Luka Garza finds out Iowa will retire his No. 55 jersey in emotional senior night ceremony
Iowa defeated Wisconsin 77-73 on Sunday afternoon, cementing the Hawkeyes’ position as the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament this week.
But this game will be remembered for a more meaningful moment — the final home game for college basketball legend Luka Garza.
After the game, Iowa held a special senior night ceremony that included a big announcement: Garza’s No. 55 jersey will never ben worn against at Iowa.
"Time slowed down as I heard those words" –@LukaG_55
— Grant Becker (@GBeckTV) March 7, 2021
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Here’s the announcement and a short speech from Garza during the senior night ceremony:
All the feels 😢@LukaG_55's No. 55 will forever hang in the rafters for @IowaHoops
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) March 7, 2021
“I just want to thank coach McCaffery for giving me the chance too come here to the University of Iowa,” Garza said. “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.”
Garza scored 21 points and recorded 16 rebounds in the victory, his last at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Earlier this season, Garza became the all-time leading scorer in Iowa history. He’s a shoe-in to be named a First Team All-American for the second consecutive year, and he’s currently the front-runner for National Player of the Year.
For his career, Garza is averaging 17.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. His numbers increased significantly as an upperclassman — he’s averaging 23.9 points per contest over the last two seasons.
“Luka Garza epitomizes everything that you want in your program,” McCaffery said in a release. “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.”
The Big Ten Tournament begins on March 10.