Tracy McGrady enters NBA Hall of Fame with hurricane on mind
7-time all-star will become 1st Raptors draft pick ever inducted
Former Toronto Raptor Tracy McGrady and Kansas coach Bill Self are part of a class of 11 basketball greats being inducted Friday into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
McGrady, a seven-time All Star, says his induction was put into perspective by the effects of Hurricane Harvey on the Houston area, where he lives.
"Although this weekend is awesome, I'm humbled, I'm honoured, what I left behind is way more important," McGrady said. "Way more important."
McGrady said his estate in Sugar Land, Texas suffered only minor damage from the storm, allowing him and his wife to take in the families of five relatives and friends for three days after mandatory evacuations.
He also put on a Labour Day barbeque at a Houston-area church for about 800 victims of the storm and said he understands how much he has to be thankful for.
"My sister was at the house and I was trying to take her home and driving to her house, just seeing cars under water and you don't know if people are in there — it's real," he said.
"I'm being as vocal and proactive as I can," he added.
The Bartow, Fla., native will become the first Raptors draft pick to ever reach the Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile, Self says it feels odd being inducted while still in the midst of his career. The 54-year-old says he plans to use the honour as motivation to continue coaching at a high level.
"I hope it doesn't mean that I'm on my last leg yet," he said. "I think this will be motivation to try and validate it, always. I'll work harder now that ever to validate being thought of with these other fraternity members."
Two women to be inducted
This year's class also highlights women's basketball with the inductions of former UConn great Rebecca Lobo and Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw.
"It's great to have two of us going in on the same day," McGraw said. "Hopefully, in the future, there will be more."
The others being honoured Friday include former ABA and NBA star George McGinnis, Texas high school coach Robert Hughes, NCAA administrator Tom Jernstedt and former European star Nick Galis. Former Chicago Bull's general manager Jerry Krause, who died in March and former Globetrotters and New York Rens player Zack Clayton are being honoured posthumously.
Jernsted, credited with overseeing the growth of the Division I men's tournament and the creation of the women's tournament, acknowledged there is no Michael Jordan-type name in the class. But, he said that doesn't mean they are any less deserving of enshrinement.
"I didn't know three of four of these people very well at all before, but the contributions they've made are so impressive," he said. "Hopefully now, more people will understand that and reach out and learn more about them."
With files from CBC Sports