The name Darius Garland may be a little under the radar if you’re not a die-hard NBA fan.
But the Cleveland Cavaliers guard has become not only an important starter but also a pivotal team player in his fifth NBA season. He’s quickly become a hometown favorite for Cavs fans.
Grabbed as the No. 5 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, Garland is quickly making his mark, averaging just under 20 points per game, with a healthy career average of 18.6 points and seven assists per game since arriving in Cleveland.
Garland is also known for his exceptional ball handling and excellent court vision, and as a result of his play so far, he earned his first NBA All-Star selection in 2022.
In addition to joining the likes of the All-Stars, it was announced this week that Garland has joined a major sportswear player as a member of its ambassador roster.
New Balance welcomed Garland as the newest member of its basketball family, saying this week that its signing represents its ongoing effort to “create a unique roster of athletes that are both leaders on the court and trendsetters off the court.”
“It is a dream to become a part of the New Balance brand,” says Garland this week. He added that “New Balance is a family brand,” and joining the Massachusets-based outfitter felt like a family operation from his first conversation with them. “The brand’s commitment to individuality and their respect for athletes to be themselves is something I deeply respect.”
In signing with New Balance, Garland joins other top NBA athletes such as Jamal Murray, Kawhi Leonard, Tyrese Maxey, Zach Lavine, and Dejounte Murray; plus Stanford Cardinal power forward Cameron Brink.
New Balance was equally elated to have the Cavs’ rising star join the fold.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Darius on board,” said Naveen Lokesh, Head of Basketball Sports Marketing for New Balance. “Darius embodies the independent spirit of New Balance. His commitment to mastering the game while giving back to his community is incredibly impressive.”
In addition to being one of Cleveland’s more consistent and productive back-court players, the 23-year-old guard from Brentwood, Tennessee, has also been central in the Cavs’ early-season clutch moments.
During Tuesday’s meeting with the Atlanta Hawks, Garland came up big with 19 points, two rebounds, eight assists, and two steals in the Cavs’ 128-105 win. Garland finished two assists away from a double-double while allowing fellow guard Donovan Mitchell to shine and finish with 40 points.
Although the Cavs lost Thursday night, 103-95, in a tight contest with the Portland Trailblazers, Cleveland heads to Michigan to face the 2-17 Detroit Pistons with an over-.500 record, at 10-9.
All in the family
New Balance points to Garland’s deep connection to the game that extends beyond his own four previous seasons in the NBA and his time as a standout in the SEC with Vanderbilt.
Garland’s father, Winston Garland, played for eight seasons in the NBA, initially with the Golden State Warriors before playing for the Los Angeles Clippers and other Western Conference teams.
New Balance notes that with both Garlands, “Family is an important connection” and that the brand aims to foster “authentic relationships with its athletes” and their families as a part of its footprint within the sport.