Garza named Big Man of the Year

The NABC announced Monday morning that Iowa's Luka Garza had been named Pete Newell Big Man of the Year.


Emily Wangen

Iowa Center Luka Garzais blocked by Illinois Center Kofi Cockburn during a game against the University of Illinois on Sunday, March, 8, 2020 at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. The Hawkeyes lost to the Fighting Illini, 76-78.

Austin Hanson, Assistant Sports Editor

The National Association of Basketball Coaches announced Monday morning that Iowa center Luka Garza had won the Pete Newell Big Man of the Year award. The annual honor is given to the nation’s best post player.

Garza is the first Hawkeye to win the award, and just the fifth Big Ten player to accomplish the feat. Garza averaged 23.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game this season.

Garza adds the Newell award to a growing list of his 2019-20 achievements. Last week, Garza was named a consensus first-team All-American. He is the third Hawkeye to earn consensus first-team honors.

Garza has also been named national player of the year by ESPN, Bleacher Report, Stadium, Basketball Times, and Sporting News. Additionally, Garza is a finalist for both the Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy.

Aside from the national praise, Garza has won Big Ten Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and USBWA District VI Player of the Year.

The Newell award may not be the last honor Garza receives for his play in the post this season. He is also a finalist for the 2020 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year award. The winner of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award will be announced on April 10.

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