WATCH: Luka Garza Introduced In Iowa Hawkeyes Home Arena For The Final Time in NCAA Career

Published 03/08/2021, 12:04 PM EST
Dec 11, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) shoots the ball over Iowa State Cyclones forward Solomon Young (33) during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports


Luka Garza is the presumed College Player of the Year this season. While he could have gotten that honor last season, he lost out to current New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin. However, Garza has run this year almost uncontested in the player of the year voting. While players like Ayo Dosunmu, Jared Butler, Drew Timme, and even Hunter Dickinson looked to challenge him, they all have fallen short.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

If any of them return next year, they can try to win a Player of the Year award without Garza, who is in his final season with Iowa. The team announced that his #55 will be retired, as Garza has become the greatest scorer in the history of the program. Considering how iconic Garza has become, his final introduction was going to be special.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

But it wasn’t. It was a regular introduction, just like one everyone would expect Garza to get. However, the emotion could be felt in that huddle. They knew that maybe the greatest player of this team’s history is playing his final home game, and the team embraced after Garza was introduced.

Luka Garza: Graduating as the greatest Hawkeyes ever?

Luka Garza is inarguably the greatest Hawkeye ever. While this is also a team where Don Nelson played, his impact isn’t the same as Garza. Nelson made his impact outside of Iowa and in the NBA. Meanwhile, Garza decided to stick through four years of college ball. Even though he was going to declare for the draft last season.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Dec 13, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) controls the ball against the Northern Illinois Huskies during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Hawkeyes retiring his jersey is the only right move they can make. He’s a legend for the team and should be treated with that respect. His stature will only be boosted if they manage to win a national title this season. While Iowa isn’t favored to do so, a mercurial talent like Garza can flip games on his own.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The case for Garza as the greatest Hawkeye ever may already be shut. However, a national player of the year award and a possible March Madness tournament win will make his position in Iowa’s history books impenetrable.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT