Penny Hardaway agrees to be UofM basketball coach

Penny Hardaway and Jason Kidd were once teammates on the Suns. | Mike Fiala  AP

With Penny's official announcement as Head Coach of the Memphis Tigers coming Tuesday, Hardaway will be well on his way to step three. The 46-year-old is replacing Tubby Smith, who was sacked just five days ago after two seasons with the Tigers.

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. Tubby failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament during his tenure there. Under Smith, the Tigers went 40-26, but they didn't make any postseason tournaments and attendance is down, per the report.

It was at Memphis East where Hardaway coached prize recruit James Wiseman, who he could ultimately persuade to attend Memphis.

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Hardaway, 46, became an enormous star at Memphis in the early 1990s and was ultimately taken third by the Golden State Warriors in the 1993 NBA Draft before being dealt to Orlando in exchange for Chris Webber. "I'm proud of the work my staff and I have done to serve the players, the school and the community in leading us to a 21-13 season this year", Smith said in a released statement.

Known as "Penny" because of his jersey number (No. 1), Hardaway became popular on screen as well.

Tennessee reported Hardaway's expected hiring Thursday.

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