Tracy McGrady Didn’t Know Vince Carter Was His Cousin Until He Got Drafted by the Raptors

In a recent Twitter exchange, Tracy McGrady asked Vince Carter who his cousin was. Carter responded that he didn’t know, but would find out and get back to him. He then followed up with the revelation that they were in fact cousins!

Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady were cousins, but they didn’t know that until the NBA Draft. They both went on to become superstars in the league.

Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter are maybe the finest blood relations to ever play for the same NBA club. The cousins have a combined total of almost 43,000 points and have been in 15 All-Star Games. In 2017, McGrady was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and Carter is expected to follow suit in the near future.

The third cousins were close while playing for the Toronto Raptors and are now closest friends, but they didn’t realize they were connected until McGrady was picked in 1997.

Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady grew up two hours apart and played AAU basketball together.

Vince Carter laughs with Tracy McGrady.

Vince Carter laughs with Tracy McGrady. During the 2005 NBA All-Star Game, Vince Carter laughs with Tracy McGrady | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

McGrady and Carter were two of the most outstanding high school players in the state of Florida in the early 1990s. McGrady was a member of Auburndale High School, while Carter was a member of Mainland High School, which is just two hours away.

They grew up together and played in the same AAU circles, but they had no clue they were connected in any way. Carter left Florida in 1995 to attend the University of North Carolina to play basketball. McGrady chose to forego college and join the NBA Draft two years later, when he was selected ninth overall by the Toronto Raptors.

T-Mac didn’t realize his AAU friend was really his third cousin until then.

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McGrady and Carter played together on UNC’s campus as McGrady was preparing for his NBA career and Carter was in college. They found out they were third cousins just a few days later.

During a recent interview on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast, McGrady revealed the amusing anecdote.

“I knew Vince because I used to play on the junior Florida team, and he used to play on the senior Florida squad, so I used to play ahead of him.” T-Mac continued, “So I’d walk over there to UNC, and he’d let me use his locker.” “I believe it was a Thursday.” ‘I won’t be here,’ I informed him on Friday. I’m returning home for a family reunion.’ ‘Cool, I’ll see you when you come back,’ he says.

“When I arrive at my family reunion, I sit down and chat nonsense. According to my grandma, she introduced me to a cousin. ‘Hey, my grandson plays college basketball,’ she said. ‘Who does he play for?’ I wondered. ‘He plays for UNC,’ she said. ‘North Carolina?’ I exclaimed. ‘Are you a Tar Heel?’ ‘Yeah!’ she said. ‘Who is he?’ I wondered. ‘Vince,’ she exclaimed. Vincent was his name. ‘Vince Carter?!’ I exclaimed. ‘Please phone him right now,’ I urged. He’s going to have a nervous breakdown. I was just with him a few days ago!’

“So she phones him, and I pick up the phone, all delighted.” ‘What’s up, dude!’ ‘Who the heck is this?’ he said. ‘It’s Mac,’ says the narrator. ‘Mac?’ ‘This T-Mac!’ says the narrator. ‘What are you doing on my grandmother’s phone?’ he said. ‘Bro, you ain’t going to believe this,’ I said. She’s at a family gathering. ‘Bro, we’re family!’

“That’s how we found out, all of a sudden.”

McGrady and Carter went on to play for the Raptors and compete in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, capping off one of the most incredible storylines in NBA history.

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Vince Carter’s $50 million Puma contract was terminated because his feet were hurting.

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