Tyrone Garland #21 of the La Salle Explorers makes the game-winnng shot in the second half against Reginald Buckner #23 of the Mississippi Rebels during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
Southwest Philly got a very special shout out Sunday night following La Salle’s win over Ole Miss. in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
With only seconds left, Tyrone Garland glided through the lane and hit the game winning shot in the Explorers’ 76-74 win which propelled them to the Sweet 16. During his post-game interview, Garland dubbed his shot the “Southwest Philly Floater.”
“That’s the Southwest Philly floater!” exclaimed Garland. “Shout out to my cousin Bern! Shout out to my mom!”
On Monday, NBC10’s John Clark reached out to Garland’s mother and cousin to learn more about the floater’s local roots.
“Priceless,” said Bernard Tyler, Tyrone’s cousin. “It’s something that you see in the movies.”
Tyler says the shot originated at the Myers Rec Center on the 5800 block of Kingsessing Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. Starting at the age of 5, Garland practiced the shot hundreds of times.
“The floater is a little guy’s shot,” said Tyler. “I had fun with him when he was younger and told him that every good guard from Southwest Philly had one.”
While the two cousins often practiced the move on the playground, neither of them could ever imagine that it would one day be used on as big of a stage as March Madness.
“It’s just a breathtaking experience just to see your little cousin out there,” said Tyler. “Him getting that moment was just great.”
Garland’s mother says she was so nervous she didn’t even watch her son score the game-winner.
“I just fell on the floor and was crying like a little baby,” said Audrey Tyler. “He worked hard for this. He deserved it. And that’s my baby. I’m proud of that boy.”
Garland will have another chance to show off the move when La Salle takes on No. 9 seed Wichita State in the West Region semifinals on Thursday.