Garza and Clark named finalists for AAU James E. Sullivan Award

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Clark or Garza could join Iowa Wrestling’s Spencer Lee on the list of Hawkeyes who won the Sullivan Award.

Pierre Casey

Iowa Center Luka Garza celebrates during the Iowa Men’s Basketball game against Michigan State on February 2, 2021 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Garza became the second male Hawkeye player to exceed 2,000 career points in the game. (Casey Stone / The Iowan Daily)


Former Iowa men’s basketball player Luka Garza and current Hawkeye women’s basketball point guard Caitlin Clark are both finalists for the James E. Sullivan Amateur Athletic Union Award, according to a statement.

Since 1930, the honor has generally been bestowed on an amateur athlete – male or female – each year. The AUA created the Sullivan Award to recognize the contributions and achievements of athletes across the country.

The James E. Sullivan Award will be presented at the Rosen Center in Orlando, Fla. On October 22. A special recognition reception will be held with the Orlando Magic later in the evening.

The presentation of the Sullivan Prize on October 22 will recognize the achievements of athletes in 2020-21, not 2021-22.

Last season, Garza averaged 24.1 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He won all of the Major National Player of the Year awards in 2020-21, including the John R. Wooden National Player of the Year award and the Naismith National Player of the Year award.

Garza also won the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the Associated Press, Lute Olson, Sports news, and the NABC National Player of the Year awards.

Garza currently holds the UI single-season and career scoring records. Two-time player of the year Big Ten scored 747 points in 2021 not only to set the single-season scoring record, but also to break Roy Marble’s career points record. Garza ended his Hawkeye career with 2,306 points.

In July, Garza won the Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year Award and was drafted by the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association. Garza was the 52nd overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Clark also earned his share of recognition in 2020-2021. The now sophomore was named a first-team All-American by Athleticism, the Basketball Writers Association of the United States, and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Clark led the country in total assists (214), total points (799), points per game (26.6), baskets scored (266) and 3 runs scored (116) last season. She placed second in assists per game (7.1) and 3 points scored per game (3.87).

The 6-foot-tall Iowan scored 26.6 points and racked up 5.9 rebounds per game in 2020-21 on her way to winning the Dawn Staley Award – which is given to the best point guard in all of women’s college basketball. of Division I of the NCAA every year.

“These exceptional athletes truly embody the spirit of the AAU James E. Sullivan Award,” said Jennings “Rusty” Buchanan, AAU President and CEO. “They are not only the top performers in their sport, but they also demonstrate leadership qualities, good character and sportsmanship on and off the field.”

One University of Iowa athlete won last year’s Sullivan Award: Spencer Lee. Wrestler Hawkeye was named the co-winner of the award alongside former Oregon girls basketball player and current WNBA New York Liberty member Sabrina Ionescu.

Lee was only the fifth wrestler in history to win the James E. Sullivan AAU Award. Ionescu was the seventh basketball player to claim this honor.

Other notable recipients of the James E. Sullivan Award include former University of Tennessee quarterback and current Professional Football Hall of Fame member Peyton Manning and former Olympic gold medalist and swimmer at the ‘University of Michigan Michael Phelps.


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