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Garza wins Wooden Award, completing sweep of major player of the year honors

Iowa center Luka Garza runs on the court before an NCAA college basketball game against Purdue,...
Iowa center Luka Garza runs on the court before an NCAA college basketball game against Purdue, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa.(Charlie Neibergall | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 5:31 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The University of Iowa’s star center earned another major award recognizing him as the best men’s college basketball player over the last season.

Luka Garza, the outstanding center from Washington, D.C., was named the winner of the 2021 John R. Wooden Award by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on Tuesday. It’s the latest in a flood of honors for Garza, winning several other major awards already.

“Winning the Wooden Award means so much to myself and my family,” Garza said, in a statement issued by the school’s athletics department. “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. 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.”

Garza is the first-ever men’s player for the Hawkeyes to win the award, and the first from the Big Ten Conference since Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky took home the honor in 2015. He was one of five finalists for the award following the 2019-2020 season, but Ohio State’s Obi Toppin was named the winner.

The award is determined by a vote of former winners and journalists.

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