INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
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While the Hawkeyes were dominating their way to a second straight win against the Cyclones, the Iowa men’s basketball team got a bit of a win of its own.
Four-star center Luka Garza announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes on Twitter just before the Iowa-Iowa State game kicked off.
“I have decided that I will be attending the University of Iowa,” Garza posted on Twitter. “It’s a blessing to see the hard work pay off, but I know it’s just the beginning.”
Garza chose Iowa over 20 other schools, including Indiana, Georgetown, Notre Dame and Louisville. The Maret School (Washington, D.C.) senior is ranked on the ESPN 100 as the 17th best center in the nation and 24th best player in his region.
The 6-foot-11, 250-pounder doesn’t have a flashy game, but has impressed recruiters with how he uses his body and height effectively. He averaged 25.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game during his junior season, and his recruiting interest spiked over the last year.
“I can stretch the floor and I can hit the midrange shot and have pretty good moves in the post,” Garza said in an interview with USA Today in June. “I have to go with my advantages. I’m not the most athletic guy, so I have to use fakes and stuff to get around. When guys don’t box out, I have to take advantage.”
Garza is the second commitment of the 2017 class for Iowa. Head coach Fran McCaffery’s son, Iowa City West guard Connor McCaffery — also a four-star recruit — was the first.
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