Garza chooses to stay with the University of Iowa

Published: Aug. 2, 2020 at 12:17 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - One of the University of Iowa’s star men’s basketball players is opting to stay in college and forego the NBA draft for another year, according to an announcement made on Sunday afternoon.

Luka Garza, who will be a senior, decided to return for the Hawkeyes, mirroring decisions made by other star players in college basketball. The choice on whether to enter the draft hinged on multiple factors, including the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s the best decision of my life to come to the University of Iowa, and I think it’s going to be the best decision that I stayed,” Garza said.

Garza cited head coach Fran McCaffery’s commitment to his development as a basketball player as a big reason for returning to the team.

“Luka’s decision is incredibly unselfish and heart-warming,” McCaffery said, in a statement issued by the school. “Luka has an opportunity to advance himself professionally, but instead, he is thinking more about the program and his teammates. His goals are team-oriented. He has an incredible bond with his brothers in the locker room and believes in this group.”

Garza was outstanding for the Hawkeyes during his junior year, averaging 23.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game in the 2019-2020 season. He was named 2020′s Big Ten Player of the Year for men’s basketball, and a unanimous first-team all-American.

“My heart is in Iowa City,” Garza said, in the statement. “I love this place too much to leave it. I love my teammates, coaches, community, fans, and university. It would have been way too hard to close the book without the last chapter.”

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.

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