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Tracy McGrady makes Skeeters opening day roster

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Sugar Land Skeeters manager Gary Gaetti told FOX 26 Sports on Wednesday former NBA star Tracy McGrady has made his opening day roster as one of the team's pitchers.

"Tracy is on the team," Gaetti said. "He's just done what needed to be done since the idea came about.

"He showed enough progress. He showed enough ability and we're going to see where this goes."

In McGrady's first start during an exhibition game against Alvin Community College he worked one inning allowing one run on three hits.

He threw 15 pitches, 9 for strikes, and did not walk anybody or get any strikeouts.

"There's so many unique things about it," Gaetti said. "It doesn't matter how hard you throw.

"You got deception. You got velocity. You got location. You got stuff."

Gaetti said he made his decision on Wednesday.

"I had to ride it out," Gaetti said. "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 Skeeters open their regular season Thursday night against Lancaster at Constellation Field.

The team released the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:

The Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball announced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher and seven-time National Basketball Association All-Star Tracy McGrady to its 2014 roster.

Prior to Skeeters’ Opening Day ceremonies, McGrady will be available to the media on Thursday, April 24 at 5 p.m. at Constellation Field.

“It’s an honor to be a part of this club for the 2014 season,” said McGrady. “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.”

The 6-foot-8, right-handed pitcher officially reported to Spring camp last week and made his first scrimmage game appearance with the Skeeters against Alvin Community College on April 16. Through 1.0 inning of work, McGrady allowed one run on three hits with no walks and no strikeouts.

“We are excited about our team this season and having Tracy McGrady as a part of it,” said Skeeters Manager Gary Gaetti. “We’re also excited to see what unique opportunities this could present for us in putting a good product on the field and we look forward to Tracy helping us win some ball games.”

McGrady, 34, spent 16 years in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors (1997-2000), Orlando Magic (2000-04), Houston Rockets (2004-09), New York Knicks (2009-10), Detroit Pistons (2010-11) and Atlanta Hawks (2011-12). During that span, McGrady earned two scoring titles (2002-04), seven All-Star Game nominations (2001-07) and was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2001. In 2013, McGrady retired with more than 18,000 points and 5,000 rebounds in his career.

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