Anfernee Deon "Penny" Hardaway (born July 18, 1971) is a former American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA), specializing as an unconventionally tall point guard. 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. Hardaway was an All-NBA player early in his career, but was plagued by constant injuries which gradually reduced his effectiveness. He played for New York Knicks from 2004 to 2006 and last played for the Miami Heat, who released him December 12, 2007.
Hardaway's nickname came as a result of his grandmother's calling him "Pretty" with a southern drawl, thus sounding like "Penny." Hardaway was raised by his grandmother while his mother was away working. His first love was football but his grandmother did not want him to get hurt. He grew up in the Binghampton neighborhood of shotgun houses in Memphis, Tennessee. As a teenager, despite his rising popularity around the city, in high school, and the nation, Penny continued to work as a referee of youth sports at the Memphis YMCA and played on the Memphis Y.M.C.A. Jr. Olympic basketball teams as a youth.
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