It has become more commonplace that when athletes hang up their sneakers they move into the charity realm. They use their time and resources to give back to the cities they've played in or to a cause they care about. But, more often than not, athletes return to their roots, wanting to serve the hometowns that made them the person and player they are. Often we hear of major financial gifts to a school or a community center. What we don't hear much is retired athletes giving their time and energy instead of money. Penny Hardaway is doing just that.
Penny is the head coach of the East High Mustangs in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, where he has used his knowledge and experience to lead the team to three state championships. But what is most impressive is his commitment to his team's academic success. He makes education a priority and has promised to help as many as he can to graduate and go to college.
It is easy to think that philanthropy is just about monetary donations. However, giving one's time and talent is just as impactful, maybe even more important than making a donation. It is vital that we remember and recognize what a positive influence athletes can have on the next generation. Penny Hardaway is a shining example of that sentiment.
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