Former NBA player Tracy McGrady has shown enough promise as a pitcher that he landed a spot on the opening day roster with the Sugar Land Skeeters.
The independent Atlantic League team, coached by former major leaguer Gary Gaetti, signed McGrady on Wednesday. The Skeeters begin their season on Thursday.
The 34-year-old McGrady joined the Skeeters last week during training camp and flashed enough promise to warrant the team giving him a chance to realize his dream of playing in the major leagues.
"It's an honor to be a part of this club," McGrady said in a statement. "To be a part of the team means everything to me and it's a dream come true. I look forward to coming to the ballpark not only to play the game, but to be in the clubhouse building camaraderie with these guys. I am excited to start the journey we're going to take this season."
Gaetti said he did not decide until Wednesday to put McGrady on the team. McGrady, a seven-time NBA All-Star, started an exhibition game against Alvin Community College last week and gave up three hits and a run in one inning.
"He's just done what needed to be done since the idea came about," Gaetti told KRIV-TV in Houston. "He showed enough progress. He showed enough ability and we're going to see where this goes.
"I had to ride it out. There was no reason to make that decision until I absolutely had to. We kind of all knew that there was a pretty good possibility he was going to make the team."
The 6-foot-8 McGrady last played baseball in high school before embarking on an NBA career that ended with more than 18,000 points and two scoring titles.