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Marble Family Hurt Over Garza Number Retirement

March 10, 2021 7:22am

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta apologized to the family of Hawkeyes basketball great Roy Marble on Tuesday for any hard feelings they have over the retirement of star player Luka Garza's number.

Garza last month broke the 32-year-old career scoring record held by Marble, is the two-time Big Ten player of the year and is among the front-runners for national player of the year. Iowa announced after Sunday's home win against Wisconsin that no one in the basketball program would wear No. 55 after this season.

Marble led Iowa to its only 30-win season and an NCAA regional final in 1987 and to the Sweet 16 the next year, and many consider him the program's best player ever. His No. 23 has not been retired.

"We have learned since Sunday that Roy Marble's family was hurt and feeling disrespected since that day," Barta said. "I just want to take a moment and share that absolutely that disrespect was unintentional and to publicly apologize for that."

Marble died of cancer in 2015 at age 48. He and Garza are the only Iowa men's players to score more than 2,000 points.

His son, Roy Devyn Marble, tweeted Monday he would never watch another Iowa game.

The younger Marble also starred for the Hawkeyes. He scored more than 1,600 points and was an all-Big Ten first-team pick in 2014. Father and son both had short NBA careers.

Coach Fran McCaffery said he got involved in the discussions with the Marble family because he coached Roy Devyn Marble.

"I felt it was important to do that," McCaffery said, "and our conversations have been very positive and they will remain so as we move forward to honor Roy the way that he should be."