ROSEMONT, Ill. — University of Iowa men’s basketball center Luka Garza has been named the 2020-21 Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year, the conference announced on Wednesday.

Garza is the first Hawkeye men’s basketball player to earn the Big Ten Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year award, which was introduced in 1992. He is one of five Iowa student-athletes, and first in 13 years, to be presented with the Big Ten’s most prestigious annual honor. Other previous Hawkeyes selected include wrestlers Brent Metcalf (2008), Barry Davis (1985) and Ed Banach (1983), and football’s Chuck Long (1986).

Garza is the first basketball player to earn the distinction since Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine in 2016, and only the seventh all-time.

Garza swept all major postseason men’s basketball awards in 2021 (Wooden, Naismith, Associated Press, Oscar Robertson, NABC, Lute Olson, Sporting News) to become the program’s first consensus National Player of the Year. Iowa’s first two-time unanimous consensus first-team All-American led the nationally-ranked Hawkeyes to 22 victories and a third place Big Ten finish in 2021.

Garza, who graduated in May with a degree in economics, led the nation in total points (747), 30-point games (8), field goals made (281), and 20-point games (22). The native of Washington, D.C., 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).

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Bowden has terminal medical condition

Hall of Fame college football coach Bobby Bowden announced Wednesday he has been diagnosed with a terminal medical condition. The 91-year-old Bowden was hospitalized last October after he tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test came a few days after returning to his Tallahassee home from a lengthy hospital stay for an infection in his leg.

During his 34 years coaching Florida State, Bowden amassed a 315-98-4 record and built the Seminoles into a national power, winning 12 Atlantic Coast Conference championships and national titles in 1993 and 1999. He won 357 games during his 40 years in college coaching.

FOOTBALL

49ers’ Warner becomes highest paid LB

Fred Warner absolutely should pan out as the 49ers’ latest, highly paid linebacker. Which would be a welcome change.

Malcolm Smith, Reuben Foster and Kwon Alexander sure didn’t, not after this current regime anted up for them in 2017, ‘18 and ‘19. Warner’s first three seasons earned him not only a raise but a market-setting salary among linebackers. He’s agreed to a five-year, $95 million contract extension with $40.5 million guaranteed.

SOCCER

Vikings-owning Wilfs finalize MLS purchase

ORLANDO, Fla. — The owners of the Minnesota Vikings have finalized the acquisition of Orlando City, giving the Wilf family control of the MLS franchise.

The Lions announced Wednesday that brothers Mark Wilf and Zygi Wilf and their cousin, Lenny Wilf, will be managing partners. Mark Wilf will serve as chairman and governor. The Wilf family, whose fortune was built in the New Jersey real estate firm Garden Homes, bought the Vikings in 2005.

CROSS COUNTRY

Former NCAA champion runner gets prison

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A former NCAA champion runner was sentenced Wednesday to at least 40 months in prison for a drunken driving crash that killed a woman in southeastern Michigan. Boaz Kisang Cheboiywo pleaded no contest in June to causing a death while operating a vehicle while drunk. The 42-year-old native of Kenya was involved in a multi-vehicle crash in April in Ypsilanti Township, 40 miles west of Detroit. Christen Knight, 38, of Canton was killed, MLive.com reported.

The Associated Press

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