Iowa Basketball Star Luka Garza Wins Naismith Award

July 21, 2019 - Iowa City, Iowa, USA: Kinnick Stadium is the stadium of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.

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Iowa basketball star Luka Garza has picked up yet another award.

On Saturday, the Hawkeyes big man was named the 2021 Naismith Award winner as the best player in the nation.

Garza, a consensus first-team All-American for the second year in a row, previously was named the AP Player of the Year, Sporting News National Player of the Year, Oscar Robertson Trophy winner, Lut Olson Trophy winner, NABC Player of the Year, and the Pete Newell Big Man Award.

The 22-year-old former four-star recruit was also named Big Ten Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

“(Last year) I was able to catch people off guard and be a little unexpected,” Garza told HawkeyeInsider.com. “Going into this year, I’ve never gone into a season with the amount of expectations not only individually, but as a team that we had on us.

“For me to be the national player of the year and all of this– I was facing a crazy amount of pressure and expectations. I felt the biggest way for me to be able to get through that was to keep my focus all on leading this team and making sure that all my teammates and young guys got better.”

Garza is the only player in Big Ten history to record 2,000 points, 900 rebounds, 150 blocked shots, and 100 3-pointers.

This season, Garza averaged 24.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Throughout his four-year career with the Hawkeyes, the 7-footer averaged 18.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

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