my consistency and effort. I had up and down games and I’m really looking forward to bringing that same energy to every game and providing a spark in areas when I’m not scoring. I’m also looking to improve my overall percentages in my offensive categories.
Q: What’s been your favorite memory so far with this team?
A: My favorite memory was our trip to Hawaii at the end of 2019. That trip brought us a lot closer as a team and it didn’t hurt to be out of the cold and on the beach.
Q: What game are you most looking forward to this season?
A: I’m most looking forward to our season-opener against Virginia Tech. It’s been two years since we’ve played in front of fans and we’re all eager to get out there and compete against a top-tier opponent.
Q: What would you say is your biggest strength on the court?
A: My biggest strength is my defensive versatility. I feel like I can switch onto every position and impact the game without scoring with blocks, steals, and communicating on defense.
Q: What’s one message you have for Black Bears fans heading into this season?
A: We’re going to play hard and we’ll be a lot of fun to watch so make sure you come out and support us this season!
Fun Facts about Steph:
Q: Favorite food?
Q: Favorite hobby?
A: Watching TV or going on walks.
Q: Favorite NBA team?
A: The Toronto Raptors.
Q: Donda or Certified Lover Boy?
A: CLB for sure.
Q: Sport you’d play if not basketball?