Luka Garza has been putting on a show for Hawkeye fans for the past four years while breaking just about every Iowa record along the way. But on Thursday, he’s played his final college game back near his home.
“Growing up in the DMV and playing basketball in the DMV made me into the basketball player I am,” said Iowa senior Luka Garza.
Where we come from, shapes everyone one of us. In the case of Luka Garza, he comes from a strong basketball tradition near the Nation’s Capitol and has pushed his home’s legacy forward.
“When I entered college I had so much confidence because I knew I was prepared for this,” said Garza. “I’ve been preparing against the best players in high school basketball. There’s no better high school basketball area that DC-Maryland-Virginia area with all the leagues we have, all the NBA players we have. I have a lot of pride knowing I come from that.”
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery saw that confidence and pride early in Luka’s high school days and knew he would be a perfect fit for the Black and Gold.
“I felt like he was going to be terrific,” said McCaffery. “We offered him really early in his career. Like we have said a million times, I got to see him early in a couple of different locations and it was a no-brainer for me. We were able to get in and develop a relationship with he and his dad and his mom, sister; high school coach we already had a relationship. We had a relationship with the AAU program; really good people.”
While the pandemic makes it difficult for Luka to see his family, being so close to home on Thursday was something he was looking forward to.
“Playing in that area, I grew up in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area for a long time,” said Garza. “I definitely love it around there and I’m always excited to play near home and be close to family. This year there isn’t family at the game but it still means the same thing just to know me and my mother are all in the same place is a reassuring feeling.”