Penny Hardaway has officially returned to his former stomping grounds.
The former Magic guard was introduced on Tuesday morning as the head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Memphis, the school he starred at for two years before heading to the NBA.
Though the 46-year-old Hardaway has no prior collegiate coaching experience, he guided Memphis East High School to a third straight state championship last week and runs Team Penny, an AAU team featuring highly touted prospects. Mark Giannotto of the Commercial Appeal in Memphis reported that Hardaway’s deal is for three years.
Hardaway’s return is expected to light a spark within a program that is in dire need of some excitement.
Memphis President Dr. David Rudd said he estimates the men’s basketball program lost $4.7 million this season while season ticket sales dropped to around 4,000. That, as much as anything else, is why the school has made this change from Tubby Smith to Penny Hardaway.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) March 20, 2018
Hardaway, who averaged 15.2 points and 5.0 assists per game during his injury-plagued career, spent six seasons in Orlando. A four-time All-Star and 1994-1995 All-NBA first-team selection, he averaged 19.0 points and 6.3 assists per game while with the Magic.
The Magic congratulated their former star on Instagram on Tuesday.....