Penny Hardaway Scores Big with Booming Business Portfolio

The NBA great skyrockets from basketball superstar to flourishing entrepreneur and philanthropist

How did your decision to open Caesar’s Palace Salon and Barber Shop come about?

It came about because one of my friends who had always been cutting our hair and he told me, “Man, I want to expand. I think I’m ready now that I understand the business side of [operating a shop].” The timing and his skill set matched with me wanting to help him grow as a barber was how it all happened. It took us a year to find the building because we wanted to be precise in choosing the right location. We finally found one downtown that we liked and then we moved in.

You recently donated $1 million to your alma mater, the University of Memphis. You also decided to go back to school. What made you go back to get your degree 10 years after you left to play in the NBA?

I wanted to go back to school because I made my grandmother a promise that I was going. I believe that education is important. Getting a college degree is something that a lot of people don’t do, especially athletes. When I graduated, it was definitely the happiest day of my life because it was like I really accomplished going back to school after I left and I really did not have to. It makes me proud every time I say it to a kid or to anyone.

Do you have any advice for players on how they can set themselves up for life after basketball?

I do, though, I must say a lot of guys really don’t listen because they believe what the retired players come and tell them will never happen to them. Too often you will have the guy making $16 million on a team and a guy that is making the minimum is hanging out with him, spending all his money. Don’t try to go out here and buy jewelry, a lot of clothes, and the most expensive car. Take care of yourself but don’t be so “come up” that you spend all your money trying to “keep up.”

My advice is to always pay attention to your business. Always take the time on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis to check on your bank account and pay your own bills. That’s one thing I started doing because at first, I was allowing the bank to pay my bills then I found out people were putting their cell phones on my account. Also, after you cover your mom and maybe buy you and her a house, put yourself on a legitimate budget.

How close are you to completing the Penny Hardaway Fast Break Courts 100,000 square foot facility in Memphis?

Since the facility will benefit the Memphis community, we met with and presented to the State Representatives in Nashville, to secure state funding. Once we get the money, it will be about 18 months before it is all said and done. We plan to host all kinds of tournaments there. It’s going to be filled with a lot of different sports, not only basketball, mentoring programs, ACT tutoring and all kind of things that will help keep these teens off the streets and help them achieve their dreams. I cannot wait.

What other projects are you looking forward to the most?

Right now I have an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) program called Team Penny for children ages 12-17. I coach the 14 and under team and my friends coach the other teams and we’re trying to compete and win the national championship this summer. I also would like to be back on the big screen. I had a great experience filming Blue Chips and am certainly open to similar projects in the future.

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  • Kevin

    I was a fan of his during his playing days at Memphis (now U. of Memphis), as well, his NBA playing career with Orlando. I am very much happy that his post-NBA career that he is having just as much success. Congrats, Mr. Anfernee Hardaway.

  • Tim Bankston

    Penny, I never followed you during your B Ball career! But I’m so happy your BEING ABOUT IT instead of just talking about it. You’ve got other young players looking! If only 1 out of 20 follow your lead you will have made QUITE AN IMPACT!

  • she

    i’m one of his fan during his b-ball career and i thank That God has open a new oppurtunity for him.keep it up and God bless u more abundantly above all that you can ever ask or think.

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    go big homie BBB

  • Willis

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  • thomas wesphaguson

    Penny was first right when he said that youre never too old to go back to school and learn. Second, its fascinating to read success stories of entrepreneurs who have an idea, researches his idea, plans, and executes, as clearly illustrated by the multifaceted small projects that Penny has built on, succeded and expanded to include other realms of business, and learnings.

    If players can be so constructive while they have the ability to make big money in their sports skills while the opportunities are in their hands, they can also do the intelligent job of planning for when the sports skills have expired.

    What have you done for me lately? Or more specifically, for yourself lately? Congratulations Penny Hardaway!

  • Don

    I must say this is a welcome reprieve from constantly hearing about other black athletes who blow their fortunes.  I hope more black athletes follow you rlead.

  • Allen

    Few are like Penny. He is a gentleman in the highest order and has always put Memphis and his grandmother first. Memphis and the University of Memphis are extremely fortunate to call him Friend. Thanks, Penny, for all that you do for us.

  • Steve

    Remembering him on talk radio when he was just a junior in high school. How he handled hisself.. Us Tigers are very proud of this one..

  • Damien

    Lifelong Bulls fan, was in my teenage years during Penny’s prime in the NBA (Pre-injury), his injuries were tragic he had the potential to be one of the greatest of all-time. However, it is outstanding to see those injuries and his inability to find a NBA home or even a fraction of the athletic abilities he once pocessed, didn’t stop him from being very succesful in life. This is a wonderful story, great job Penny God Bless!

  • Walter

    Congrats Penny

  • Walter

    Congrats Penny, i’m so glad to see formal nba players or any ex professional player do well, hats off to Mr. Hardaway.

  • Mu1885cb

    Impressive….especially after reading about so many of the pro athletes financial downfalls!

  • I thought he would say “OBAMA” as his role model!

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