Penny Hardaway was born in Memphis, starred at Memphis’ Treadwell High School and was dominant in both of his seasons at what was then Memphis State (now Memphis). With his alma mater on the verge of missing the NCAA Tournament for a fourth-straight year — the last two with Tubby Smith at the helm — Hardaway is reportedly being considered to lead the Tigers should Smith be fired.
SOURCES: Memphis is seriously considering replacing Tubby Smith with Penny Hardaway, who is “actively preparing to be a college head coach” and already identifying possible staff members — among them Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown.
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 7, 2018
While he hasn’t coached at the college level as either an assistant or a head coach, Hardaway has been involved in youth basketball in Memphis since retiring from the NBA after the 2006-07 season. He is currently the head coach of East High School in Memphis — which is 25-3 and ranked No. 42 nationally according to MaxPreps — and runs the Team Penny Nike EYBL Program.
As the Tigers have struggled on the court, attendance has suffered at FedEx Forum, also the home of the Memphis Grizzlies. Hiring a local hero like Penny would inject some much-needed life into the program.