The greatest player in the history of Iowa men's basketball wrapped up his college career after four unforgettable seasons back in March. We knew Luka Garza would be headed to the professional ranks then -- we just didn't know where that would be. Now we know -- welcome to the Motor City, Luka!
Garza was selected with the 52nd overall pick -- the 22nd pick of the second round -- of the 2021 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons also had the #1 overall pick in this year's draft, which they used to take Oklahoma State superstar freshman Cade Cunningham. So the Pistons managed to get the reigning Wooden Player of the Year, Naismith Player of the Year, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year, AP Player of the Year, and Big Ten Player of the Year -- and Cade Cunningham, too! What a draft!
In Detroit, Luka could be reunited with a former Hawkeye teammate -- who seems pretty excited about that possibility.
AAHHHHHHHHHHH LETS GOOOOOO!!!!!! @LukaG_55— Tyler Cook (@iamtc25) July 30, 2021
Garza becomes the fourth Iowa player of the McCaffery Era selected in the NBA Draft, after Devyn Marble in 2014, Aaron White in 2015, and Joe Wieskamp earlier tonight. With Garza and Wieskamp both being selected, this becomes the first season in which two Iowa players have been taken in the NBA Draft since 1998, when Ricky Davis and Ryan Bowen heard their names called.
Watching Luka Garza absolutely work his ass off to dominate the Big Ten over the last few seasons was an incredible privilege to watch. Garza's development from his promising freshman season to his transcendent dominance over his last two years in Iowa City was amazing to behold. He succeeded in college by working harder than anyone else on the floor; to earn an NBA roster spot, he's going to have to work even harder. But if anyone can do it, it's probably Garza. We sure aren't going to bet against him. Take flight, Peacock -- the Motor City awaits. We're rooting like hell for you to succeed.