Hawkeyes’ Luka Garza Matches Michael Jordan in Division I History Books With Latest Achievement

Published 03/11/2021, 9:00 AM EST
Jan 10, 2021; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) reacts with guard Jordan Bohannon (3) against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports


Luka Garza has etched his name in the Iowa Hawkeyes’ history books. The walls of the Carver-Hawkeye Arena will sing his praise forever because such is the effort that he’s been putting in for the prosperity of the team over the past four seasons. 

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The most rewarding part for Luka Garza is that everyone acknowledges the weight he’s been carrying on his back as the best player at Iowa. Furthermore, Garza also receives several accolades for his achievements which would largely boost his hunger to succeed. 

Luka Garza makes history by winning the Sporting News National Player of the Year award

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Luka Garza has bid farewell to the Iowa Hawkeyes in a wonderful fashion. Though the job is not yet done, Garza played his final game at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena for Iowa. He was treated to a wonderful farewell, and the 6’11” center was reduced to tears during the event. 

Garza enjoyed a wonderful senior year for Iowa and picked up the Sporting News Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year award for the second successive year. This is a prestigious accolade for any Division I player and Garza has been winning it for the past two seasons. 

Only a very few players have won multiple Sporting News Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year awards during their careers and Luka Garza became the latest addition to the coveted list. He’s in good company though. 

Although only Oscar Robertson and Bill Walton have been three-time winners, Garza can pride himself in being matched alongside names like Michael Jordan, and Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). 

Garza certainly deserves this accolade for his excellent displays this season. He’s averaging 23.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and Iowa finished their regular season with a 20-7 record. 

A modest Garza does not rank himself as the best Hawkeye of All-Time

Although Garza stands at 6’11”, his humility is what keeps him at par with the others. In four seasons, Luka Garza has made a case to be called the great Hawkeye of all time, but he doesn’t want that kind of recognition. 

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Dec 25, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) shoots the ball during the first half against the Minnesota Gophers at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The Hawkeyes announced that they will retire Garza’s #55 jersey during Garza’s final game at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It is a massive accomplishment in Garza’s career, but he does not want to be referred to as the greatest in Hawkeyes’ history. 

The big-man feels that six-foot-three Megan Gustafson is the best to ever play for Iowa. What’s your take? Do you think Garza is the greatest Hawkeye ever?

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DIVE DEEPER

Meet Frank Garza, the Visionary Father of Iowa Hawkeyes’ Luka Garza

3 months ago

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Arjun Athreya

1914 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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