Winston Garland is a Missouri State University hall-of-famer and a seven-year NBA veteran, but he may be the second best hoop star in his own home.
His son Darius, a senior at Nashville’s Brentwood Academy, is a five-star recruit and considered the top point guard in the 2018 class. Garland and the Eagles are in town this weekend for the 34th Bass Pro Tournament of Champions.
“He does so much more with the basketball than I could when I was 17,” said Garland.
Winston led the 1986-87 Bears to their first ever NCAA Tournament D-1 win, beating Clemson in the first round before falling to Danny Manning and the Kansas Jayhawks in the second round.
He considers that one of his life’s greatest achievements, but mentoring his son is right up there with it; passing on the lessons he learned from the late-great Charlie Spoonhour.
“I’ll never forget him (Spoonhour) telling me if it’s blood, sweat and tears in practice and the game is super easy,” said Winston. “That’s what I’ve always took with me and I try to instill in my son.”
Darius may have surpassed his father on the court a few years ago, but fans will notice several similarities in their game.
“Our basketball IQ,” said Winston. “I was pretty clever and he’s pretty savvy on the court.”
“He can shoot it pretty well,” said Darius. ” I can shoot it pretty well. He had more toughness than I do. I’m not going to lie. He’s always teaching me toughness.”
While Darius is impressed with his father’s #22 jersey hanging from the JQH Arena rafters, and despite Winston’s urging to be a Bear, the younger Garland is staying close to home for college, signing with SEC Vanderbilt.
And if all goes well…
“Of course my goal is to make it to the NBA, have a longtime career, hopefully an all-star and hall of fame,” said Darius. “But right now I’m trying to get better every day”
No butterflies for Darius in his JQH Arena debut. He put up a game high 27 points in Brentwood’s first round T of C win over nationally ranked Wasatch Academy (UT).