Iowa basketball sets Luka Garza ceremony; Roy Marble's No. 23 jersey will also be retired

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

In announcing the celebration of the number retirement of Luka Garza, the University of Iowa athletics department also closed a messy chapter by announcing that the No. 23 jersey of Roy Marble will also be retired on Feb. 22.

Garza’s No. 55 will be retired in a halftime ceremony of that night’s game against Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. In the same release, the university said that jerseys of program legends Marble, Murray Wier and Chuck Darling would also be retired in a pregame ceremony at 5:45 p.m., about 15 minutes ahead of the Hawkeyes’ home game against the Spartans.

The initial announcement that Garza’s No. 55 would be retired was a surprise by athletics director Gary Barta following Iowa’s home finale last season against Wisconsin. That led to tears from Garza, who had passed Marble as the program’s all-time leading scorer earlier in the season. But it also led to hard feelings from the late Roy Marble’s son, former Hawkeye standout Devyn Marble, who tweeted that, “I’ll never watch another Iowa game in my life with the amount of disrespect that school has shown me and my family. Love the fans but I'm in no way affiliated or connected to the university.”

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Iowa center Luka Garza reacts after learning his No. 55 jersey would be retired following the Hawkeyes' March 7 home win against Wisconsin.

A few days later, Barta apologized for what the Marble family viewed as disrespect and said there would be discussions about how to honor Marble, who scored 2,116 points in a four-year career from 1986-89, and first-team consensus all-Americans Wier (1948) and Darling (1952).

Now the plans are clear. The university said family members for Wier and Marble would be on hand Feb. 22, but didn’t specify who would be there.

Of course, Garza will be in attendance. Garza owns Iowa’s all-time mark with 2,306 points, a total that ranks No. 7 in Big Ten Conference history, and he was the 2021 consensus national player of the year in Division I men’s basketball. As a senior, Garza led the nation in points (747), 30-point games (eight), field goals (281) and 20-point games (22). Garza was a two-time consensus first-team all-American for the Hawkeyes.

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Finally, the university announced that retired numbers and jerseys would be hanging from the Carver-Hawkeye Arena rafters beginning next week.

Those already retired include nine men’s players — B.J. Armstrong (10) Ronnie Lester (12), Carl Cain (21), Bill Seaberg (22), Bill Logan (31), Bill Schoof (33), Chris Street (40), Greg Stokes (41) and Sharm Scheuerman (46). Two women’s players — Megan Gustafson (10) and Michelle Edwards (30) — will also be commemorated in the rafters.

“Congratulations to Luka, Murray, Chuck and Roy. Their accomplishments are well documented, and this recognition is well deserved,” Barta said in a statement. "This conversation reemerged with the incredible success of Megan and Luka. I’m pleased we took the opportunity to look back at our history, and moving forward all of men’s and women’s honorees will be recognized in the rafters of Carver-Hawkeye Arena.”

The university said Wednesday about 3,000 tickets are available for the Michigan State game.