Dawson Garcia Lets Everyone Know He’s Coming for Big Ten Player of the Year

NCAA Basketball: Ohio State at Minnesota
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Dawson Garcia, the star Minnesota Gopher basketball player from Prior Lake, had the opportunity to transfer to a bigger school or seek more lucrative NIL deals this offseason. Instead, he chose to stay home and finish his college career with the Golden Gophers.

Last year, Garcia was impressive, starting in 31 games for the Gophers and leading the team with 17.6 points per game. He also grabbed 6.7 rebounds, earning a spot on the All-Big Ten Second Team as selected by the media.

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Dawson Garcia isn’t satisfied, though, and he shouldn’t be. During their summer practice media availability on Monday, Garcia revealed his ambitions for the upcoming season, which clearly include an All-American team and the Big Ten Player of the Year award.

I’ve got All-American aspirations, Big Ten player of the year aspirations, i’m not coming back to just play around. I’m excited about pushing the ball up the floor and becoming more of a playmaker. [Rebounding] more aggressively. That’s what I want to do.

Dawson Garcia

Garcia, the former McDonald’s All-American out of high school, knows his potential and is setting high expectations for himself in his final season of college basketball. Despite numerous opportunities to leave, he’s chosen to stay and prove himself in his home state of Minnesota.

Garcia began his college basketball career at Marquette University, then transferred to the University of North Carolina for a season. Afterward, he returned home to Minnesota, where he is gonna play his final three years of college hoops.

Dawson Garcia Chooses to Stay Home Despite Larger NIL Offers

After last season, the Gophers saw several key players leave via the transfer portal—Braeden Carrington, Pharrell Payne, Josh Ola-Joseph, and Elijah Hawkins—and Cam Christie declared for the NBA draft. Despite this, Dawson Garcia chose to stay loyal to his hometown Gophers, opting to take less money to remain with the team.

It’s definitely hard when there’s temptations all around, you get into a thing mentally with comparisons that I’m way better than a kid who is getting way more money than me. That’s just natural and human nature.

Dawson Garcia

Garcia acknowledges that it’s tough to see other players make more money than him, but he understands that’s just how life goes sometimes. Accepting this reality, he decided to stay with the Gophers for his final season, determined to do everything he can to chase the Big Ten Player of the Year trophy.

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