Big players and big titles

Michele Barnum , News Writer

The University of Iowa continues to gain recognition in more ways than one. Junior, Luka Garza and senior, Kathleen Doyle, have both been announced as Big Ten Conference Players of the Year. They received this title on March 2 after both having successful seasons in men’s and women’s basketball.

Garza is the starting center player for the men’s basketball team at Iowa, and is the first male athlete to receive this award in 52 years. He was voted for this award by the league’s coaches and media members. Some notable accomplishments Garza had this season was averaging 23.9 points in 31 games, being named to the Big Ten Conference’s first-team All-Big Ten squad, first-team All American and National Player of the Year.

“This is a dream come true. Being the first Hawkeye to win this award in 52 years means the world to me. You dream of moments like this,” Garza said on Twitter. “I want to thank my teammates and coaches. To be honest, if I wasn’t in this program, I don’t think any of this would be possible.”

Doyle is the starting guard for the women’s basketball team at Iowa. She is the sixth Big Ten player of the year at Iowa and follows Megan Gustafson, two year recipient. She has also been named first-team Big Ten honors for the third year in a row. In 18 games, she averaged 19.8 points and is ranked fifth nationally in total assists.

“The support I’ve received over the last couple days has been amazing,” Doyle said on Twitter. “People reaching out, Hawkeye fans saying congrats around town, it all means a lot.”

Both Doyle’s and Garza’s seasons were cut short due to COVID-19 due to March Madness being cancelled. Although it is unclear if Doyle will return, Garza has announced he will finish his senior season as a Hawkeye.