|No. 10, 55, 3|
March 5, 1977 |
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (201 cm)|
|Listed weight||244 lb (111 kg)|
|High school||Cold Spring Harbor
(Cold Spring Harbor, New York)
|College||Miami (Ohio) (1995–1999)|
|NBA draft||1999 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall|
|Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Pro playing career||1999–2009|
|Career highlights and awards|
- 1 Early life
- 2 College career
- 3 NBA career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Sports broadcasting
- 6 NBA career statistics
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Szczerbiak was born in Madrid, Spain, to Marilyn and Walt Szczerbiak (a former ABA player) who was playing for Real Madrid, helping the team to three European League championships. Walt also set a Spanish League single-game scoring record with 65 points. Wally spent much of his childhood in Europe during his father's playing career.
When Walt retired, he moved his family back to his native Long Island, New York, where Wally played basketball at Cold Spring Harbor High School in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. As a senior in the 1994-95 season, he averaged 36.6 points per game and 15.9 rebounds. He was named the winner of the Richard Sangler Award as Nassau County's outstanding boys' basketball player. Szczerbiak competed for the Long Island team in the 1994 Empire State Games. Despite Szczerbiak's gaudy high school statistics, because he went to a small school he didn't make any All-American teams and East Coast universities showed little interest in recruiting him.
During the fall of his senior year in high school, Wally and his parents made a visit to the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The following Monday, despite his dad's wishes for Wally to wait on making a decision, Wally called coach Herb Sendek and committed to play college basketball for the RedHawks.
In his first two seasons he averaged 8.0 and 12.8 points, respectively, for Miami. In his junior season of 1997-98, he burst onto the scene as one of college basketball's leading scorers, averaging 24.4 points per game and earning first-team All-MAC honors despite missing several games with a broken right wrist.
In his senior season of 1998-99, he averaged 24.2 points per game and led the RedHawks to the Sweet 16 in the 1999 NCAA Tournament as a #10 seed. Szczerbiak scored a career-high 43 points in a first-round win over #7 seed University of Washington. He followed that up with 24 points in the second round against #2 seed Utah, leading the Redhawks to the Sweet 16, where they would eventually lose to Kentucky 58-43, despite Szczerbiak's 23-point performance. Miami finished the season 24-8.
He finished his career at Miami University as the university's second all-time leading scorer with 1,847 points.
In 2001, Szczerbiak became the fifth Miami player to have his jersey retired (#32). In 2009, he was inducted into the Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Minnesota Timberwolves (1999–2006)
The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Szczerbiak 6th overall in the 1999 NBA Draft. His best year as a pro was in 2002 when he was a coaches' selection to the Western Conference All-Star team. Later he tied a Timberwolves franchise record of 44 points on April 13, 2003, since broken by Kevin Love. Szczerbiak was coming off the bench for the 2004-05 NBA season. He was uncomfortable with the role and wanted to be a starter. In the 2005-06 season, the former all–star returned to the starting role.
Boston Celtics (2006–07)
On January 26, 2006, Szczerbiak, along with Michael Olowokandi, Dwayne Jones and a conditional first–round draft pick, was traded to the Boston Celtics for Ricky Davis, Mark Blount, Marcus Banks, Justin Reed, and two second-round draft picks.
Szczerbiak underwent knee surgery in the 2006 offseason to fix a knee which had been injured for several months.
In the 2006-07 season, Szczerbiak played well early on, including a 35-point performance against the Charlotte Bobcats early in the season. However, he was soon plagued by several injuries to both ankles, which greatly affected his performance, namely his shooting and jumping ability. Szczerbiak decided to have season–ending surgery on his ankles.
Seattle SuperSonics (2007–08)
On June 28 (the night of the 2007 NBA Draft), the Celtics traded Szczerbiak to the Seattle SuperSonics along with Delonte West and Jeff Green (Boston's 5th overall pick) for Ray Allen and Glen Davis (Seattle's 35th overall).
Cleveland Cavaliers (2008–09)
On February 21, 2008, Szczerbiak was traded from the SuperSonics to the Cleveland Cavaliers along with Sonics teammate Delonte West, in a 3-way deal also involving the Bulls, which also sent Ben Wallace and Joe Smith to Cleveland.
Szczerbiak played in 25 regular season games (one start) with the Cavaliers averaging 8.2 points and 3.2 rebounds. He scored 18 points against Detroit on April 16, 2008. Between the SuperSonics and the Cavaliers, Szczerbiak played in 75 games (two starts) and averaged 11.5 points and 2.9 rebounds.
During the playoffs, Wally took over as a starter for the Cleveland Cavaliers playing at the #2 spot. Wally helped the Cavs get past the first–round of the 2008 NBA Playoffs by putting up 26 points along with shooting 6–13 from the 3 point line in game six against the Washington Wizards. For the playoffs, Szczerbiak averaged 10.8 points per game.
During the 2008–2009 NBA season, Szczerbiak played in 74 games, starting in 5 of them. Given 20 minutes a game, Szczerbiak averaged 7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting .450% from the field and .411% from 3.
During the offseason, Szczerbiak's contract ran up and was not renewed by the Cavaliers, making him a free agent. The accquistions of guard Anthony Parker and forward Jamario Moon, both formerly of the Toronto Raptors, had made Szczerbiak, who earned $63 million from a contract he had signed back with Minnesota, expendable. Total earnings during the entirety of his career are roughly estimated at $74 million.
Knee surgery and retirement
On November 5. 2009, Szczerbiak revealed that he had a third surgery performed on his left knee three weeks earlier, and that his career could be over as a result.
A week later, on November 11, 2009, he reportedly rejected a contract offer from the Denver Nuggets (which was worth the league's veteran minimum); opting instead to continue to rehabilitate from the knee surgery and possibly test the free agent market again if the rehab goes well. Another report around this date had him reportedly mulling the possibility of retirement for a broadcasting career after a tryout opportunity with the New York Knicks fell through.
Szczerbiak met his wife, Shannon (Ward), when they were both class of 1999 students in the same freshman orientation group at Miami University. They have three children, the youngest of whom, son Maximus Jack, was born on March 1, 2008. The other two children are daughters, Annabella and Amberley.
In 2013, Szczerbiak was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.
After his playing career, Szczerbiak became a basketball analyst for CBS College Sports.
Currently, he is an analyst at MSG Network covering the New York Knicks and contributes to the post-game show following every game.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- NBA.com, Wally Szczerbiak, College Career
- Szczerbiak, Davis change teams in seven-player trade
- Sonics' Allen traded to Celtics for Wally, West & Green, June 29, 2007
- Cavs get Wallace from Bulls, Szczerbiak from Sonics, February 21, 2008
- http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/player_main.aspx?id=610&sport=Wally Szczerbiak news and career stats at Rotoworld.com
- "Bird Set to go at end of season" article, written By Peter Vescey, 18 October 2009.
- Wally's NY Knick Dream is over; Szczerbiak mulling retirement, NY Post, article 11 November 2009.
- Szczerbiak misses game to be with wife, who is expecting couple's third child
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wally Szczerbiak.|
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com
- Wally Szczerbiak at Basketball-Reference.com
- Statistics from ESPN.com