Former Memphis star Penny Hardaway has agreed to a deal to become the next Tigers men’s basketball coach, and a news conference is expected on Tuesday, sources told ESPN.
Hardaway, who starred at the school in the early 1990s, will replace Tubby Smith, who was fired after just two seasons earlier this month.
Hardaway, 46, was drafted with the third overall pick in 1993 and played in the NBA from 1993 to 2008 — with Orlando, Phoenix, New York and Miami. He was a four-time NBA All-Star.
Memphis’ hire looks to add some life to a program that has struggled in the latter years of the Tubby Smith regime. Smith won 19 games his first year and 21 the second, but the Tigers didn’t make any postseason tournaments, and attendance has been down.
Hardaway isn’t your typical former NBA player, as he has coached AAU basketball in the summer and also won his third consecutive state title as the head coach of Memphis East High this past weekend.
Hardaway has ties to some of the top players in the area, including top-ranked junior James Wiseman.
SOURCE: ESPN, Jeff Goodman