Garza wins Wooden Award, named consensus National Player of the Year

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Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) goes to the hoop against the Wisconsin Badgers Sunday, March 7, 2021 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Brian Ray/


It was announced on Tuesday that Luka Garza won the John R. Wooden Award as voted on by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board. The honor goes to the most outstanding men’s player in college basketball.

With this award, Garza has now won all 6 of the major National Player of the Year honors (Sporting News Player of the Year, Oscar Robertson Player of the Year, AP Player of the Year, NABC Player of the Year, the Naismith Award, and the Wooden Award). He is the first consensus National Player of the Year in Hawkeye history.

A 2020 Wooden Award All American and finalist, Garza becomes the first winner from the University of Iowa and the first winner from the Big Ten since Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin) in 2015. The Washington, D.C., native led the nation in total points (747), player efficiency rating (35.84), 30-point games (8), field goals made (281), and 20-point games (22). Garza ranked second nationally in points per game (24.1), fifth in free throw attempts (199), 10th in free throw makes (141), and 11th in double-doubles (13). His 747 points extended the single-season school record he set last season (740). The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year broke Iowa’s 32-year old scoring record held by Roy Marble on Feb. 21, 2021. He finished his Hawkeye career with 2,306 points, which ranks seventh-best in Big Ten history.

Voting took place from March 15-22, 2021, by a national collection of voters who cover each of the sports and former winners.  As insisted upon by Coach Wooden at the Award’s creation 44 years ago, all players were certified by their universities as meeting or exceeding the criteria of the John R. Wooden Award.

Luke Garza joins Coach Dave Yanai, the Wooden Award Legend of Coaching recipient, and Paige Bueckers, the Wooden Award honoree for women’s basketball, as the celebrated winners of the nation’s most prestigious collegiate basketball awards.  

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