IOWA CITY, Iowa — Luka Garza’s number 55 will never be worn again by a University of Iowa men’s basketball player. The announcement was made by Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair Gary Barta Sunday afternoon at the conclusion of Iowa’s 77-73 win over No. 25 Wisconsin.
Garza joins eight other former Hawkeyes to have their number retired: Carl Cain (21), Ronnie Lester (12), Bill Logan (31), Sharm Scheuerman (46), Bill Seaberg (22)*, Bill Schoof (33), Greg Stokes (41), and Chris Street (40). B.J. Armstrong’s (10) jersey is also retired.
“It is an honor and a privilege to announce that the University of Iowa will be retiring Luka Garza’s No. 55 at the conclusion of his collegiate career,” said Henry B. and Patricia B. Tippie Director of Athletics Chair Gary Barta. “Luka met all of the criteria, and we are excited and thrilled to honor him by retiring his number. We are thrilled to make this announcement today and look forward to the opportunity to celebrate it with him, his family, and Hawkeye fans at the first opportunity.”
“Luka Garza epitomizes everything that you want in your program,” says Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “I can think of no one else that is more deserving of having his number retired than Luka Garza. “His recognition is a reflection of his daily approach every day. You don’t accomplish what he has without preparing every day to be great and preparing every day to help your team win.”
As a junior, Garza was named 2020 National Player of the Year by six national publications, Big Ten Player of the Year, USBWA District VI Player of the Year, Naismith Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year, NABC Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, and was a consensus first-team All-American.
Garza’s final chapter as a Hawkeye is not finished but the All-American broke Roy Marble’s 32-year old all-time scoring record last month. In addition to ranking first in career scoring, Garza is tops at Iowa in conference scoring (1,399), total field goals made (829), field goal attempts (1,522), and 40-point games (2); second in 30-point games (12); fourth in double-doubles (33); fifth in rebounding (895); fifth in blocked shots (148); eighth in free throw makes (430); and 13th in 3-pointers made (113).
The native of Washington, D.C., leads the nation in total points (642); player efficiency rating (36.33); 30-point games (7); field goals made (240); and 22-point games (17).
“It’s amazing when you look at how his teammates view him,” McCaffery said. “Luka is not someone who set out to accomplish personal accolades. He just wants to win, and he wants his teammates to come along for the ride.”
He is the only men’s basketball player in Big Ten history to accumulate 2,000 points, 850 rebounds, 125 blocked shots, and 100 3-pointers. Garza is the only Hawkeye in school history to amass four 400-point seasons and two 600-point seasons.
“Luka has been an incredible student-athlete on and off the court since he arrived in Iowa City,” added Barta. “He is incredibly humble and hardworking. Luka Garza is certainly in the conversation as the best player in program history.”
* — Seaberg granted Patrick McCaffery permission to wear No. 22 due to a special significance