The Long Island, NY native attended Miami University (Ohio), where he was a college basketball star and All-American. Szczerbiak finished his career at Miami University as the second all-time leading scorer with 1,847 points. He led his team to the Sweet 16 in the 1999 NCAA Tournament as a No. 10 seed. Also that year, Szczerbiak was named a second team All-American by the Associated Press, and the MAC Player of the Year. Szczerbiak was the sixth overall selection in the 1999 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and became the only rookie in the starting lineup for a playoff contender. He also made first team All-Rookie squad and finished seventh in the league for field goal percentage with 51.1 percent.