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Iowa Superstar Luka Garza Announces NBA Draft Decision

Luka Garza of Iowa drives to the hoop.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Luka Garza was one of the true superstars in college basketball last season. The Iowa basketball big man averaged 23.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game in 2019-20.

Garza took home Big Ten Player of the Year honors, and was named the national player of the year by Sporting News. At season's end, he declared for the 2020 NBA Draft, reserving the right to withdraw from the process. Today, he made his final decision.

In a video with college hoops insider Jon Rothstein, Garza announced that he is withdrawing from the 2020 NBA Draft. He will return to Iowa basketball for his senior year, and immediately becomes the favorite to be the top player in college hoops this coming year. It is monumental news for the Big Ten men's basketball conference.

"Next year, I'm going to be coming back and finishing my career at the University of Iowa," Luka Garza announced. "I think there was a lot of interest in the NBA, and for me I feel very confident about the team we could have coming back. And I think with that team we could win a national championship, be a Final Four contender, and be a Big Ten Championship team."

Obviously the team accomplishments are huge, but Garza also believes his pro prospects may benefit from another year at Iowa. If he can lead the Hawkeyes to a Final Four run, he may vault on 2021 NBA Draft boards. "I think that coming back will help my stock and help me individually," Garza said. "Even though I feel that my stock is high at this time, I just couldn't leave my guys and my coaches. I love this place too much, I love the university too much, and I just feel like if I left, I would regret not finishing this chapter." Garza said that the chance to play for one of the greatest teams in school history, and lead them to unprecedented heights was a big draw. Iowa last made a Final Four in 1980, and hasn't won the Big Ten regular season crown since 1979.

"It's been in the forefront of my mind. I've never been on a team as good as this team's potential, and I think this team could be the best team that's ever played at Iowa, and we're striving towards that. And for me, that was something that was big towards the end of my process, as I was weighing my options. And for me individually, I could just really finish what I started here at the University of Iowa. I think coach (Fran) McCaffery took a chance on me and saw some things that not a lot of other college coaches saw, and for me, I feel like I wouldn't be doing my part if I didn't come back and finish it off."

Fran McCaffery could have an extremely impressive group coming back this year, in whatever form the 2020-21 college basketball season takes. [

Exclusive: Naismith finalist @LukaG_55 tells @JonRothstein he will return to Iowa for his senior season.@IowaHoops is about to be a problem 👀

— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) August 2, 2020

">Yahoo Sports]