Penny Hardaway's Move To College Was All Part Of Dez Merriweather's Plan

Penny Hardaway Following Plan To College

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It comes as no surprise that the four words postered around the Memphis East High School gym and hashtagged across social media are the same four words that explain Penny Hardaway's move to become the next University of Memphis men's basketball head coach: "Do It For Dez."

The call to action was inspired by the passing of Hardaway's close friend and former Memphis East coach Desmond Merriweather to colon cancer in 2015.

"We would always want to talk about what we wanted to do moving forward," Hardaway told FloHoops in October. "We're going to win championships and let that sixth-grade class graduate and move onto high school, then we'd move onto high school with that class and win three state championships in a row, and then we'd move onto college with that same group."

There you go. It was all part of the late Merriweather's plan. This past weekend, No. 8 Memphis East claimed its third straight TSSAA Class AAA state title, a moment that moved Hardaway to tears as he completed step two of the #DoItForDez journey. 

With his official announcement as head coach of the Memphis Tigers coming Tuesday, Hardaway will be well on his way to step three. Which players will follow on the journey is the next question.