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ROSEMONT, Ill. — Luka Garza has been selected as the 2020-21 Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.
Minnesota senior diver Sarah Bacon was recognized as the Female Athlete of the Year.
Garza is the fifth Hawkeye chosen as the male winner in the past 35 years, joining wrestlers Brent Metcalf (2008), Barry Davis (1985) and Ed Banach (1983), as well as football player Chuck Long (1986).
Garza swept all the major postseason awards (Wooden, Naismith, Associated Press, Oscar Robertson, NABC, Lute Olson, Sporting News) to become the 2021 consensus National Player of the Year, the eighth in Big Ten history and first since Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky in 2015.
The Washington, D.C., native led the nation in total points (747), player efficiency rating (35.84), 30-point games (8), field goals made (281), and 20-point games (22). Garza also ranked second nationally in points per game (24.1), fifth in free throw attempts (199), 10th in free throw makes (141) and 11th in double-doubles (13). His 747 points extended the single-season school record he set last season (740).
A two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, Garza surpassed Roy Marble as Iowa’s all-time leading scorer on Feb. 21 and finished his Hawkeye career with 2,306 points, which ranks seventh in Big Ten history.
Garza earned his degree in economics in May and is preparing for next week’s NBA Draft.
Bacon is the fourth Minnesota athlete selected female athlete of the year, the first since basketball standout Rachel Banham in 2016.