Luka Garza Sweeps All Six National Player of the Year Awards
[UPDATE Tuesday, April 6, 8:45 PM] Luka Garza has been named the winner of the John R. Wooden Player of the Year Award. The award means Garza swept all six of the major postseason awards. In a release from the Iowa Sports Information Department, Garza said,
Winning the Wooden Award means so much to myself and my family. 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.
[UPDATE Saturday, April 3, 3pm ] Luka Garza was named the winner of the 2021 Naismith Trophy, the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. Garza is the first Iowa men's player to win the award, and the second overall. In 2019, Megan Gustafson was named the winner of the women's award.
According to the University of Iowa Sports information Department, only six schools have had both a men's and women's player win the award. The others are Duke, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas, and Virginia.
[UPDATE Friday, April 2, 3 pm] Luka Garza has been named the winner of the 2021 Senior CLASS (Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award for NCAA Division I men’s basketball. According to the University of Iowa Sports Information Department, the award goes to "the most outstanding senior student-athlete in men’s basketball."
Two former Iowa women's players have been recipients of the women's award during their careers. They were Samantha Logic in 2015 and Megan Gustafson in 2019.
[ORIGNAL STORY Thursday, April 1]
It's been a very good day for Iowa center, and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, Luka Garza. He raked in three different player of the year awards. Today. He becomes the first Hawkeye to win any of the three postseason honors, according to the University of Iowa Sports Information Department.
The Hawkeye senior, Iowa's all-time leading scorer and the Hawkeyes first two-time unanimous consensus first-team All-American, was voted the winner of the Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year, the recipient of the Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award, and the Oscar Robertson Trophy. All of the honors were announced this afternoon.
Garza, who was the runner-up to current New York Knicks player Obi Toppin for last year's Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year, is the 12th Big Ten Player to win the award. Established in 1961, no other Iowa Hawkeye has ever received it. Luka is pictured with the trophy above.
The Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award, the award named after Lute Olson, who is Iowa's third-winningest coach all-time with 167 wins, has been awarded to the best Division I college basketball player since 2010. Olson won 776 games in his collegiate coaching career, including 587 at Arizona. Luka Garza is the first Hawkeye to win the award and the third Big Ten player. Michigan State's Denzel Valentine won it in 2016 and Caleb Swanigan of Purdue in 2017.
The Oscar Robertson Trophy is voted on by over 900 journalists who make up the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). The oldest college basketball award, it was first awarded by the USBWA in 1959, to the man it is now named after. Garza is the eighth Big Ten Player to win the trophy, and the first Hawkeye.
Luke Garza has now won six national player of the year awards. He'd previously been honored by Basketball Times, Sporting News, and The Athletic. He remains a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Senior CLASS Award, and Wooden Trophy.