Wally Szczerbiak
Personal information
Born (1977-03-05) March 5, 1977 (age 46)
Madrid, Spain
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight244 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High schoolCold Spring Harbor
(Cold Spring Harbor, New York)
CollegeMiami (Ohio) (1995–1999)
NBA draft1999: 1st round, 6th overall pick
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Playing career1999–2009
PositionSmall forward / shooting guard
Number10, 55, 3
Career history
19992006Minnesota Timberwolves
20062007Boston Celtics
2007–2008Seattle SuperSonics
20082009Cleveland Cavaliers
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points9,195 (14.1 ppg)
Rebounds2,602 (4.0 rpg)
Assists1,532 (2.4 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com
Medals
Men's Basketball
Representing  United States
FIBA Americas Championship
Gold medal – first place 1999 San Juan Team
Goodwill Games
Gold medal – first place 1998 New York Team
Gold medal – first place 2001 Brisbane Team

Walter Robert "Wally" Szczerbiak Jr.[1] (/ˈsɜːrbi.æk/ SUR-bee-ak; born March 5, 1977)[2] is an American former professional basketball player and current color analyst for the New York Knicks on MSG Network. He played 10 seasons for four teams in the National Basketball Association.[3] Szczerbiak played college basketball for Miami (of Ohio) University and is one of five of the university's basketball players whose jerseys have been retired.

Early life

Wally Szczerbiak was born in Madrid, Spain, to Marilyn[4] and Walt Szczerbiak, a former ABA player who helped lead Real Madrid to three FIBA European Champions Cup (now called EuroLeague) championships. During his time with Real Madrid, the elder Szczerbiak set a Spanish League single-game scoring record with 65 points.[4] Wally Szczerbiak spent much of his childhood in Europe during his father's playing career, and he was taught to speak fluent Spanish and Italian.[5]

When Walt Szczerbiak retired, he moved his family back to his native Long Island, New York. Wally Szczerbiak 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[6] and 15.9 rebounds per game.[4] 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 his outstanding high school statistics, the small size of Szczerbiak's school did not win him the attention of East Coast college coaches, and he went unrecruited.[4]

College career

During the fall of his high school senior year, Szczerbiak and his parents visited the Miami University campus in Oxford, Ohio. The following Monday, despite Walt's wishes for his son to wait before making a decision, Szczerbiak called coach Herb Sendek and committed to play for Miami of Ohio.[4]

In his first two seasons at Miami of Ohio, Szczerbiak averaged 8.0 and 12.8 points per game, respectively. 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.[6][3][8]

In his senior season, Szczerbiak 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 Washington. He followed that performance 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, the team lost to Kentucky, 58–43. Miami finished the season with a record of 24–8.[citation needed]

Szczerbiak was named MAC Player of the Year, was honored as a first-team All-American by Basketball News and Sports Illustrated, and was selected as a second-team All-American by the Associated Press (AP).[8]

Szczerbiak finished his college career as Miami of Ohio's second all-time leading scorer with 1,847 points. He earned a degree in marketing.[9] 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.[8] In 2013, Szczerbiak was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.[10]

NBA career

Szczerbiak shoots a free throw.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2023)

Minnesota Timberwolves (1999–2006)

The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Szczerbiak with the sixth overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft. His best year as a professional was in 2002, when he was a coaches' selection to the Western Conference All-Star team. He tied a Timberwolves franchise record of 44 points on April 13, 2003; the record has since been broken. Szczerbiak came off the bench during the 2004–05 NBA season, but returned to a starting role in the 2005–06 season.[citation needed]

Boston Celtics (2006–2007)

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.[11]

Szczerbiak underwent surgery during the 2006 offseason to repair a knee injury. 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. The injuries greatly affected his shooting and jumping ability, and he elected to have season-ending surgery.[citation needed]

Seattle SuperSonics (2007–2008)

On June 28, 2007 (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).[12]

Cleveland Cavaliers (2008–2009)

Szczerbiak with the Cavaliers

On February 21, 2008, Szczerbiak and Delonte West were traded by the SuperSonics to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-way deal that sent Ira Newble and Donyell Marshall from Cleveland to Seattle, Adrian Griffin from the Chicago Bulls to Seattle, Cedric Simmons, Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, and Shannon Brown, from Cleveland to Chicago, and Ben Wallace and Joe Smith from Chicago to Cleveland.[citation needed]

Szczerbiak played in 25 regular season games (one start) with the Cavaliers, averaging 8.2 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He scored 18 points against Detroit on April 16, 2008. Between the SuperSonics and the Cavaliers, Szczerbiak played in 75 games in the 2007-2008 season and averaged 11.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.[citation needed]

