Tracy McGrady, a seven-time NBA All-Star basketball guard, has signed a deal to become a right-handed pitcher with minor-league baseball’s Sugar Land Skeeters.
McGrady, 34, spent 16 seasons in the NBA, his longest stint coming with the Houston Rockets from 2004 to 2009 when he was a teammate of Chinese star centre Yao Ming.
Now McGrady is back in suburban Houston, Texas, playing in the Atlantic League, an eight-team independent circuit whose other clubs are located in the northeastern United States.
“It’s an honour to be a part of this club,” said McGrady. “To be a part of the team means everything to me and it’s a dream come true.
“I look forward to coming to the ballpark not only to play the game but to be in the clubhouse building camaraderie with these guys. I am excited to start the journey we’re going to take this season.”
McGrady played baseball as a child but moved to a school that did not offer baseball and put his focus upon basketball, building a career from 1997 to 2012 that saw him make stops with the Rockets, Toronto, Orlando, New York and Detroit.
The two-time NBA scoring champion put his focus upon baseball after retiring from the NBA last year and trained to become a right-handed pitcher.
“We are excited about our team this season and having Tracy McGrady as a part of it,” said Skeeters manager Gary Gaetti.
“We’re also excited to see what unique opportunities this could present for us in putting a good product on the field and we look forward to Tracy helping us win some ball games.”
The Skeeters will open the season with a Thursday home game against the Lancaster Barnstormers.