Iowa basketball: Luka Garza, Joe Wieskamp earn NBA Combine invitations

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp, the top two players on last year’s Iowa basketball team that spent most of the season in the national top 10, have accepted invitations to participate in next week’s NBA Scouting Combine in Chicago, they told the Des Moines Register via text message on Tuesday.

Later Tuesday, the NBA revealed the 69 players that would participate in the Combine (which runs June 21-27). Another 30 or so will be part of a G League Elite Camp (which begins Saturday).

Garza, a 6-foot-11 center, is the reigning consensus national player of the year after leading the Big Ten Conference in scoring at 24.1 points per game.

Wieskamp, a 6-foot-6 wing and a second-team all-Big Ten selection, averaged 14.8 points per game last season and shot 46.2% from 3-point range.

Garza and Wieskamp are two of only five Big Ten players on the invite list. The others: Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu, Michigan State's Aaron Henry and Michigan's Isaiah Livers. Both Hawkeyes are considered potential second-round picks for NBA Draft, which will be held July 29.

Joe Wieskamp delivered a strong junior season for the Hawkeyes.

The Combine experience has been a long time coming for Garza and Wieskamp. Last year’s offseason impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately cut off borderline potential pros from the NBA process. Garza and Wieskamp elected to return to Iowa for another year, and they’ve parlayed strong seasons into Combine invites.

That Wieskamp received a Combine invite is especially notable and good news for the three-year Hawkeye from Muscatine. Wieskamp still has the option to return to Iowa after going through the NBA process, but by NCAA rule would have to announce his intent to return by 11:59 p.m. July 7. Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said recently that Wieskamp has been working out in Las Vegas and “is in great shape." At this point, it would be a major surprise if Wieskamp returned to the Hawkeyes.

Players will conduct team interviews and perform drills during the Combine. Five-on-five games will be televised on June 24 (ESPN2) and 25 (ESPNU). 

Tyler Cook was the most recent Hawkeye to participate in the NBA Combine. In 2019, Cook used a strong performance in the G League Elite Camp to earn a spot in the Combine. That worked out well for Cook, who turned pro that year and is signed through next season with the Detroit Pistons.