Former NBA star Tracy McGrady pursuing baseball career

Tracy McGrady is trading in the hardwood for the baseball diamond.

McGrady, 34, announced his retirement from the NBA in August, but the seven-time All-Star is trying to keep his athletic career alive as a pitcher with the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters of the Atlantic League.

Once a dominant scorer, winning consecutive scoring titles with Orlando, McGrady doesn't quite have the heat needed to overpower hitters, but he's getting there, according to pro baseball scout Scipio Spinks.

"If the season starts tomorrow, Tracy McGrady will be able to pitch on that Skeeters team," Spinks told FOX 26 Sports in Houston. "[McGrady is throwing] between 85 and 86 miles per hour and that's without adrenalin, that's without hitters at the plate and the longer he throws, the looser he'll get and the harder he'll throw.


"I can see him throwing in the 90s, but he's nowhere in the 90s now, not even close."

This isn't the first time the Skeeters have been involved in bringing in a retired big-name athlete. In 2012, the team put a 50-year-old Roger Clemons on the mound.

The Skeeters released a statement Tuesday confirming McGrady's intention to play baseball with their organization.

"Tracy McGrady is one of the most elite athletes of this era and we appreciate his interest in pursuing a life-long dream with the Sugar Land Skeeters and the Atlantic League," the team said in a release.

The Toronto Raptors selected McGrady with the ninth overall pick in the 1997 draft out of high school in Durham, N.C.

He spent his first three seasons in Toronto before joining the Orlando Magic, where he won scoring titles in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons. McGrady played with the Houston Rockets for six seasons before stints in New York, Detroit and Atlanta.

McGrady signed on with the San Antonio Spurs at the end of last season, where he advanced past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in his career.

McGrady played in six games for a total of 31 minutes without recording a point for San Antonio.

The Spurs were defeated in the NBA Finals by the Miami Heat.