Iowa's Luka Garza Wins Wooden Award, First Hawkeye to Earn Honor

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Hawkeyes big man Luka Garza became Iowa's first winner of the John R. Wooden Player of the Year Award on Tuesday after his dominant 2020-21 season. 

"Winning the Wooden Award means so much to myself and my family," Garza said. " John Wooden was someone my grandfather was friends with, and someone who I was taught a lot about growing up. I studied the pyramid, and many of his books to try and become the teammate and player that could win a championship."

Garza completed the sweep of winning every major postseason award such as the Naismith Trophy, Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year, Oscar Robertson Trophy, NABC Division I Player of the Year, Lute Olsen National Player of the Year and Sporting News National Player of the Year. 

The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year finished his Hawkeyes' career as Iowa's first unanimous consensus first-team All-American and led the team to 22 wins and third place finish in the regular season of the Big Ten conference. Garza led the nation in total points (747), player efficiency rating (35.84), 30-point games (8), field goals made (281) and 20-point performances with 22 this season. 

"I can't thank Coach McCaffrey an his staff enough for their role in helping me develop on and off the floor," Garza said. "I have had amazing teammates along the way, and I would not be here without them.

"I want to thank my family for their undying support of me throughout my career. I am so proud to bring this award to the University of Iowa for the first time."

Garza also ranked second nationally points per game (24.1) 11th in double-doubles (13 and broke the program's 32-year-old scoring record held by Roy Marble on Feb. 21. He finished his career at Iowa with 2,306 points. 

While leading the Hawkeyes to a No. 2 seed in the men's NCAA tournament before a second round upset loss to Oregon, Garza finished as the career scoring leader (2,306) at Iowa and seventh-best in Big Ten history. Iowa will retire his No. 55 jersey.