Darius Kinnard Garland (born January 26, 2000) is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball at Vanderbilt.
Born in Gary, Indiana as the son of former basketball player Winston Garland, Garland attended Brentwood Academy in high school. He joined the varsity basketball team in eighth grade and left as a four-time state champion and three-time Tennessee Mr. Basketball winner. He was a five-star recruit, ranked among the best point guards in the 2018 class, and a McDonald's All-American.
Garland committed to Vanderbilt as the best recruit in program history. After five games, his college career was cut short by a meniscus injury, which prompted him to leave the team to prepare for the NBA draft.
Garland was born in Gary, Indiana to Felicia Garland and basketball player Winston Garland. He grew up playing baseball and started basketball at age five but soon narrowed down his focus to only the latter sport. Garland continued with basketball in elementary school and scored his first basket in second grade. In third grade, he attended basketball camps in Valparaiso, Indiana led by Bryce Drew, who would become his college coach at Vanderbilt. Garland played on a travel team against older opponents and joined an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) squad based in Nashville, Tennessee when he was in fourth grade, because none of the local teams met his standards. After he completed sixth grade, his family moved to Tennessee so that he could attend Brentwood Academy in Brentwood, Tennessee with his AAU teammates Gavin Schoenwald and Camron Johnson. Garland's father described, "We had always talked about relocating. My mother had lived in Tennessee and she liked it. I just talked to the family and everybody was on board. It was a big leap of faith."
High school career
Garland joined the starting lineup for the Brentwood Academy varsity basketball team while in eighth grade. In his freshman season, he averaged 13 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game, leading his team to a Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) Division II-AA state championship. Garland was one of three finalists for Tennessee Mr. Basketball among Division II-AA players. On December 23, 2015, as a sophomore, he claimed most valuable player (MVP) honors at the King of the Bluegrass Holiday Classic, after scoring 23 points versus Fairdale High School in the title game. Garland averaged 18.6 points and 4.3 assists per game and earned TSSAA Division II-AA Mr. Basketball accolades. High school sports website MaxPreps also included him in its Sophomore All-American Team honorable mention. From his sophomore to junior year, he grew 2½ inches, and by his fourth season with Brentwood Academy, he was ranked the best point guard in the 2018 class by recruiting service 247Sports.
In March 2017, Garland garnered Naismith Trophy High School All-America honorable mention recognition. He averaged 23.4 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game and led his team to a 30–2 record and state championship. Garland additionally earned MaxPreps Junior All-American first team distinction. On November 13, 2017, he committed to play college basketball for Vanderbilt, drawn there by its proximity to his home and head coach Bryce Drew. Entering his senior season, Garland appeared in the USA Today All-USA preseason team. He averaged 27.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals and secured a fourth straight state title for Brentwood Academy, tying the TSSAA record. Garland joined the MaxPreps High School All-American third team and became the only player other than Brandan Wright to win Tennessee Mr. Basketball on three occasions. In March 2018, he was named Gatorade Tennessee Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy. On March 28, Garland recorded a game-high 11 assists at the 2018 McDonald's All-American Game. He took part in the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit as well.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Brentwood, TN||Brentwood Academy (TN)||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||175 lb (79 kg)||Nov 13, 2017|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Rivals: 17 247Sports: 11 ESPN: 16|
Garland entered the 2018–19 season as the best recruit to ever sign with Vanderbilt. He was the only freshman in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to make the preseason all-conference team. On November 6, 2018, in his first college game against Winthrop, Garland led all scorers with 24 points. In a 79–70 win over Liberty on November 19, he scored a season-high 33 points, the second-most points by a freshman in school history. Garland injured his knee during a layup versus Kent State on November 23 and left the game early. Four days later, Vanderbilt head coach Bryce Drew revealed that Garland would be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a meniscus injury. On January 22, 2019, he announced that he would leave Vanderbilt to recover from his injury and prepare for the 2019 NBA draft. Garland later became one of 77 total invitees to take part in the NBA Draft Combine. However, he left the event early on May 15, with the notion that he got promised a selection by a team in the NBA draft lottery.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2019–present)
Garland was selected with the fifth pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2019 NBA draft. On July 3, 2019, the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that they had signed with Garland. On October 23, 2019, Garland made his debut in NBA, started in an 85–94 loss to the Orlando Magic with eight points, two rebounds, five assists and a steal.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Garland's father Winston Garland played college basketball for Missouri State before spending seven seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He later became a recreational leader at the Indiana State Prison and coach for West Side Leadership Academy in Gary. Both of Garland's grandfathers served in the United States Army. He has an older sister, Kacie, and older brothers, Desmond, Cody, Taj and Jye Hope and Miguel and Hilton.