Tracy McGrady: The High-Flying NBA Superstar of the 2000s

Tracy McGrady electrified fans in the early 2000s with his graceful athleticism and elite scoring ability. At his peak, few players could match his natural talent.

Early Life and High School

Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. was born in 1979 in Bartow, Florida. He attended Auburndale High School where he emerged as one of the nation’s top prospects. In his senior year, Tracy transferred to Mount Zion Academy.  Mount Zion is a coed private school in Durham, N.C., with only 200 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. As a result, McGrady earned McDonald’s All-American honors.

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Controversial Jump to the NBA

McGrady drew great interest from top college programs but opted to go pro after high school. He was drafted ninth overall in 1997 by the Toronto Raptors.

The decision was controversial at the time but allowed McGrady to enter the NBA at just 18 years old. He showed promise early on by winning Rookie of the Year in 1998.

Tracy Mcgrady

Orlando Magic Stardom

After three seasons in Toronto, McGrady joined the Orlando Magic where he elevated to superstardom. He led the NBA in scoring twice while in Orlando, averaging 28 points a game in 2002-03.

Paired with Grant Hill, McGrady carried the Magic franchise to consecutive playoff berths. At his peak, he was nearly unstoppable on offense due to his athleticism and ability to score from anywhere.

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Later Career and Legacy

Later in his career, McGrady battled injuries with the Houston Rockets and other teams, retiring in 2013. He finished with almost 19,000 points over his 15 seasons. His signature shoes and “T-Mac” persona made him one of the NBA’s most popular players in the 2000s.

Though he never advanced past the first round of the playoffs, McGrady’s raw talent and exciting style made him a must-watch player in his prime. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.

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2023 Update on McGrady

In retirement, McGrady has done broadcasting work for ESPN and other outlets. He remains actively involved in the Orlando community through his foundation.

This season, McGrady’s elite scoring ability has drawn comparisons to today’s top guards like Donovan Mitchell. Now 43 years old, T-Mac is remembered as a truly special player who was often unstoppable.

Hometown Athletes

Marcus Semien

Marcus Semien

Elgin Baylor

Elgin Baylor

Whalen High School

Lindsay Whalen