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Wally Szczerbiak, Ed Kranepool in Nassau Hall of Fame

Wally Szczerbiak was inducted into the Nassau Hall

Wally Szczerbiak was inducted into the Nassau Hall of Fame. Credit: AP

Wally Szczerbiak wishes he were still playing in the NBA and, at age 35, looks as if he still could.

He's a basketball analyst for CBS Sports now, after chronic knee problems cut the Cold Spring Harbor product's career short. But for his brilliant Long Island career, and his 10 seasons as a pro, Szczerbiak was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday night.

He joined former Mets first baseman Ed Kranepool in this year's class.

"This is spectacular," Szczerbiak said before the banquet at The Woodlands in Woodbury. "This is where I grew up, this is where I live now. My kids are going to go to Cold Spring Harbor High School. Just to be a part of this and share this with the community and my friends and family is a dream come true for me."

Other notable honorees were ESPN NFL analyst and Valley Stream product Adam Schefter (broadcast media award), new Colts draft choice Dwayne Allen (John Mackey award), and agent Rich Salgado (Award of Excellence).

Szczerbiak, who starred at Cold Spring Harbor, went on to play for the Timberwolves, Celtics, Sonics and Cavaliers before retiring in 2009. In Cleveland, in 2008-09, LeBron James was a teammate. So naturally he wasn't surprised to see what James and the Heat are doing to the Knicks.

"LeBron's the best basketball player I've ever played with, probably the best player I've ever seen," Szczerbiak said.

Szczerbiak's reaction to Amar'e Stoudemire's self-induced hand injury was not particularly sympathetic. "There's no excuse for it," Szczerbiak said. "You have to figure out ways as a professional athlete to be on the floor and not let your teammates down, your fans down, your coaches down.

"I understand that moments of frustration happen," he added. "But at the same time you're a professional and you're paid a lot of money to be on the court when it matters."

Szczerbiak said he wants to stay close to basketball, but doesn't foresee coaching in his future. "We'll see. Right now I'm really enjoying [CBS]," he said. "I can't play anymore so it allows me to still be part of basketball, which is in my blood, it's what I've done since I was 1 year old. It's really a lot of fun."


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