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Ex-NBA star McGrady tries hand as baseball pitcher

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HOUSTON (AP) - Tracy McGrady wants to follow Michael Jordan's path to the national pastime.

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The retired seven-time NBA All-Star is aiming to become a baseball player, and plans to try pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League. That's the same team that Roger Clemens pitched for a couple of years ago.

Jordan famously played 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.''

The 34-year-old McGrady played for several teams, including the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic. He last played in the NBA in the 2011-12 season.

The Skeeters last made national headlines when Clemens pitched two games for them in 2012 at age 50.

McGrady made seven consecutive All-Star games from 2001-07. The 6-foot-8 McGrady, 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 then joined the Rockets where he teamed with Yao Ming to help Houston to three playoff appearances.

McGrady played for the Knicks, Detroit and Atlanta after a six-year stint with the Rockets. He retired with more than 18,000 points and more than 5,000 rebounds in his career.

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