Luka Garza ’17 was the No. 52 pick to the Detroit Pistons in the second round of last night’s NBA Draft held in Brooklyn, NY. Maret coach Chuck Driesell, says, “I am so excited for Luka and his family. If there is anyone deserving of this opportunity to play in the NBA, it’s Luka. He’s a great player—and will be a long-term player in the NBA—but more importantly, he’s a super person. He’s the epitome of what you look for in a player—hard working, unselfish, wants to be part of a team and do all the right things. Luka is humble, positive, and loyal. Just recently, he came back to work with current Maret players, sat on the bench at one of their games, and showed his support for his alma mater. I cannot say enough good things about Luka.”
As a Hawkeye, Garza earned the highest honors possible, finished his collegiate career as Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, and became only one of nine players in Iowa’s men’s basketball history to have his jersey number (#55) retired. Garza has far too many accomplishments to list, but a few of his most noteworthy include: two-time National Player of the Year and Big Ten Player of the Year, two-time Pete Newell Big Man of the Year, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year. He was also the only player in Big Ten history with 2,250+ points and 900+ rebounds and became Iowa’s all-time scoring leader (2,306).
As a Fighting Frog, Garza was honored as the 2017 Gatorade DC Boys Basketball player of the Year. He averaged 24.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.1 assists his senior year and led No. 17 Maret (26-5) to the championship game of the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference and the DC State Athletic Association playoffs. Garza was also a first team All-Met honoree as a senior, shot 69 percent from the field, including 48 percent from 3-point range as a senior, and in his final game for the Fighting Frogs, posted 37 points and 17 rebounds in a 77-66 loss to Gonzaga in the DCSAA State final.
Beyond the hard courts and statistics, Garza was an all-around student who engaged in every aspect of school life. He was a fixture in the concert band as a violinist, an outstanding shot-putter on the Track and Field team, and a role model to many younger students.
Congratulations, Luka, we can’t wait to see you with the Pistons in Detroit!