Sun, Jun 17th 2012, 10:29
Back in Auburndale, during one of his frequent visits to a town he grew up in, one he played baseball and basketball in before becoming a famous pro basketball player, Tracy McGrady was making the rounds at his old stomping ground.
“He said we needed to spruce the locker room up,” Eric Robinson, the head coach of Auburndale’s boys’ basketball team, said.
McGrady, who played basketball at Auburndale until his junior year when he transferred to a private school in North Carolina, donated $52,000 in March to do just that, money that was used to update and upholster the meeting area for the team before and after practices and games.
The school used the donation to add 12 new lockers, decked out in royal blue, and a flat screen TV, work that was completed in April. Workers also stripped the floor of its carpet, and a yellow A, trimmed in blue, was painted on a grey concrete floor in its place.
Air conditioning was also installed in the boys’ locker room. On the court, the crow’s nest, an area at midcourt above the stands where assistants shoot game film, was painted and the “Tracy McGrady Gymnasium” design, with a bloodhound on the left and another on the right, was updated.
“They stripped this area completely,” Robinson, who is in his 10th year of coaching, said.
“Tracy does all these small things that people don’t see and they just keep us going on this side.”
The benches in the football team’s locker room were also redone, and the floor painted there, too.
McGrady gives back to Auburndale high school in increments. Every year, he buys new shoes for the members of the boys’ basketball team and he also donates $5,000 to put on a yearly summer tournament at Auburndale.