Seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady is aiming to pitch in professional baseball, FOX 26 reports. Still a relatively young 34, McGrady has been training with Diamondbacks pro scout Scipio Spinks and will look to catch on with the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters for the 2014 season.
Spinks says McGrady is currently throwing in the 85-86 MPH range, disputing earlier reports that the former NBA scoring champion had surpassed 90 MPH. However, he adds that McGrady's slider, which took him "five minutes" to learn, is a "true slider" with "good break on it." McGrady can also command the baseball to both sides of the plate with ease, he comments, and may reach the 90s with practice. "If the season starts tomorrow Tracy McGrady will be able to pitch on that Skeeters team," Spinks says. McGrady is training at Constellation Field, the Skeeters' home park.
Roger Clemens has also given instruction to McGrady, the Houston Chronicle's Jose de Jesus Ortiz reports. Clemens, currently a special assistant with the Astros, says McGrady "[isn't] there yet" and needs the opportunity to throw to live hitters.