Ahead of 2019 NBA Draft, a look back on Brentwood Academy alum Darius Garland


Ahead of 2019 NBA Draft, a look back on Brentwood Academy alum Darius Garland

Former Brentwood Academy basketball great Darius Garland is getting close to learning which NBA team he’ll start his career with.

The 2019 NBA Draft starts Thursday night, with Duke’s Zion Williamson the assumed first pick headed to New Orleans and Murray State’s Ja Morant most likely headed to Memphis.

After that, anything could happen, including Garland going third to the New York Knicks. He had a last-minute workout with the team earlier this week, per ESPN. Though, it’s said NY still likes Duke’s R.J. Barrett best.

The Pelicans pick fourth (for now), and teams like the Cavaliers, Suns, Bulls and Hawks fall behind. Any one of those teams could be Garland’s next home.

But before we know Garland’s future, let’s look back at some highlights from his time with BA.

The First Since Brandan Knight 

Garland’s crowning achievement while with Brentwood Academy came in 2018, when he completed a four-peat of state title runs with the team.

“I don’t know. I’m lost for words, actually,” Garland said on his fourth state title in March ’18. “I’m really excited.”

He was the second in school history to win a state championship in each year he took the court after former BA standout and NBA veteran Brandan Wright.

“That’s all he’s talked about,” Eagles head coach Hubie Smith said of Garland following in Knight’s footsteps.

“I don’t ever talk about it, but this week I talked about it, and I was hoping it wouldn’t add pressure. I think it made us more focused. They didn’t know. They didn’t know we could make history this week. So, now, we’re one of three teams that have won four in a row, and two are from our school, which I think is pretty special.”

Becoming a Mr. Basketball and a McDonald’s All-American 

Garland is one of the most decorated Williamson County athletes in recent memory.

He won the TSSAA’s Mr. Basketball award three straight years while with BA and was named a McDonald’s All-American.

“This list [of former McDonald’s All-Americans] is crazy,” Garland told the Home Page at the time of his jersey presentation. “I’m really blessed and honored to be in the game. To be one of the top players in the country is a blessing.”

He later played in the McDonald’s All-American game.

Choosing to be a Commodore

Garland’s recruitment process was one to watch, with the point guard receiving offers from most of the top teams in the country.

He wound up choosing the hometown Vanderbilt Commodores and former Vandy coach Bryce Drew.

“It was really crazy,” Garland said of signing. “There are not a lot of 17-, 18-year-olds that get this opportunity, so I’m really blessed. I just had to make the right decision for me and that was to stay home.”

He only played a few games for Vanderbilt before a season-ending injury, but he got to share in the special moment of joining good Eagle buddies Camron Johnson and Gavin Schoenwald in committing to Vandy.

Looking Ahead

More memories are to be made for Garland as he find out where he’ll start his professional career at the 2019 NBA Draft.

In the meantime, check out the Home Page’s draft preview on Garland, insight into where he thinks he fits into this class and his health and how he’s interacted with NBA superstar LeBron James in the process.

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