Like Father, Like Sons | Ashton Hardaway Joins Older Brother Jayden And Father Penny At Memphis

Penny Hardaway’s son Ashton Hardaway will be committing to Memphis, joining his brother and father. 

The elder Hardaway, a college and NBA legend, is ever the recruiter for Memphis University. After bringing in tons of talent, he’s making sure the Memphis Tigers have some of his blood on their jerseys. 

Nepotism is historically a real thing in college basketball, and who better to help continue and further one’s hoop dreams than your own father?

That’s exactly what is happening here, as Penny Hardaway, who already has one son Jayden Hardaway in the fold, will be bringing on his youngest son Ashton, who is a four-star wing.

Ashton is currently a senior at Sierra Canyon. This just goes to show how loaded the Trailblazers are at the California school, where future NBA players such as Bronny James and Amari Bailey hit the hardwood daily under immense scrutiny.

 

The 6-foot-7 Ashton is a gifted wing player who is exceptional at stroking threes and has made his mark in his young basketball career. According to Penny Hardaway, that’s his son’s best attribute and most likely what he expects Ashton to bring to one of the top basketball programs in the American Athletic Conference. 

“He’s, to me, arguably, one of the top shooters in the country. I’d say one of the top three shooters in the country in his class, if not No. 1,” Penny Hardaway told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “That’s his thing. He has a gift.”

Whether his gift is what truly got him to Memphis, or that’s the angle his father is using, Hardaway wanted his guy and he got him. This commitment from Ashton places Memphis at No. 14 in the 2023 recruiting class, according to On3 College Basketball Rankings.

You can’t say Penny isn’t a master recruiter. Ashton isn’t even the best player in his class to commit to the Tigers. Just a few short weeks ago, Mikey Williams, the 30th-ranked player in the nation, according to ESPN rankings, committed and signed with Memphis.

 

Hardaway, who has used some ethically questionable techniques in recruiting top-tier talent in the past (James Wiseman), is still finding loopholes to get some of the best players in the country. Though he’s doing it via family ties, was Ashton signing to Memphis ever really in doubt?

Penny also recently signed an extension with the Memphis Tigers and will be coaching them throughout the 2027-28 season. In his four years at Memphis, Penny Hardaway has an 85-43 coaching record but has only made the NCAA Tournament.

He’s recruited and coached the likes of James Wiseman, Moussa Cisse, and Precious Achiuwa. Though he’s a very controversial coach, he’s normally going into the season with a very competitive squad. 

Nepotism In College Basketball?

Hardaway joins the ranks of Juwan Howard and Jim Boeheim. These are very successful coaches who have brought their sons into the program. 

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This isn’t anything new, dating back to the days of John Thompson, Tubby Smith, Bobby Knight, just a short list of legends who coached their sons in college.

Eventually, something has to be said about these father-son commitments, and how these coaches can tip the recruiting competition by bringing their sons in to play for them. That conversation won’t happen any time soon, but it becomes a bargaining chip for the coaches that have sons who play, when they go to put together a team.