April 2021

Issue link: https://catalog.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1359565

Contents of this Issue


Page 28 of 158

29 L uka Garza's final moments in a University of Iowa men's basketball uniform saw the All-American center embrace teammates and head coach Fran McCaffery with tears in his eyes March 22 against Oregon in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Garza loved wearing the Iowa jersey and all that it represents, including the memories and bonds he formed with teammates the past four years. e native of Washington, D.C., moved his life to Iowa City in 2018 and the rest is history. "I am forever thankful to the University of Iowa, coach McCaffery, the rest of the coaching staff, my teammates, my family and the countless other people and coaches who have helped me along the way," said Garza. Aer 127 games played, Garza leaves his beloved university as the most decorated player in program history. e last two weeks, Garza won every national player of the year award, becoming the first men's basketball player to be a unanimous consensus national player of the year. e most dominant player in college basketball in 2021 received the following awards: John R. Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, NABC Division I Player of the Year Award, Oscar Robertson Trophy, e Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year Award, Lute Olson Award and Sporting News National Player of the Year. "I would not be here today without the University of Iowa, coach McCaffery and the guys I have played with throughout my career," Garza said. "I worked extremely hard to be the best I can be for my teammates." Garza, whose No. 55 will be retired at a future ceremony, led the nationally ranked Hawkeyes to 22 victories and a third place Big Ten finish in 2021. He led the nation in total points (747), 30-point games (eight), field goals made (281) and 20-point games (22). Garza ranked second nationally in points per game (24.1), 10th in made free throws (141) and 11th in double-doubles (13). His 747 points extended the single-season school record he set last season (740). In his final game against the Ducks, Garza poured in 36 points, the most points by any player in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, and tying Bill Logan's school record set against Temple 65 years ago. e two-time Big Ten Player of the Year broke Iowa's 32-year old scoring record held by Roy Marble on Feb. 21. He finished his Hawkeye career with 2,306 points, which ranks seventh-best in Big Ten history. In addition to ranking first in career scoring, Garza is tops at Iowa in 30-point games (13), conference scoring (1,399), field goals made (870), field goal attempts (1,594) and 40-point games (two). He is second in rebounds (931), fourth in double-doubles (34), fih in blocked shots (154), sixth in free throw makes (446) and 16th in 3-pointers made (120). Garza is the only men's basketball player in Big Ten history to accumulate 2,250 points and 900 rebounds. "I have been incredibly blessed to play at the University of Iowa," said Garza. "It changed my life."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of HAWK TALK - April 2021