Hawkeyes Garza, Wieskamp participate in 2021 NBA Draft Combine

Former Hawkeye Luka Garza lost 22 pounds between the end of the 2020-21 collegiate season and the NBA Draft Combine.


Jun 23, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Iowa s Luka Garza participates during the NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena.Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

Sixty-nine NBA prospects traveled to Chicago for the 2021 NBA Draft Combine on June 21-27, including two Iowa men’s basketball players: center Luka Garza and guard Joe Wieskamp. At the combine, both Hawkeyes had the opportunity to raise their draft stock.

In Garza’s 2020-21 senior season, he was recognized as the consensus National Player of the Year. But at 6-foot-11 and 265 pounds, Garza was larger than most NBA bigs at the end of the 2020-21 collegiate basketball season.

Garza transformed his body over the offseason with the help of a “flexitarian” diet — he hired a personal chef and cut out breads and sugars while focusing on a plant-based diet. At the combine, Garza weighed in at 243 pounds with 11.7 percent body fat.

Garza’s lane agility tested 48th of 55 participants with a 11.90-second time.

Garza did not participate in the final days of the combine, the 5-on-5 drills, because of a groin injury.

But despite his inability to play in simulated games, Garza is confident in his draft stock.

“I think I can show [scouts] that now at this new weight, I’m moving my feet better than they thought,” Garza said. “I want them to have confidence that they can put me out there and I can have a ball screen efficiently and do stuff like that. Because that’s the biggest question like around my game. And I want to show them that my shooting will translate. I’m a 3-point shooter, I can shoot it from range, and I’ve shot it pretty well here.”

Before the NBA Combine this year, there was mixed consensus for junior Wieskamp and his potential to be drafted in the 2021 NBA Draft.

The Muscatine, Iowa, native had steady production throughout his three years as a Hawkeye, filling out the starting five for Iowa in 2020-21.

Wieskamp improved his scoring throughout the 2020-21 season as he shot just under 50 percent from the floor and 46 percent from the 3-point line, averaging 14.8 points.

RELATED: Iowa’s Luka Garza awarded 2021 men’s Wooden Award, secures consensus National Player of the Year honors

Although he participated in the combine, Wieskamp has not yet made an official decision on whether to pursue the NBA Draft or return to Iowa for his senior season. He has until July 7 to make his decision.

Wieskamp posted an explosive 10.70 time in the lane agility test — fourth-best out of all combine participants.

He was also top-five in the vertical jump with a 42-inch maximum, getting the praise of former Hawkeye and current Detroit Piston Tyler Cook.

Wieskamp scored a team-high eight points in his first 5-on-5 game at the combine, but his team lost by 40 points. In his second game, he posted a double-double, with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

He came into the combine weighing 204.8 pounds with a 4.1 percent body fat — only behind Tennessee’s Yves Pons for lowest body fat percentage.

If Wieskamp decides to test the waters in the NBA and not return to the Hawkeyes for 2021-22, he and Garza will participate in the NBA Draft on July 29.