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Bradley Beal Gushes Over Darius Garland: ‘He Was Already Destined for This’

Bradley Beal and Darius Garland

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Darius Garland had arguably the best game of his NBA career on Friday night, and he did it all in front of his former mentor, Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal.

Before Garland was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, he was the top player on Beal’s 17U AAU squad, the Brad Beal Elite. It was there that Beal first caught glimpse of Garland’s potential. For Beal, it seems to be incredibly rewarding to have gotten a chance to watch Garland grow from a young kid brimming with talent to a young man looking to make his mark in the league.

“I love him. That’s my brother,” Beal said following Friday night’s game. “He’s a man now. It’s just crazy. It’s kind of surreal in a way.”

Garland had a much-needed strong performance in Friday night’s win, recording a career-high 15 points along with six assists and two rebounds. Perhaps most importantly, his shooting percentage of 54.2 percent from the field was much closer to what the team’s front office expected when they selected him fifth overall.

On the season, Garland is still averaging just 32.5 percent from the field, but Friday’s performance is a great indication of future success.

Despite Garland’s slow start to his rookie campaign, Beal has no concerns about his talented mentee. In fact, he wishes Garland was playing in Washington, D.C. alongside him.

“Being able to coach him and teach him a little bit about the game, he was already destined for this a long time ago, but I was happy I was part of his life for a couple of years,” Beal said. “Now to see him thrive … where he is, it’s an unbelievable feeling for me and for his family and our program. I take pride in that. I wish him luck. I know he’ll do well in the league. I wish he was over here.”

With one truly solid game in his rearview, Garland will look to build on that momentum going forward. Up next, he and the Cavs will face off against another high pick from the 2019 draft when they head to the Big Apple to take on R.J. Barrett and the New York Knicks.

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