Born Anfernee Deon Hardaway, July 18, 1971, in Memphis, TN “Penny” attended the University of Memphis, 1990-93. At the University of Memphis, still better known by its former name as Memphis State, Hardaway was such a standout basketball player that he was often compared to Magic Johnson. By the end of his junior year he decided to skip his senior year and go straight to the pros. He caught the attention of NBA scouts and coaches not just for his physical ability but for his intelligence on the court.
Hardaway’s professional career has been astounding. In his first season he averaged 16 points per game and over six assists. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and was the only rookie in the year to start all 82 of his team’s games. Although Orlando was knocked out of the first round of the playoffs, Hardaway personally elevated his game, raising his scoring average to over 18 points per game and his assists to over seven per game. The next season he raised his averages to 19.5 points and 7.2 assists per game. He was a first team NBA All-Star, and he shot amazing for a guard 51 percent from the field.
Hardaway was a member of the Dream Team, the second U.S. Olympic team comprising NBA players, winning a Gold Medal in the last moments of the Olympics. Now Penny dedicates his life to giving back to a community that once pushed him to become a better basketball player. He is now the head boys basketball coach at Memphis East High School and has led the team to back to back state titles (2016, 2017). He is an inspiring entrepreneur that continues to shine on and off the court, and he continues to pay it forward to his childhood neighborhood.