Former Michigan State star is a big hit as a hip-hop producer

If Maurice Ager's basketball career remains stalled, the former Michigan State star has a more viable backup option than many of his peers.

Ager has gained a foothold in the music industry producing tracks for a handful of up-and-coming Detroit rappers and national hip-hop artists. The Lansing State Journal profiled Ager on Monday, revealing that he has partnered with his alma mater to create theme songs for the football and basketball teams next year, and tracks to play underneath various highlight videos.

Music production was barely a hobby for Ager as an MSU freshman in 2002. It's a full-blown business now, and his alma mater has contracted him to produce as many as 300 hip-hop beats for various uses — even as he makes another run at the NBA after a year out of the league.

"The way I look at it, I definitely have two careers," said Ager, who will play with the New Orleans Hornets' summer league team after stints in Spain and the NBA Development League last year. "Music is my plan for after basketball, but why not get started early?"

It's certainly not unusual for athletes to dabble in music, but what sets Ager apart is that his stuff is actually, well, good. This is no Shaq Diesel or Deion Sanders' "Must be the Money" debacle. Check out the six tracks you can hear on the bottom of Ager's website to see if you agree.

Ager, the Big Ten's leading scorer in 2005-06 and a former first-round draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks, did not play in the NBA last season. He'll play on the New Orleans Hornets' summer-league team next month. But even if he does make an NBA roster next season he'll continue to pursue his music.

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