Tracy McGrady.jpg

Tracy McGrady

Born:     May 24, 1979
Place of Birth:  Bartow, FL
Zodiac Sign:  Gemini

Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. aka T-Mac, is an American former professional basketball player. McGrady was born in Bartow, Florida, to Melanise Williford. His father was not a part of his everyday life, so Melanise raised McGrady with the help of her mother, Roberta, in Auburndale. 

 

As a youth, McGrady played high school basketball and baseball at Auburndale High School for three years before transferring to Mount Zion Christian Academy in Durham, North Carolina for his senior season. A relatively unknown player coming out of Florida, he made a name for himself after a strong performance at the Adidas ABCD Camp, an experience that helped McGrady recognize his true talent. He later reflected, "Nobody had a clue who Tracy McGrady was. Sonny Vaccaro gave me that platform, and I played against the best players in the world at that time. I left that camp the No. 1 player in the nation, 175 to No. 1." Behind his leadership, Mt. Zion emerged as the number two-ranked team in the country, and McGrady was named a McDonald’s All-American, national Player of the Year by USA Today, and North Carolina's Mr. Basketball by the Associated Press. Initially, McGrady considered playing college basketball at the University of Kentucky, but he ultimately decided to enter the NBA draft as he was a projected lottery pick.

 

McGrady is best known for his career in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he played as both a shooting guard and small forward. McGrady was a seven-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA selection, two-time NBA scoring champion, and one-time winner of the NBA Most Improved Player Award. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2017.

McGrady entered the NBA straight out of high school and was selected as the ninth overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the 1997 NBA draft. Beginning his career as a low-minute player, he gradually improved his role with the team, eventually forming an exciting duo with his cousin Vince Carter. In 2000, he left the Raptors for the Orlando Magic, where he became one of the league's most prolific scorers and a candidate for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. In 2004, he was traded to the Houston Rockets, where he paired with center Yao Ming to help the Rockets become a perennial playoff team. His final seasons in the NBA were plagued by injuries, and he retired in 2013 following a brief stint with the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the San Antonio Spurs.

Since retiring, McGrady has worked as a basketball analyst for ESPN. From April–July 2014, he realized his dream of playing professional baseball, pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

McGrady has three children with his wife, CleRenda Harris. Their first son, Laymen Lamar, was born on December 27, 2005, during a home game in Houston, which McGrady left at halftime. Tracy's younger brother, Chancellor "Chance" McGrady, played for the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball runner-up Memphis Tigers. McGrady and former teammate Vince Carter are distant cousins; after McGrady left the Raptors, they had a feud, but it was resolved in a short period of time.

In 2002, McGrady signed a longterm partnership with Adidas, agreeing to an endorsement deal that lasted through his playing career and beyond. Adidas produced a signature line of shoes for McGrady that Complex remembered as "all the buzz in the early-mid 2000's". Upon retiring, McGrady shifted his focus to his business investments, including Dasdak, a Washington, D.C.-based technology company, and Blue-04, a bottled water company in Florida. He was also an initial investor in a Minor League Baseball team which would become the Biloxi Shuckers. Since 2016, he has worked as an NBA analyst for ESPN.

In 2007, McGrady traveled to the Darfurian refugee camps in Chad with John Prendergast and Omer Ismail of the Enough Project. McGrady recruited NBA players to support an initiative linking schools in Darfurian refugee camps to American middle schools, high schools, and universities. During one of his final seasons with the Rockets, he changed his jersey number to #3 in order to promote his humanitarian efforts in the region and a documentary on his summer visit called 3 Points. In 2008, McGrady was criticized for his comments on the All-Star Game being held in New Orleans, only three years removed from the destruction surrounding Hurricane Katrina. McGrady publicly questioned the quality of public safety and protection of NBA players.

On February 4, 2014, McGrady confirmed that he was officially pursuing his dream of becoming a professional baseball player, working with Roger Clemens to become a pitcher for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. On April 23, McGrady made the Skeeters' Opening Day roster. In his debut, he pitched ​1 2⁄3 innings, receiving the loss. In July, he started the Atlantic League All-Star Game, where he recorded his first strikeout. After the game, McGrady announced his retirement from baseball. Source.