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Tracy McGrady to do a Michael Jordan and Try Pro Baseball

Tracy McGrady, like many youths, admired Michael Jordan and hoped to follow his path of basketball greatness. McGrady has taken it a step further, however, and plans to pursue a professional baseball career. Seriously.

Did anyone even know McGrady liked baseball?

And yet, the retired seven-time NBA All-Star said he plans to try pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League, where Roger Clemens pitched a few years ago.

“Just having a tryout for a minor league team is more fulfilling than anything I can imagine as far as baseball,” McGrady told by phone Tuesday. “I’m just going to train as hard as I can and pursue my dream. Where this takes me, I don’t know.

“I’m doing this for the love of the game. I’ve made money. The Atlantic League doesn’t have salaries like the major leagues. So this is a kid who’s trying to fulfill his dream. This isn’t a gimmick. I’ve played baseball. I know the game of baseball. And I’m going after what I’ve always wanted to do.”

Jordan was less than impressive during his stint in the Chicago White Sox organization in 1994 during his first retirement from basketball, reaching the Double-A level.

A statement from the Skeeters says that it is a “lifelong dream” of McGrady’s to play baseball.

“McGrady has demonstrated skill, determination and diligence during his training program,” the statement said. “We look forward to monitoring his progress.”

McGrady, 34, played for several teams in the NBA and retired after the 2012-13 season. He made seven consecutive All-Star Games from 2001-07. The 6-foot-8 natural right-hander was drafted out of high school with the ninth overall pick in 1997 by the Toronto Raptors. He spent his first three seasons with the Raptors before becoming a star with the Magic. He spent four years with the Magic and led the NBA scoring in both the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. He retired with more than 18,000 points and more than 5,000 rebounds in his career.

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