MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The University of Memphis officially introduced Tiger nation to the new men's basketball head coach Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway during a news conference on Tuesday.
"This is an unbelievable day," Hardaway said to a room jammed back with old friends and new students alike. "I couldn't have dreamed of anything better. Just coming here today was just amazing."
The two-time All-American and former NBA star said he's here not as a face for the university, but as a coach dedicated to making a true difference. His team is going to hit the ground running, he said, to produce a "product" the university and the city of Memphis will be proud of.
Hardaway says that being able to coach his alma mater was second to making it the NBA.
He compared his vision for the program to the good old days of Tigers basketball when the stands were packed and everyone on campus was filled with school pride.
"I am dedicated to this team that just finished this season.Like I told those kids in the locker room it was kinda unfair a little bit to them that nobody really showed up. Those days are gone," he said to applause.
"We're ready to win."
Hardaway says with "no disrespect for the Grizzlies" that Tiger basketball is number one in the city.
"It was here before the Grizzlies came," Hardaway said. "When the Tiger's won, back in the day, everyone was happy. When the Tiger's lost everybody was sad."