In what may have been his last game as a high school coach, Penny Hardaway led East Memphis HS to its third consecutive state title over the weekend after defeating Whitehaven HS for the Class AAA crown.
Penny is now reportedly expected to be named the next head coach at the University of Memphis after Tubby Smith’s recent departure.
So, Penny Hardaway, you and East High School just won your third straight state championship, what are you going to do next?
“I’m going to play golf,” Hardaway said.
And after that?
“I’m the coach at East High School,” he said.
You asking for a raise?
The man will be getting a raise, certainly, and a new job description, too. Head coach of the University of Memphis Tigers. He’ll be introduced at a press conference early this week.
But before claiming the new job title, there was the matter of claiming a final state title, which merely reduced Hardaway to tears.
East High defeated Whitehaven Saturday, 72-50. As the final seconds wound down, Hardaway buried his face in a towel and wept.
He wept as he walked down the line, congratulating Whitehaven’s players. He was still teary during his postgame interview.
“It just hit me at one time,” he said. “It’s the journey, man.”