As a college sophomore, Penny Hardaway was named Great Midwest Conference Player of the Year as well as Conference Newcomer of the Year. He also led Memphis to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. In the summer of 1992, Hardaway was selected to the 1992 USA Basketball Developmental Team that practiced daily against the 1992 Olympic Team. In his junior year, he was again named Great Midwest Conference Player of the year and an All-American. He also was a finalist for the Naismith College Player of the Year and the John R. Wooden Award that are annually given to the most outstanding player in college basketball.
During the summer of 1996, Hardaway played on the 1996 US Olympic Games Basketball Team, which won a gold medal. Although his most productive years came in his days as a member of the Orlando Magic as well as the early portion of his stint with the Phoenix Suns, he also spent time with the New York Knicks and Miami Heat. He was named MVP in 1994 and was a member of the All-NBA First Team in 1995 and 1996, and the NBA All-Stars from 1995 to 1998.
In 1994, Memphis State retired #25, Penny’s number while playing for the Tigers. Hardaway was named fifth on the list of top 100 modern college point guards by collegehoopsnet.com. He was also a leading vote getter on ESPN’s Conference USA Silver Anniversary Team.
**Penny Hardaway Speaker**
Many of the most successful Penny Hardaway speaker experiences are designed to inspire youths. Even as a teenager, despite his rising popularity, Hardaway continued to work as a referee of youth sports at the Memphis YMCA and played on the Memphis YOMCA Jr. Olympic basketball team.
**Penny Hardaway Appearance**
Although Hardaway is considered an all-around player, his style of play was rare in the early 1990s. Players of his height were encouraged to play closer to the basket and often were not ball handlers, but he was a pass-first point guard who could score like a shooting guard. This awesome display of versatility from every Penny Hardaway appearance is what helped make the talented young player a household name.
**Penny Hardaway Endorsement**
As a testament to the power of a Penny Hardaway endorsement, many of the shoes in Hardaway’s signature shoe line, “Air Max Penny,” have been reissued over the years. The Nike Air Max Penny Series included Penny I–Penny IV and the Foamposites. The Penny Hardaway endorsement was such a phenomena, that many of today’s best NBA players, such as LeBron James, Gilbert Arenas, Joe Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Hakim Warrick, Trevor, Ariza, and Antonio Burks, have spoken of their admiration for Hardaway while growing up.
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