Luka Garza has had a magical season in Iowa City this year. The senior big man became the program's leading scorer, is the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and recently found out this his No. 55 jersey would be retired by Iowa after his collegiate career came a close.
The questions remains if Garza will be the best player to ever don a Hawkeyes uniform. In his own mind, he isn't.
Following the announcement that his jersey would hang in the rafters at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Garza gave his pick for the best basketball player to ever come through Iowa.
Luka Garza says that Megan Gustafson is the best player to ever play at Iowa-- man or woman.
— David Eickholt (@DavidEickholt) March 7, 2021
">According to 247Sports' David Eickholt, he chose 2019 graduate Megan Gustafson.
The Hawkeyes star center dominated during her time at the college level, putting up historic numbers in Iowa City. She went on to win the Naismith Player of the Year, the AP Player of the Year, The ESPNW National Player of the Year in 2019. She also won consecutive Big Ten Player of the Year accolades in 2018 and 2019.
Gustafson scored 2,825 career points, tallied 1,465 rebounds and blocked 226 shots in four seasons at Iowa. The Hawkeyes went on to retire her No. 10 jersey in January of 2020.
After being drafted in the second round of the WNBA draft by the Dallas Wings, Gustafson has struggled to make an impact at the professional level. However, that doesn't take away from her career at Iowa and she's well-deserving of the Hawkeyes crown.
Garza himself will be remembered as one of the greatest players to ever wear the black and yellow, no matter what becomes of him in the NBA. While speaking after his jersey retirement announcement, it's clear that his time at Iowa has been a huge part of his life over the last four years.
“I just want to thank Coach McCaffery for giving me the chance to come here to the University of Iowa,” Garza said, via Saturday Tradition. “You changed my life and I will forever be grateful for you and your family. Second of all, to these guys over here, I wouldn’t be nothing without you guys. You guys made me look good for four years and I wouldn’t be standing right here without any of you. Thank you guys so much. And thank you Hawkeye nation, I love this place.”
With the Big Ten Tournament this week, Garza and the Hawkeyes have their sights set on a conference title, as well as a deep NCAA Tournament run later this month.