SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Tracy McGrady says the celebration of his induction in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has been muted by the impact of Hurricane Harvey on his family and neighbors in Texas.
The seven-time NBA All Star and two-time league scoring champion is among 11 basketball greats enshrined Friday in Springfield.
“Although this weekend is awesome, I’m humbled, I’m honored, 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 Labor Day feast at a church in the Houston area for about 800 victims of the storm.
“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.”
Inductee Mannie Jackson talked about being born in a box car in Missouri and rising to become a player and later owner of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Former UConn star Rebecca Lobo and Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw celebrated the growth of women’s basketball.
“It’s great to have two of us going in on the same day,” McGraw said. “Hopefully, in the future, there will be more.”
Kansas men’s coach Bill Self, 54, said he feels a little uncomfortable being enshrined in the middle of his career, which includes nine 30-win seasons and an NCAA championship in 2008.
“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.”
Others honored 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 honored posthumously.
Jernstedt, credited with overseeing the growth of the Division I men’s tournament and the creation of the women’s tournament, is impressed with the class.
“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.”