By David Boclair
Darius Garland insists that the knee injury that cut short his lone season at Vanderbilt is a thing of the past.
He also maintains that he is unsure about his future, which will be determined by the NBA Draft a little more than a week from now.
Speculation has swirled around the Brentwood Academy graduate in recent weeks. He is considered one of the best point guards available in this year’s draft and many believe that a team with an early selection already has informed him that he it would pick him. Much of that conjecture centers on the Los Angeles Lakers, which will pick fourth overall.
“I don’t have a team,” Garland said last week on ESPN’s The Jump. “It’s been my dream to play in the NBA. So I’m happy wherever I go.”
Whether it is the Lakers or another point-guard-needy team such as the Phoenix Suns or Chicago Bulls, Garland said he would be ready to get started as soon as the draft is complete.
The last game he played was in late November, when he sustained an injury to his left knee early in Vanderbilt’s loss to Kent State. A short time later he underwent season-ending surgery and then withdrew from school in January to focus on his rehabilitation and the draft preparation.
“It was really stressful early on, like the first couple months of the injury,” Garland said. “But now I’m back. I’m good. That’s in the past. I’m ready to get ready for the draft and see what team I go to.”
The 2019 NBA Draft is set for June 20.
Until then, Garland has no plans to just sit around and wait.
“I’m just back in the gym, working hard, in the lab every day — strength and conditioning in the morning, working out in the evening,” he said. “That’s an every day routine for me right now.
“That’s my mindset right now: Just to show everybody that I’m back at full potential and I’m ready to go.”