Darius Garland was born on January 26, 2000, in Gary, Indiana. The Cleveland Cavaliers star is the youngest of four children born to his parents, Felicia and Winston Garland. After Garland finished sixth grade, his family moved to Brentwood, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee.
Here’s what you need to know about Darius Garland’s family:
1. Darius Garland’s Father Is Winston Garland, a Former NBA Point Guard
Garland’s father, Winston Garland, is a former NBA point guard who was instrumental in his son’s upbringing and a big inspiration to the Cavs star. He was born and raised in Gary, Indiana, and played basketball for Roosevelt High School. He then attended Southeastern Community College for two years and then transferred to Southwest Missouri State.
Garland was drafted in the second round of the 1987 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. He played with five different teams over seven seasons, the Golden State Warriors from 1987 to 1990, the Los Angeles Clippers from 1990 to 1991, the Denver Nuggets the following season, then the Houston Rockets. His last season in the NBA was from 1994 to 1995 when he played with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
After his NBA career, he played for a season in Italy, his last year of professional basketball, the Times reported.
Winston Garland said his son “is so much better than I was,” he told Andscape. “He does so many more things than I did. He enjoys watching the game. He enjoys studying it. They’re a lot more visual now. There are a lot more things to look at and more players to emulate, easier access to do it.” Despite that, for the younger Garland, his father is still his basketball role model.
“As a basketball player, I learned everything from him,” Garland told the Akron Beacon Journal. “He was my first trainer, first coach, so everything that I do, I got it from him, and I got some of his skills and his abilities too.” It’s clear they have a very close bond, as he said, “My dad’s my best friend. I love him to death. He means the world to me. He’s been there the whole entire way — good times, bad times, basketball, non-basketball.”
As for Winston Garland, being considered his son’s basketball role model was “touching,” he told Andscape emotionally. “That’s sweet. That made my day.”
2. Winston Garland Was Instrumental In Teaching Darius Garland the Fundamentals of Basketball
When Garland was very young, all he wanted to do was play basketball and learn more, and luckily for him, he had a great teacher in Garland Sr. “When I was about 3 or 4, I had a Little Tikes basketball hoop,” he told Andscape. “I’d be at the door waiting for him [to come home from work] wearing a basketball uniform and a headband.”
When his dad got home, they’d begin playing. “He’d sit on the floor, throw lobs at the goal and I’d shoot fadeaways and fall like Kobe,” Garland described. “I always looked forward to seeing my dad. Those memories will always stick with me.” His father described the future Cavs point guard as a “sponge” who just soaked in everything his father had to say about the sport and the position.
The NBA star said he learned about the fundamentals of the game at a much earlier age than other kids, and to play at different speeds. “A lot of players play at one speed by going 100 mph all the time,” he said. “A change of pace keeps defenders off-balance. I still [change gears] to this day thanks to my dad.”
The father and son duo still joke about when Garland first beat his father. According to the Cavs star, it was in 6th or 7th grade. Winston Garland joked with the Akron Beacon Journal that his son was a lot older than that, though.
Despite Garland’s love of the sport, his father didn’t want to push basketball on him or have him focus on just one sport. “I was a little hesitant because I believe kids should do as much as they can without concentrating on one sport. But he was hell-bent on focusing on basketball,” Winston Garland told Andscape and said his son really dialed in. That made Garland’s parents really look at his options for the future and decide to move to Tennessee.
3. Darius Garland’s Mother Is Felicia Garland & the 2 Are Very Close
Felicia Garland has also been a big support to her son when he was growing up. She shared that he and his father are a lot alike and described them as “two clowns” to the Akron Beacon Journal. “They love to have fun, and I love that about both of them, always smiling, making people smile.”
It seems Felicia Garland also likes to have fun and cheer people up if Garland’s TikTok account is any indication. The Cavs star shared a video of himself doing a dance with his mom on the social media platform in December 2022 which picked up half a million views.
Garland told the NBA that his mother isn’t really into sports that much. “She’s just a beautiful young lady,” he shared. He did mention that she’s quite superstitious and shared in March 2022 that she didn’t go to watch his away game against the Indiana Pacers because “Road games, every time they come, we lose,” he told the Beacon Journal.
4. Felicia & Winston Garland Made the Difficult Decision to Move From Gary, Indiana, to Nashville When Darius Garland Was Young
Felicia and Winston Garland were both born and raised in Gary, Indiana, but they made the difficult decision to move their family to Nashville, Tennessee, after Garland’s sixth grade. “That was so hard just driving down the street, leaving my mom’s house because that was the last stop,” Felicia Garland told the Akron Beacon Journal.
The Garlands wanted their son to have the best possible chance at a future in basketball, which meant playing at a high school with more national exposure. It was a “leap of faith,” Felicia Garland said. But they also wanted to improve all of their children’s lives and Gary, Indiana, had high rates of unemployment, poverty, and high crime rates.
“It wasn’t the Gary that we grew up in,” Winston Garland told Andscape. “Once the mills closed, other things took place and the job scene was getting bad. The crime rate started to rise. I wanted to give my kids a fighting chance.”
It was also important for Garland to step out of his father’s shadow, as he was known in Gary as “Winston’s son.” His father told the Beacon Journal that he wanted his son to make his own way and make a name for himself, although it was a difficult transition for the family.
5. The Garland Family Came Out in Full Force to Support Darius Garland at the NBA Draft
The Garland family is very tight-knit and the Cavs star has two older brothers, Desmond and Kody, and an older sister named Kacie. After Garland was drafted by the Cavaliers, his parents told Andscape that they didn’t want to “hover” over him during his rookie season but that his older brother would likely be in Cleveland with him.
His entire family has been very supportive and he had over 60 people in attendance at the NBA draft, including his 85-year-old grandmother, he shared. “It’s crazy that they came out to share this moment with me,” he told the publication. “That meant a lot to me by them traveling this far. Even my grandmother is out here, and she is 85 years old.”
Winston Garland said there were family and friends from Gary and from Nashville who attended the draft and everyone was so welcoming to their family. “Everybody was there. Just seeing everyone’s faces, my grandmother’s face, meant a lot,” Garland shared.