If you were a kid watching basketball in the ’90s, there is a high probability you were a big fan of Penny Hardaway. The lengthy 6’7 point guard was the second coming of Magic Johnson with his pure basketball brilliance and natural feel for the game. On top of that, he was extremely explosive and had the necessary fundamentals to be one of the best players in the league, and for a short period, he really was.
After his 16-year-long NBA career and numerous injuries that caused him to miss many games, Penny found himself in coaching. He is now the head coach of the Memphis State Tigers, his hometown team, where he first made a name for himself and introduced himself to the larger basketball audience. During practice with his team, there are videos of Hardaway challenging them to a shooting contest in which he showed everyone why he was one of the best guards in the NBA.
Penny still has all the moves and the smooth shooting touch, even though he is almost 50 years old. In the video, he is competing against the players he is coaching in a three-point contest, and you can see he still got it. The saying ‘class is permanent’ definitely makes sense when you see Penny playing with the younger players.
His transition to a coach was probably the best thing he could since he is doing some great things for the Tigers, expanding and enhancing their basketball program. Numerous great recruits decided to join the team in the last couple of years, and you can’t blame them. Imagine being coached by none other than Hardaway, while at the same time having an opportunity to challenge him in a three-point shootout.