Advertisement

Iowa's Luka Garza wins John R. Wooden Award

Iowa star center Luka Garza, shown Jan. 30, 2020, averaged 24.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks this season. Photo by Alexander Jones/Wikimedia Commons
Iowa star center Luka Garza, shown Jan. 30, 2020, averaged 24.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks this season. Photo by Alexander Jones/Wikimedia Commons

April 6 (UPI) -- A year after finishing second for the trophy, Iowa star center Luka Garza on Tuesday won the John R. Wooden Award as the top player in men's college basketball.

The 6-foot-11 Garza captured the honor to complete his sweep of the major national player of the year awards in the 2020-21 season after finishing behind former Dayton star Obi Toppin in last year's race for the Wooden Award.

Advertisement

Garza finished ahead of fellow finalists Jared Butler (Baylor), Cade Cunningham (Oklahoma State), Ayo Dosunmu (Illinois) and Corey Kispert (Gonzaga) for the Wooden Award.

"Winning the Wooden Award means so much to myself and my family," Garza said in a statement. "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.

RELATED Baylor men stun Gonzaga to win first NCAA national basketball title

"I can't thank Coach McCaffery and his staff enough for their role in helping me develop on and off the floor. 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.

"Lastly, thank you to the University of Iowa for changing my life. I am so proud to bring this award to the University of Iowa for the first time."

RELATED UConn freshman Paige Bueckers wins John R. Wooden Award

It is the third national player of the year award for Garza, who previously earned the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Naismith Trophy.

Garza, who currently is projected to go in the second round of the NBA Draft, averaged 24.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in the 2020-21 campaign. He scored 20-plus points in 22 games this season.

The Hawkeyes lost to the Oregon Ducks in the second round of the NCAA tournament last month.

RELATED Oklahoma State star Cade Cunningham to enter 2021 NBA Draft

Iowa recently announced it will retire Garza's No. 55.

Latest Headlines