HOUSTON, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady is serious enough about attempting to play professional baseball that he's been working on his pitching skills with seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens.
“Speaking real quickly of McGrady, I think he’s going to play independent league baseball as a pitcher this year. In the independent league,” Van Gundy said. “I’m being serious. I’ve heard from sources in Houston -- seriously -- that he’s throwing over 90 miles per hour. The Sugar Land Skeeters -- Roger Clemens pitched for them last year, it was awesome.”
McGrady confirmed on social media that he was interested in pitching for the Skeeters.
“As some of you may have heard, I have been practicing with The Sugar Land Skeeters, and working out at Constellation Field,” McGrady wrote on Facebook. “It has been a longtime childhood dream to play baseball and for the past few months I have worked on my pitching with the team. Don’t yet know where this will go but I do know I am having a great time and throwing pretty well. Love the game of baseball and always wanted to give it a try. Feels like I am a kid again, playing a sport for the pure love of the game. @SL_Skeeters @AtlanticLg”
Sources w/the @SL_Skeeters tell me that Tracy McGrady is eyeing pro baseball as a pitcher. CLocked at 91 MPH. Working out for 2 months.— Randy McIlvoy (@RandyMcIlvoy) February 1, 2014
The Skeeters also released a statement about McGrady joining the team.
“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. 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.”
McGrady has a 90-mph fastball, but still needs work. “He’s not there yet,” Clemens told the Houston Chronicle in a text message. “(He) needs more time and needs to react to live hitters and balls coming back (toward) him.”
This isn't the first time T-Mac has offered to play a sport other than basketball.