Wally Szczerbiak

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Wally Szczerbiak
Wally Szczerbiak Cavs.jpg
No. 10, 55, 3
Forward
Personal information
Born (1977-03-05) March 5, 1977 (age 37)
Madrid, Spain
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 244 lb (111 kg)
Career information
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 history
19992006 Minnesota Timberwolves
20062007 Boston Celtics
2007–2008 Seattle SuperSonics
20082009 Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards

Walter Robert "Wally" Szczerbiak (/ˈsɜrbi.æk/ SUR-bee-ak; born March 5, 1977) is a former American professional basketball player in the NBA.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Szczerbiak was born in Madrid, Spain, to Marilyn[3] and Walt Szczerbiak, a former ABA player who was helping lead Real Madrid to three European League championships. While there he set a Spanish League single-game scoring record with 65 points.[4] 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. 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[5] and 15.9 rebounds.[6] He was named the winner of the Richard Sangler Award as Nassau County's outstanding boys' basketball player.[7] Szczerbiak competed for the Long Island team in the 1994 Empire State Games. Despite Szczerbiak's outstanding high school statistics, his small school background failed to impress East Coast college coaches and he went unrecruited.[8]

College career[edit]

During the fall of his senior year in high school Szczerbiak and his parents made a visit to the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. The following Monday, despite Walt's wishes for Wally to wait on making a decision, Szczerbiak called coach Herb Sendek and committed to play college basketball for the RedHawks.[9]

In his first two seasons there he averaged 8.0 and 12.8 points. As a junior in 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.[10][11]

In his senior season 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 with 24 points in a second round toppling of #2 seed Utah, leading the Redhawks to the Sweet 16. Despite Szczerbiak's 23-point performance they would eventually lose to Kentucky 58-43. Miami finished the season 24-8.

Szczerbiak was named MAC Player of the Year, and first-team All-American by Basketball News and Sports Illustrated and second-team All-American by the Associated Press (AP).[12]

He finished his college career as Miami University's second all-time leading scorer, with 1,847 points.[13] A marketing major, he graduated from the university's Richard T. Farmer School of Business.

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.[14]

NBA career[edit]

Wally Szczerbiak shoots a free throw

Minnesota Timberwolves (1999–2006)[edit]

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)[edit]

Szczerbiak with the Celtics

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.[15]

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 shooting and jumping ability. Szczerbiak decided to have season-ending surgery on his ankles.

Seattle SuperSonics (2007–08)[edit]

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 (the 5th overall pick) for Ray Allen and Glen Davis (35th overall).[16]

Cleveland Cavaliers (2008–09)[edit]

Szczerbiak with the Cavaliers

On February 21, 2008, Szczerbiak and teammate Delonte West were traded by the SuperSonics to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 3-way deal involving the Chicago Bulls, who also sent Ben Wallace and Joe Smith to Cleveland.[17]

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 2008 NBA Playoffs Szczerbiak started at shooting guard for the Cavaliers, helping the Cavs defeat the Washington Wizards in the first–round by putting up 26 points and shooting 6–13 from the 3 point line in game six against. 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 the 3-point line.

Free agency[edit]

During the offseason Szczerbiak's contract with the Cavaliers expired. The acquisitions of guard Anthony Parker and forward Jamario Moon from the Toronto Raptors made the free agent expendable and Szczerbiak went unsigned.

He'd earned $63 million from a contract he had signed back with Minnesota, and (roughly estimated) $74 million during his entire NBA career.[citation needed]

Retirement[edit]

On November 5. 2009, Szczerbiak revealed he'd had a career-ending third surgery performed on his left knee three weeks earlier.[18]

A week later he reportedly rejected a league veteran's minimum contract offer from the Denver Nuggets, opting instead to continue to rehabilitate his knee and possibly test the free agent market later. Another contemporary report had him mulling a broadcasting career after a tryout with the New York Knicks reportedly fell through.[19][20]

Sports broadcasting[edit]

Szczerbiak succeeded in making the transition to sports broadcasting, becoming a basketball analyst for CBS College Sports.[21]

Currently, he is an analyst at MSG Network covering the New York Knicks and contributor to the teams' post-game broadcasts.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Szczerbiak met his wife, Shannon (Ward), when they were both in the same Class of 1995 freshman orientation group at Miami University.[23] They have three children, daughters Annabella and Amberley and son Maximus Jack, born on March 1, 2008.[24]

Szczerbiak has a brother, Will, nine years his junior, and a sister, Wendy, thirteen years younger.[25] Wendy played college basketball for Lehigh University.[26]

In 2013, Szczerbiak was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.[27]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  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

