- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 24, 2002

ORLANDO, Fla. The first stop for 13-year-old sniper victim Iran Brown was morning practice with the Orlando Magic and a chance to meet Tracy McGrady.
He "just stands out better than all the other players," said Iran, holding a pair of autographed shoes. "He has a nice shot, a great shot."
The Magic and their sponsors paid for Iran and his family to take a Florida vacation, with a chance to shoot baskets with the team, visit Walt Disney World and attend two NBA games.
"I thought it would be a good idea for him to come down, hang out with a couple of guys, shoot around and get a chance to go to a game, Disney World," Mr. McGrady said yesterday. "Hopefully, he'll enjoy this time. It's good to have him down."
Iran was the eighth victim of the shooting spree that traumatized the District and the suburbs. He was shot Oct. 7 outside Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie.
He was hospitalized for several weeks with severe injuries to major organs, including his spleen, stomach and pancreas. His spleen was removed.
"I can only play for a short while, but I'm feeling good," said Iran, who has also met first lady Laura Bush since his release from Children's Hospital.
John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, are in jail awaiting trial on murder charges in two of the 10 fatal shootings. Authorities have linked the two to 19 shootings, including 13 deaths, in the District, Maryland and Virginia, as well as in Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama.
Shortly after the attack, Mr. McGrady heard that Iran was a fan and sent him a jersey.
"As athletes, we really don't know how inspirational we are to a lot of people," said Mr. McGrady, the NBA's leading scorer at 29.3 points a game. "It was really touching."
Mr. McGrady was to miss the game against the Milwaukee Bucks last night because of a back bruise sustained a week ago. He is eyeing a Christmas Day return against the Detroit Pistons.
"It's nice when you have a guy looking up to one of your players," Magic coach Doc Rivers said. "And it's nice when that player is a pretty good guy."

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