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Independent Skeeters interested in McGrady as pitcher

The SportsXchange

Former NBA player Tracy McGrady is attempting to begin a second career as a baseball player with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.

The 34-year-old McGrady retired from the NBA at the end of last season after 16 years. He has been working out to try his hand as a pitcher.

"Tracy McGrady is one of the most elite athletes of this era and we appreciate his interest in pursuing a lifelong dream with the Sugar Land Skeeters and the Atlantic League," the team said in a statement. "While the Atlantic League is considered the highest level of baseball outside of Major League Baseball, McGrady has demonstrated skill, determination and diligence during his training program at Constellation Field. We look forward to monitoring his progress."

The seven-time NBA All-Star is working with the same team that former major leaguer Roger Clemens pitched for in 2012 at age 50. The Skeeters' manager is former major league All-Star Gary Gaetti.

"Been working out at Constellation Field w Sugar Land Skeeters. Working on my pitch. Childhood Dream coming true," McGrady tweeted.

The 6-foot-8 McGrady was selected out of high school in 1997 by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the NBA Draft. After three seasons with the Raptors, he went to the Orlando Magic for four years and led the league in scoring twice.

After six years with the Houston Rockets, McGrady finished his basketball career with the New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks, retiring with more than 18,000 points and more than 5,000 rebounds.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Clemens watched McGrady throw and said he is not prepared to pitch in a game.

"He's not there yet," Clemens told the Chronicle. "(He) needs more time to react to live hitters and calls coming back [toward] him."

ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said during Friday night's Oklahoma City Thunder-Brooklyn Nets telecast that McGrady's pitches were reaching 91 mph on the radar gun.
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