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1999–00 Minnesota 73 53 29.7 .511 .359 .826 3.7 2.8 .8 .3 11.6
2000–01 Minnesota 82 82 34.8 .510 .338 .870 5.5 3.2 .7 .4 14.0
2001–02 Minnesota 82 82 38.0 .508 .455 .831 4.8 3.1 .8 .3 18.7
2002–03 Minnesota 52 42 35.3 .481 .421 .867 4.6 2.6 .8 .4 17.6
2003–04 Minnesota 28 0 22.2 .449 .435 .828 3.1 1.2 .4 .0 10.2
2004–05 Minnesota 81 37 31.6 .506 .373 .855 3.7 2.4 .5 .2 15.5
2005–06 Minnesota 40 40 38.9 .495 .406 .896 4.8 2.8 .5 .4 20.1
2005–06 Boston 32 31 36.7 .476 .393 .898 3.8 3.2 .6 .1 17.5
2006–07 Boston 32 19 28.1 .415 .415 .897 3.1 1.7 .6 .1 15.0
2007–08 Seattle 50 1 23.6 .460 .428 .843 2.7 1.4 .3 .1 13.1
2007–08 Cleveland 25 1 22.2 .359 .365 .878 3.2 1.4 .4 .3 8.2
2008–09 Cleveland 74 5 20.6 .450 .411 .849 3.1 1.1 .4 .1 7.0
Career 651 393 30.8 .485 .406 .860 4.0 2.4 .6 .2 14.1
All-Star 1 0 12.0 .667 .667 .000 3.0 3.0 1.0 .0 10.0

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2000 Minnesota 4 4 23.5 .400 .000 .000 2.0 .5 .8 .3 6.0
2001 Minnesota 4 4 35.8 .486 .000 .800 4.5 2.5 1.3 .8 14.0
2002 Minnesota 3 3 43.7 .477 .222 .889 7.0 2.0 .7 .0 20.0
2003 Minnesota 6 6 42.0 .475 .214 .867 5.0 2.2 1.0 .2 14.5
2004 Minnesota 12 0 24.8 .420 .345 .927 3.3 1.7 .5 .2 11.8
2008 Cleveland 13 13 28.8 .376 .323 .929 1.8 1.5 .2 .1 10.8
2009 Cleveland 12 0 12.8 .444 .167 .818 2.3 .6 .2 .1 3.6
Career 54 30 26.8 .427 .285 .882 3.1 1.4 .5 .2 10.2

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ http://enquirer.com/editions/1999/03/18/spt_behind_szczerbiaks.html
  4. ^ http://enquirer.com/editions/1999/03/18/spt_behind_szczerbiaks.html
  5. ^ http://www.cnnsi.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1014606/index.htm
  6. ^ http://enquirer.com/editions/1999/03/18/spt_behind_szczerbiaks.html
  7. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=QT0AlGeuNqoC&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=wally+szczerbiak+cold+spring+harbor+high+school&source=bl&ots=rf3yi6Glc_&sig=Mu7vFrkOOc6OQnFKLVbKsXZfEFw&hl=es&sa=X&ei=zxsWU9nDDOm2yAHpp4GIAg&ved=0CCcQ6AEwADgK#v=onepage&q=wally%20szczerbiak%20cold%20spring%20harbor%20high%20school&f=false
  8. ^ http://enquirer.com/editions/1999/03/18/spt_behind_szczerbiaks.html
  9. ^ http://enquirer.com/editions/1999/03/18/spt_behind_szczerbiaks.html
  10. ^ http://www.cnnsi.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1014606/3/index.htm
  11. ^ http://www.muredhawks.com/fls/26100/sports/m_basketball/PDF/2013-14MBKMediaSupplement_Web.pdf?SPSID=617734&SPID=87615&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=26100
  12. ^ http://www.muredhawks.com/fls/26100/sports/m_basketball/PDF/2013-14MBKMediaSupplement_Web.pdf?SPSID=617734&SPID=87615&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=26100
  13. ^ NBA.com, Wally Szczerbiak, College Career
  14. ^ http://www.muredhawks.com/fls/26100/sports/m_basketball/PDF/2013-14MBKMediaSupplement_Web.pdf?SPSID=617734&SPID=87615&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=26100
  15. ^ Szczerbiak, Davis change teams in seven-player trade
  16. ^ Sonics' Allen traded to Celtics for Wally, West & Green, June 29, 2007
  17. ^ Cavs get Wallace from Bulls, Szczerbiak from Sonics, February 21, 2008
  18. ^ http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/player_main.aspx?id=610&sport=Wally Szczerbiak news and career stats at Rotoworld.com
  19. ^ "Bird Set to go at end of season" article, written By Peter Vescey, 18 October 2009.
  20. ^ Wally's NY Knick Dream is over; Szczerbiak mulling retirement, NY Post, article 11 November 2009.
  21. ^ http://www.cbscollegesports.com/shows/bios/
  22. ^ http://www.msg.com/network-talent/wally-szczerbiak-.html
  23. ^ http://www.miamialum.org/s/916/images/editor_documents/Membership/CelebrityAd-Szczerbiak.pdf
  24. ^ Szczerbiak misses game to be with wife, who is expecting couple's third child
  25. ^ http://enquirer.com/editions/1999/03/18/spt_behind_szczerbiaks.html
  26. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Szczerbiak,+sister+share+a+joint+problem.-a0160496320
  27. ^ http://ohiobasketballhalloffame.com/?p=2182

External links[edit]