‘Unfinished Business’: Luka Garza Details the Reason Behind Opting out of 2020 NBA Draft

Published 01/09/2021, 2:00 PM EST
Dec 11, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) reacts after hitting a three point basket during the second half against the Iowa State Cyclones at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports


Luka Garza is one of the best college basketball players in the country. The Iowa Hawkeyes senior is creating wonders with his dominant play, but why did he return to the NCAA after declaring for the NBA draft in 2020? 

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The Iowa Hawkeyes committed to the 2020 NBA Draft but later pulled out

Every college prospect dreams of playing in the NBA, and Luka Garza is no different. He decided to enter the league after the pandemic canceled ‘March Madness’ in 2020.

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Garza would have undoubtedly landed in the Top five picks had he stayed with his original decision, but he reverted his choice and came back to Iowa for his senior year. 

Garza has been impossible to guard in his senior year so far. The towering center has been putting up incredible numbers and is averaging 27.2 points per game, which is more than double his sophomore average. 

Luka Garza explains his decision to stay with the Hawkeyes

Luka Garza recently joined the ‘Iowa Chill Show,’ where he discussed a lot about his career and why he chose to withdraw his name from the 2020 draft. Garza spoke about how his dream is to play in the NBA, just like every other aspiring talent in the country. 

“You also dream of playing on a great college team and making a run in March, so not being able to have that you know definitely affected my decision,” he mentioned.

“It felt like I had unfinished business here at the University of Iowa and I wanted to make something special happen. I saw the potential in the group that we had, and that’s why I decided to come back.”

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

Garza is one of the best college talents this season, and he’s primed to win the Naismith Player of the Year award. However, he has other priorities too, such as winning the National Championship with the Hawkeyes. 

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“It is the best decision I could’ve made for myself and the team. Lucky to be a part of this group and very excited for it to continue to go forward,” said Garza. 

And to the Hawkeyes’ delight, Garza has been on fire this season. He’s been dominant on the post, and his shooting accuracy has been incredible. The Iowa Hawkeyes are currently ranked as the fifth-best team in the nation, but can they go all the way?

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Arjun Athreya

1924 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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