An Open Letter To 2 Great Hawkeyes: Luka Garza & Jordan Bohannon [PHOTO GALLERY]
Dear Luka and Jordan:
Thank you. I don't know any other way to start this. It's been an incredible ride watching you guys become Iowa's all-time leaders in scoring, assists, and 3-pointers made.
Let me start with you, Jordan. After all, you are the elder statesman on the team due to the hip injuries that required two surgeries and presented the opportunity to play another year. That's what's most amazing to me. The numbers you've been able to put up, despite huge hurdles. At his media conference this week, coach Fran McCaffery said this about you:
He has a competitive side that most people don't have... He's fearless... His sophomore year, which is one that I will always remember, he gutted it out... He's playing on two bad hips and plantar fasciitis. That's the epitome of toughness right there. He just fought through and never complained one time. I didn't even know he had anything wrong with him. He just showed up and played.
And you scored. Perhaps most importantly, you helped other people score... better than any Hawkeye in history. You just keep adding to these Iowa records:
- 352 made 3-pointers. By the way, the EIGHT makes last night were a thing of beauty. We were all left wondering what could've happened had you not sat the last 11 minutes because of the huge lead...
- 617 assists on baskets by your teammates over the years. Incredible.
- It's not a record, but certainly worth noting that your career point total now sits at 1578, tied with Adam Haluska for 11th in Hawkeye history. Just 34 more and you'll knock Jess Settles out of the top ten on the all-time list. As much fun as he had calling your made 3's on the Big Ten Network last night, I doubt he'd mind.
Work ethic. Desire. An engine that never stops. Those are all things that I can't help but think of every time I watch you, Luka.
I knew how much you wanted to win when you wept on the shoulder of Nicholas Baer after the unthinkable comeback that fell just short against Tennessee in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Looking back at that moment now, it's no wonder the leaps you've made the last two seasons. No one wanted it more. No one.
It's been fun to watch him become the national player of the year... Because he's a guy that you root for when you watch his professionalism in terms of everything that he does, how he lives his life, how he prepares in the weight room, he prepares in practice, how he studies the scouting report, and how he works on his craft.
It just kills me that you guys won't have a jam-packed Carver-Hawkeye Arena for your final home game on Sunday. Then again, maybe it's for the best. We might not have gotten the game played because the standing ovation would probably never end. I assure you this... I'll be standing and applauding in front of my television Sunday morning.
Next week, the Big Ten Tournament and then, undoubtedly, a very high seed in the NCAA Tournament. Sure, I want a long run in both tournaments, and Iowa's first Final Four appearance since 1980, but I know you guys want it much more. I'm going to try to sit back, relax, enjoy it, and be thankful. Times like these, and players like the two of you, don't come around very often. Thank you for all the thrills. Thank you.