Penny Hardaway, who is constantly rumored for the Memphis Tigers job, says he is ready to coach in college.
With Tubby Smith flailing with the Tigers, as well as a job opening up at Ole Miss, the timing of this couldn’t have worked out any better for the former No. 3 overall NBA Draft pick.
“It’s a huge compliment for any college to even think about wanting me to come in. I feel like I bring a lot to the table even though I haven’t coached college,” he told SEC Country on Monday after his team’s practice. “I feel like my NBA experience and the coaches I’ve had over the years, I’ve learned enough to be a head coach in college. But I’m really enjoying this right now and coaching these guys.”
It is worth noting that Hardaway is a Memphis native and a former All-American for the Tigers — back when they were known as Memphis State. Why is that important to note? As Smith is learning out the hard way, people within that program’s bubble truly care about the communal aspect to everything Memphis related. They want it to be “one of theirs” leading the charge. This extends to high school coaches from the area, too.
Hardaway, who has no coaching experience at the collegiate level, does have his NBA career to draw upon. Not to mention the fact he has insanely close ties to the grassroots community, even coaching some of the nation’s top prospects for his AAU team.
Only time will tell if Penny is given a shot, but things appear to be heading in the right direction for him.