MEMPHIS – If you look close enough during Tiger games, you’ll notice there’s a familiar face sitting second row of the Tigers bench.

” Got to start in Memphis. That blue runs in my blood, man. I feel like I’m apart of the city. It was no other place that I wanted to start,” said former Memphis Tiger forward Joey Dorsey.

15 years ago Joey Dorsey was the center-piece of the Tigers 2008 National Championship Runner-Up team. He joined Penny Hardaway’s coaching staff, as a volunteer coach after stopping by a few summer practices.

” I asked my coach. I said I want to be a part of this. And he was like, Come on, let’s do it. We can use you. So once he said that I was, I was all in,” said Dorsey.

” Joey speaks their language, he’s closer to their age. He was a big here when he went to the NCAA Final game. He understands how those guys feel, because he was in their shoes,” said Tiger head coach Penny Hardaway.

Dorsey amazingly 39 years old, but still looks like he can play. He’s best remembered as one of the best big men in Memphis history.

Dorsey was in his prime, when this year’s Tigers were kids, but it didn’t take long for them to realize he still can lace’em up and ball.

” Crazy thing, a lot of these kids were very, very young when I was playing. So they go back, and alway say ‘I looked up to you. I watched you with that ’08 team”.

Joey played professionally for 16 years, now his focus is on helping the next generation of Tiger big men, achieve their dreams as he once did.

“He has definitely told stories about his time here in the league overseas, it’s been really good having him around,” said Tigers senior Kaodirichi Akobundu-Ehiogu .

” It’s different when you’re being taught something from somebody who’s been where you’re trying to go, I’m just soaking it in and just trying to, you know, pick up as much as I can”.

” He can talk to them off the court about the mistakes that he made and the positive things that he took from playing here and the

advantages of playing in the pros,” said Hardaway. ” Ever since he stepped into the practice facility, he’s been nothing but positive. He’s been a huge asset for us “.

” Guys can relate to me and they can they can understand like, I’ve been there. I’ve seen what you’re trying to get to. I love developing players and see when they go on the court and see what we worked on. It happens on the court, I get excited about it”.

Along with coaching up the Tigers big men, Dorsey also wants to help restore the program, to how he left it. Among the nation’s best.

” I would love to be here in Memphis and help Penny turn this around and bring it back to what it was when I was playing. That’s the goal for me”.