"It's a swagger," said Sonny Hill, Philadelphia's own "Mr. Basketball." "[It's] when a player has a certain degree of confidence in what he does, and it's about the area in where you grow up."
The Southwest Philly floater, as it's commonly referred to, is a staple on Kingsessing Avenue. For players under 6-feet tall, it's an advantage when they're up against the big guys. And in the ruthless world of Southwest Philly ball, any advantage is a good thing.
Their game is tough, just like the neighborhood.
"If you ask anybody about Philadelphia basketball in general, you know we produce a lot of tough guards," said Garland's cousin Bernard Tyler, 30, who was the first person to put a basketball in the La Salle guard's hands. "These kids, the basketball court is an escape for them. Whenever they want to get away from something at home, this is the vent. It generates a lot of toughness. That's what it's really about."
This basketball culture molded La Salle's Garland - the all-time leading scorer at John Bartram High - into the force that pulled the Explorers past Ole Miss Sunday night. His homegrown success is an example that the young talent on Southwest courts look up to, and his shout-out to the Southwest Philly floater carried with it a sense of pride.
"To say and use the Southwest Philly terminology shows you how proud he is of where he grew up, not only Philadelphia, but Southwest Philadelphia," said Hill, who added that Garland played for his Sonny Hill College League in the summer. "That says a lot about him, at a moment when the light is the brightest, that you even think along that line tells you a lot about him and where he's come from."
As La Salle looks to take on Wichita State on Thursday, Garland's mother Audrey Tyler said that the win is everything her son has dreamed of.
"This is what he was waiting for," she said. "This is what he was practicing and practicing for, for this moment right here."
On Twitter: @AliMarieWatkins