« Men’s Basketball 2020-21

Luka Garza

School

University of Iowa

Position
Center
Major
Economics

Classroom

Luka Garza is on pace to graduate this spring with a degree in economics. He had an opportunity to leave college early to play professional basketball, but ultimately decided to stay and earn his degree, which is important to him and his family.

Character

Luka Garza is one of the most humble and genuine individuals around. A co-captain the past two seasons, he is looked upon by his teammates, fans, and opponents. Garza always stays after games to take photographs with young fans and sign autographs.

Community

Luka Garza is a champion for youth and elementary schools. He routinely visits children in schools to read to them (we have photos).

He also visited youth patients in the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, pre-covid. Garza would read to them, lift their spirits, and do arts & crafts.

He also actively participates in Iowa’s Annual Day of Caring, where he and his teammates help non-profit organizations the community each spring.

Competition

Luka Garza is the 2020-21 frontrunner for National Player of the Year and has been named a preseason first-team All-American by every national media outlet.

He was a dominant force last season, earning National Player of the Year (six national media outlets) and Big Ten Player of the Year distinction, along with earning consensus first-team All-America laurels. He was also recognized as the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year awards last season. Garza finished the 2019-20 Big Ten schedule averaging 26.2 points per game, becoming the first player to average at least 26 points in Big Ten play in 26 seasons.

Garza scored a school-record 740 points in 2019-20, breaking the program’s 50-year old record previously set by John Johnson in 1970. He averaged 26.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 12 games against AP ranked opponents in 2019-20, including recording 11 straight 20-point performances. Garza has netted 20 points or more in 18 straight contests, dating back to last season, which ties Oklahoma’s Trae Young (2017-18) for the second-longest streak by a major conference player over the last 20 seasons, trailing only N.C. State’s T.J. Warren (19).

Garza is one of only two players in Iowa history to score 40+ points in two career games, scoring 41 points vs. Southern on 11/27/20 and 44 at Michigan 12/7/19.