Penny Hardaway career was cut short because no one could diagnose his knee problem, and he hasn’t really been heard of since. It is a big deal when athletes make any kind of mistake, but their good deeds and self-less acts go unnoticed, which leads to their negative perception. It’s the nature of society to celebrate another’s misfortune, but I believe there is a racial component as well. There are many former NBA players who have not only prepared for post life basketball, but they have also excelled in that phase of life. Penny Hardaway is one of these success stories that you don’t hear about.
Penny went back to the urban area he was from, Memphis, and supported the community. He didn’t just give money, he gave something even more important, his time. Hardaway actually coached an inner city elementary school team. He is like the Jim Brown of Memphis, speaking to gang members, so the children have a chance to succeed in life. He is also a savvy businessman.
Penny is still under contract with Nike, and his foamposites are one of Nike’s top-selling shoes. He has a high-profile salon and barber shop in Memphis, a celebrity fitness salon in Miami, a shooting skills website pennyandtheshotdoctor.com, and he is executive producer of Bottom Line Sports Show. He is also working with the state to secure funding for a 100,000 square foot facility in Memphis for the children to help them reach their dreams, and he emphasizes that it’s not only about sports. Hardaway preaches education to kids, and he fulfilled a promise to his grandmother and got his college degree in 2003, so it’s not just lip service. A story like this needs to be told, but its a shame that so many don’t want to tell it.