On These Courts
The incredible true story of hope and inspiration, struggle and triumph: how former NBA star “Penny” Hardaway selflessly coached a young basketball team through the hardships of life—and to their first-ever state championship. NBA All-Star Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway had fame, fortune, and a Nike shoe line. Yet for all his basketball accomplishments, the one thing he lacked was a championship season. Penny Hardaway, like so many pro athletes, struggled with the question of “What now?” when his whirlwind career came to an end in 2007. The answer came from one of his oldest friends, Desmond Merriweather, who was sick with colon cancer and could no longer commit to full-time coaching the Lester Middle School boys basketball team. On These Courts is the moving story of a superstar who takes over coaching duties in the crime-ridden streets of Memphis he once called home. Coach Penny selflessly helped his young players navigate their way through impossible circumstances: failing grades, incarcerated fathers, gang pressures. But this is not just a story about Penny; the true stars are the kids on the Lester Lions team who rewarded Penny with his first championship season, winning the state title by one point. A penny.