Former Iowa star Luka Garza loses 30 pounds in preparation for NBA Draft, new role
Luka Garza is coming off of one of the most productive collegiate careers in recent memory, but the former Iowa big man still had a lot of work to do before he could impress NBA scouts.
Prior to the NBA Draft combine in Chicago this week, Garza says he dropped 30 pounds in order to get into better shape for the pre-draft process.
“I think I’ve showed people that I’ve changed my body a little bit and I’m excited about the results,” Garza said.
Garza explained his process here with ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz:
All-time leading scorer for @IowaHoops Luka Garza on how he's prepping his mind & body for the NBA Draft!
📺: Microsoft Surface NBA Draft Combine on ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/2ezyVSTF6Y
— NBA Draft (@NBADraft) June 24, 2021
Garza’s weaknesses coming into the draft are mostly on the defensive end. Scouts are concerned that teams will be able to force him into bad matchups on the perimeter. Garza also acknowledged that he’ll be playing more on the perimeter offensively at the NBA level as well — another reason for the weight loss.
Garza hasn’t participated in 5-on-5 games at the combine due to a groin injury, but he seemed to have a good week in Chicago overall.
He performed well during agility and shooting drills:
Luka Garza unofficial NBA Combine Numbers: 11.9 seconds in the pro agility drill.
Faster than USC's Isaiah Mobley, Auburn's JT Thor and a few other big men.
Not sure how many people were expecting that from Garza.
— David Eickholt (@DavidEickholt) June 23, 2021
Slimmed down Luka Garza in lane agility. Worth watching with scouts big concern being mobility, ability to defend in space pic.twitter.com/zqdRJnA26a
— Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass) June 23, 2021
Late night workout with Iowa's Luka Garza at UIC in Chicago. Garza has lost nearly 30 pounds from the end of the season, down to a svelte 243 pounds. Shooting the ball really well here. pic.twitter.com/CqFnCC8Sxz
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 23, 2021
Ending the night watching a slimmed down Luka Garza splash corner 3 after corner 3. One of the most productive players in college basketball history looks great physically and has an excellent opportunity to showcase his talent the next few days in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/wZYaJQryig
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) June 23, 2021
Garza is currently projected to be a second round pick.
The 2021 NBA Draft is on July 29.