Who is Penny Hardaway?

American college basketball coach and former professional basketball player Anfernee Deon ‘Penny’ Hardaway, was born in Memphis, Tennessee USA, on 18 July 1971, making Cancer his zodiac sign. He’s probably known best for the 14 seasons which he spent playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA), during which he was named to the All-NBA First Team twice and to the NBA All-Star game four times.

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Education and early life

Penny was raised in Memphis by his father Eddie Golden and mother Fae Hardaway for the first three years of his life; he was named ‘Anfernee’ after his mother’s schoolmate. Fae moved to Oakland, California for work in 1974, and Penny was then raised by his grandmother Louise who called him ‘pretty’ with a southern drawl, which made it sound as ‘penny’, thus his nickname.

He fell in love with football at a very early age, however, Louise didn’t want Penny to be hurt, and so didn’t allow him to play. He then turned to basketball, which he began playing while still attending a local elementary school; he refereed youth sports at the worldwide youth organization YMCA and also played for the organization’s Jr. Olympic basketball team, competing in the AAU Junior Olympic Games.

Penny enrolled at Treadwell High School in 1986, and averaged 36.6 points, 6.2 assists and 10.1 rebounds per game during his four years there playing for the school basketball team; during his senior year, the “Parade Magazine” named Penny ‘National High School Player of the Year’. He scored 3,309 points during his high school career.


Penny enrolled at Memphis State University in 1990, but had to sit out the first season because of his low grades. Meantime during that year, he was robbed at gunpoint and a stray bullet hit him in his foot, but Penny was able to make a recovery.

He was selected to the 1992 USA Basketball Development Team, and then focused on college basketball for the 1992-1993 season, averaging 22.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game; he had two triple doubles and was named an All-American. Penny was also a finalist for both the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith College Player of the Year Award.

He decided not to stay at Memphis State for his senior year, but to instead make himself eligible for the 1993 NBA Draft, but he eventually returned to the university and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in May 2003.

Career as a professional basketball player

Penny was picked in the first round of the Draft by the Golden State Warriors, but was then traded to the Orlando Magic; he started off as a shooting guard, while he was being taught the point guard position by American former basketball player Scott Allen Skiles Sr. He took Scott’s position as a point guard in mid-season, and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) at the Schick Rookie Game; Penny was then named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

The Magic reached the NBA Finals in the 1994-1995 season, but were defeated by the Houston Rockets; Penny was named to the All-NBA First Team and the NBA All-Star Game.

In November 1995, he was named the NBA Player of the Month, while he was then also named to the All-NBA First Team and the NBA All-Star Game; he suffered a serious knee injury during a 1996 play-off game, but was able to recover.

Penny was on the 1996 US Olympic Games Basketball Team which won the gold medal.

He was named to the NBA All-Star game again during the 1996-1997 season, and was the Magic’s leader, as Shaquille O’Neal had left the team to join the Los Angeles Lakers; they reached the play-offs again, but lost to the Miami Heat.

He missed most of the 1997-1998 season due to a knee injury, but was still named to the NBA All-Star game; Penny’s 1998-1999 season was his last with the Magic, as he was traded to the Phoenix Suns in July 1999.

The Suns reached the Western Conference Playoffs in the 1999-2000 season, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the semi-finals.

Penny played in only four games of the 2000-2001 season due to a left knee injury.

They didn’t reach the play-offs in the 2001-2002 season, and then lost in the first round of the 2002-2003 play-offs to the San Antonio Spurs.

Penny was traded to the New York Knicks in 2004 and they reached the play-offs in the same year, only to lose to the New Jersey Nets in the first round; he spent most of the 2004-2005 struggling with injuries.

He was traded back to the Orlando Magic on 22 February 2006, but retired after having been waived by the team on 12 December 2012.


Penny began coaching basketball at Lester Middle School in 2011, leading the Lester Lions to the West Tennessee State Championship.

He began coaching the Memphis Tigers on 19 March 2018, and led them to the National Invitation Tournament during his first year.

Love life and relationships

Penny’s highly secretive when it comes to speaking about his love life in public; it’s known that he has four children, but not many details about the children’s mothers have been disclosed.

He had a girlfriend Latarsha while attending high school, and she gave birth to their first daughter LaTanfernee Hardaway in 1992, while their second daughter Layla Hardaway followed in 1995; LaTanfernee’s today quite popular on Instagram, as close to 30,000 people are following her on the network, while she’s posted more than 100 pictures and videos.

Penny has a son Jayden Hardaway with a former girlfriend; he was born on 16 July 1999, and is being coached by Penny at the University of Memphis. His second son Ashton is currently attending a local high school.

Penny seems to be unattached as of June 2023, he hasn’t married, but has four children with three women.

Interesting facts and hobbies

Penny’s a member of the fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.

He and Shaquille O’Neal both appeared in the 1994 sports movie “Blue Chips”, which starred Mary McDonnell and Nick Nolte, and was directed by William Friedkin. It follows the life of a college basketball coach, but the film was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst New Star (Shaquille).

Penny was featured in the 2016 documentary movie “This Magic Moment”.

He’s the owner of a turf business in Miami, Florida, and a beauty salon and barbershop in downtown Memphis.

Penny donated the funds required to build the Sports Hall of Fame at the University of Memphis, and in 2011 donated $20 million for the build of the FastBreak Courts Sportsplex.

He’s followed by close to 450,000 people on Instagram, and has posted more than 600 pictures and videos, with most of these showing him during his everyday life.

One of Penny’s favorite actors is Tom Hanks, and some of his favorite movies include “The Green Mile”, “You’ve Got Mail”, and “Cast Away”.

Height, eyes and wealth

Penny’s age is 51. He has brown eyes and black hair, is 6ft 7ins (2.01m) tall, and weighs around 100kgs (215kgs).

Penny’s net worth’s been estimated at over $50 million, as of June 2023.

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