Iowa junior Luka Garza has been named the recipient of the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award. The announcement was made by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Named after Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor in its sixth year recognizes the top center in Division I men’s college basketball. He is the first Hawkeye to win the award and the third Big Ten player to earn the honor.
“I have looked up to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar my entire life,” Garza said. “To win an award in his name is a tremendous honor and one that I share with my family. I am incredibly grateful to have the coaching staff, group of teammates, and my family, which put me in position to win this award. Lastly, I’d like to thank the loyal support of Hawkeye Nation!”
Garza averaged 26.2 points per game in Big Ten play in being named the conference player of the year.
“Luka Garza is a very intelligent player and it shows in his efficiency with the ball,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “To have 25 games with 20 points or more is no easy task and it proves the level of effort and focus he sustained throughout the season. Congratulations to Luka on this award and a remarkable junior year.”