Iowa Hawkeyes star Luka Garza wins John R. Wooden Award

Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) shoots a three-pointer over Oregon Ducks center Franck Kepnang (22) during the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Monday, March 22, 2021, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. Mandatory Credit: Sam Owens/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

Iowa star Luka Garza added to his growing trophy collection Tuesday when he was named winner of the John R. Wooden Award as the nation’s top player by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Garza previously won the Naismith Trophy, Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Associated Press top player honor among other accolades so winning the Wooden Award makes him the consensus National Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-11 senior center was especially excited to win the award named after former UCLA coach John Wooden.

“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.”

Garza finished second in the Wooden balloting last season behind Dayton’s Obi Toppin.

This season, Garza was considered the favorite from the outset and he averaged 24.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while winning Big Ten Player of the Year honors for the second straight season. His scoring average was second nationally behind Oral Roberts star Max Abmas (24.5).

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He finished his Iowa career with 2,306 points, breaking a record set 32 years earlier by school legend Roy Marble (2,116 from 1985-89).

The Hawkeyes went 22-9 this season and lost to Oregon in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa recently announced that Garza’s No. 55 jersey will be retired.

The other finalists were Baylor guard Jared Butler, Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu and Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert.

–Field Level Media