Growing up with principles and modesty shaped Luka Garza to be the best he could be

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Luka Garza has so many records at the University of Iowa that it’s hard to keep count. Of course, his father, Frank Garza, is extremely proud of him for those accomplishments. However, seeing how his son carries himself with so much national attention on him points to what a fine, young man Luka has become.

“Our household is one of principles over personalities,” said Frank Garza. “That’s tough because when there’s influence, particularly when you’re younger, ‘Do I listen to the influencer or do I stick to my principles?’ The fact that he stuck all the way through shows it’s part of him. It’s not fake, it’s real.”

Luka Garza, the all-time leading scorer in men’s basketball history at the University of Iowa, grew up in Washington, D.C., where his parents raised him to be not just a dominant basketball player but also a responsible leader.

“Here’s the thing about leaders, when things are going well everyone will think they did it,” said Frank Garza. “That’s what a leader does, you share it around and don’t take credit. When things go bad you put it on yourself. Sometimes he goes a little overboard on that. That’s just the kind of kid he is, the leader he is. His whole life my wife and I instilled in him, you should always ask this question of every coach, every teacher, ‘What could I have done better?’ Can you imagine Luka at 22, the scoring champion, asking those kinds of questions? Well, yeah, because people who want to be the best do what’s uncommon.”

One of the principles Luka grew up with was knowing how to improve. The only way to do that, is to find out what it is you need to improve in the first place.

“The reason why he wants to hear the dissonance is because he realizes he can’t see it all,” said Frank Garza. “You can’t see the picture when you’re inside the frame.”

While that mindset came from Luka’s parents, it’s something that as an adult Luka would have to choose for himself.

“It started with I made him do it,” said Frank Garza. “Every coach would either pass out or fall over because no player was asking him that. Coaches come up and say, ‘No player comes up and asks me what they could do better to improve.’ It starts there, but then he had to decide if he wanted to keep it. He has.”

“How many people do you go up to and go, ‘Hey, what could I do better?’ That takes some courage to do that but that’s Luka.”

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