Luka Garza 3rd Hawk in History Named First-Team AP All-American
Iowa Center Luka Garza continues to receive postseason accolades after his amazing junior campaign at the University of Iowa. Today, he became the first Iowa men's basketball player to be named a First-Team AP All-American since 1952!
Garza's inclusion on the first-team wasn't unanimous, but it was close. He received 63 first-team votes from the 65 media members that made up the voting panel. Garza scored 740 and 305 rebounds during the season, making him just the third Big Ten player in history to score 740 or more and grab 300+ rebounds in a single season. The others were both from Purdue... Joe Barry Carroll in 1979 and Glenn Robinson in 1994.
According to a media release from the Iowa Sports Information Department, the only two other Hawkeyes in history to be named First-Team AP All-Americans were Murray Wier (1948) and Charles Darling (1952).
Luka had previously been named first-team All-America by the Sporting News. The United States Basketball Writers Association and National Association of Basketball Coaches are expected to name their All-America teams next week.
Garza has been named the national player of the year by Basketball Times, Bleacher Report, Basketball Times, ESPN, Sporting News, Stadium, and The Athletic. He's also a finalist for the Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy, Wooden Award, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, and the Lute Olson Award. He's the only Iowa men’s basketball player to ever be named national player of the year.
I'll tell you why I love Luka Garza so much. He clearly works his butt off on the court every instance he's on it, but remember this image from last March? This is another former Hawkeye I loved, Nicholas Baer, embracing Luka after Iowa lost to Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament. He was devastated. I hope Hawkeye fans get a chance to see Luka play