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 scoring 26 points and shooting 6–13 from the three-point line in Game Six. For the playoffs, Szczerbiak averaged 10.8 points per game.[citation needed]

During the 2008–2009 NBA season, Szczerbiak played in 74 games, starting in five of them. Given 20 minutes a game, Szczerbiak averaged seven points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game while shooting .450% from the field and .411% from the three-point line.[citation needed]

Retirement

Szczerbiak was in discussions with the Denver Nuggets in August 2009 about joining the team on a one-year contract.[13] He reportedly rejected a veteran's minimum contract offer from Denver, opting instead to continue to rehabilitate his knee and possibly test the free agent market later.[14]

Szczerbiak harbored hopes of signing a one-year contract with the New York Knicks. However, on November 5, 2009, Szczerbiak revealed that he had a third surgery performed on his left knee. According to Szczerbiak's doctors, so little cartilage was left in his knee that a fourth surgery would make it difficult for him to have a normal life.[15] Szczerbiak retired from the NBA that year.[16]

During his 10-year NBA career, Szczerbiak averaged 14.1 points per game over 651 games on 45.0% shooting from the field and 41.1% shooting from three-point range.[2]

Broadcasting career

Szczerbiak became a basketball analyst for CBS College Sports in 2009.[17]

In 2012, Szczerbiak was hired as an analyst at MSG Network to cover the New York Knicks.[18] As of 2023, he remains in that role.[19][20]

Personal life

Szczerbiak is of Ukrainian origin: his grandparents were Ukrainians and met in a refugee camp in West Germany after World War II. After the war, they emigrated to Pittsburgh.[21]

Szczerbiak has a younger brother named Will and a younger sister named Wendy.[4] Wendy Szczerbiak played college basketball for Lehigh University.[22]

Szczerbiak married Shannon Ward in 2000. The couple have five children.[23][24] The couple filed for divorce in 2020.[25]

NBA career statistics

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
 *  Led the league

Regular season

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

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

See also

References

  1. ^ "On this day: former Celtics Wally Szczerbiak, Tom Kelly born". Celtics Wire. March 5, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Wally Szczerbiak Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Sports Vault: When the tourney was Wally's world". WCPO 9 Cincinnati. March 7, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Behind Szczerbiak's smile is a fiery competitor". Enquirer.com. March 18, 1999. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Seidel, Jeff (March 19, 1999). "When Father's Day Comes Early". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Wolff, Alexander (November 23, 1998). "Wally World - He might as well be on another planet given the scant attention he gets, but Miami of Ohio forward Wally Szczerbiak just may be the best player in the nation". Sports Illustrated Vault.
  7. ^ Vaccaro, Christopher R. (January 1, 2009). Long Island High School Sports. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 9780738565569. Retrieved March 18, 2017 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ a b c "Der OptionWeb Broker ist der offizielle Partner von Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) – Die Uni für Finanzen und mehr – muredhawks.com" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  9. ^ "NBA.com, Wally Szczerbiak, College Career". Archived from the original on January 7, 2010.
  10. ^ "Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  11. ^ "Celts swap Davis for Wolves' Szczerbiak". ESPN.com. January 27, 2006. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  12. ^ "Celts get All-Star Allen from Sonics for 3 players". ESPN.com. June 29, 2007.
  13. ^ "Nuggets Still Searching for Bench Players". Denver Post. August 17, 2009.
  14. ^ "Sources: Bird set to go at end of season". New York Post. October 18, 2009.
  15. ^ Berman, Marc (November 5, 2009). "Szczerbiak's dream of playing for hometown Knicks is over". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  16. ^ "Wally Szczerbiak, Ed Kranepool in Nassau Hall of Fame". Newsday. May 2, 2012.
  17. ^ "CBS College Sports". Archived from the original on September 23, 2009. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  18. ^ "The Rumble". New York Post. October 14, 2012.
  19. ^ Magliocchetti, Geoff (February 3, 2023). "All-Star Tyrese Haliburton Trolls Knicks Analyst, Old Foe Wally Szczerbiak". Sports Illustrated.
  20. ^ "Wally Szczerbiak Archives". MSGNetworks.com.
  21. ^ "Wally's Worlds". ESPN.com. July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  22. ^ "Szczerbiak, sister share a joint problem. - Free Online Library". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  23. ^ Archdeacon, Tom (February 10, 2018). "Archdeacon: 'Wally Night' honors all-time Miami great Szczerbiak". Dayton Daily News.
  24. ^ Butler, Isaiah (November 22, 2022). "Wally Szczerbiak: Where is the former NBA standout now?". BVM Sports.
  25. ^ "Case 004869/2018 Shannon Elizabeth Szczerbiak V. Walter R Szczerbiak - Trellis: Legal Intelligence + Judicial Analytics". Trellis.Law. Retrieved January 1, 2024.