The first commitment of the Penny Hardaway era at Memphis has a familiar last name.
Jayden Hardaway, the son of new coach Penny Hardaway, announced on social media Tuesday night that he will attend Memphis beginning next year in order to play for his father.
“I’m able to obviously trust my dad. I know he cares for me,” Jayden Hardaway said in a telephone interview. “I know he’s going to push me to be my greatest. There just wasn’t a better situation for me than to go there.”
Hardaway spent this past season playing for IMG Academy’s post-graduate team. He played one year at East High School in Memphis under his father, helping the Mustangs to the 2017 TSSAA AAA state championship as a senior.
Jayden Hardaway said Tuesday night that he recently received scholarship offers from UNC Greensboro, Delaware and several Ivy League schools. He also had serious interest from SMU.
Hardaway confirmed that he will be on scholarship with the Tigers.
But ultimately, it was simply the lure of further developing with his father that proved too good to pass up.
Once the Tigers announced Penny Hardaway as their new coach last month, Jayden Hardaway said he began having conversations with his family about joining him on campus. His mother also graduated from the University of Memphis.
“I wanted to announce it earlier because I had known I was going there for a couple weeks,” Hardaway said. “I was just waiting. I was waiting for my dad to get everything straightened out and he gave me permission to commit.”
Jayden Hardaway is considered an unrated prospect, according to 247 Sports, but he held his own with Team Penny on the grassroots basketball circuit in recent years.
Known as an accurate shooter who can play multiple positions, Hardaway said he is currently 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds after a year spent in IMG Academy’s rigorous training program.
“Everything seems to be improving right now and it will get even better once I go there and start working out with my dad,” Hardaway said.