Dawson Garcia, who led Marquette in scoring and rebounding and was a member of the Big East Conference All-Freshman team in 2021, is transferring to play men’s basketball at the University of North Carolina.
A resident of Prior Lake, Minn., Garcia averaged 13.0 points and 6.6 rebounds for the Golden Eagles. He scored in double figures 17 times, including a season-high 28 at Villanova and 24 in Marquette’s 83-70 win over the Tar Heels in the Smith Center on February 24. Those were two of six games in which he scored 20 or more points.
UNC sophomore guard Kerwin Walton and Garcia were AAU teammates on D1 Minnesota.
Garcia led all Big East freshmen in scoring and rebounding and was second in field goal percentage. Overall, he was 13th in the league in scoring and 11th in rebounding and field goal percentage.
“We recruited Dawson in high school because we thought he’d be a perfect fit here,” says Tar Heel head coach Hubert Davis. “He’s talented and versatile, has size and athleticism and can be dominant on both ends of the floor. He can score at the rim, he rebounds, shoots the three and runs the floor. He has the prototype of skills of today’s big men. I don’t think people understand how good he can be defensively. In high school he was one of the few players I watched who could guard all five positions.”
The 6-11 forward had three double-doubles (14 points/10 rebounds vs. Creighton, 20/11 vs. Connecticut and 24/11 at UNC) and grabbed 10 or more rebounds five times. He shot 48.0 percent from the floor and 78.3 percent from the free throw line. He also made 26 three-pointers and shot 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Garcia earned Big East Freshman of the Week honors three times.
He scored 2,092 points at Prior Lake High School, where he averaged 31.9 points and 9.7 rebounds as a senior and was a finalist for Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball award.
Garcia won a gold medal playing for Team USA and won Most Valuable Player honors in the 2019 U-18 3×3 World Cup. He also was the MVP of the 2019 U-18 3×3 U.S. Championship.
“Dawson comes from a great family,” says Davis. “He played AAU with Kerwin (Walton) and is a lot like Kerwin. They both get it done on the court, in the classroom and the community. We are very excited to have him part of the Carolina Basketball Family.”