MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - University of Memphis head men's basketball coach Penny Hardaway returned to his old stomping grounds--Treadwell High School--on Wednesday.
Treadwell retired his No. 25 jersey and dedicated the Eagles court--the same one he played on in 1990--in Hardaway's honor.
"It's a great feeling, man. Those hallways look a lot smaller now that I am older, but yeah the gym and everything is still the same. It brings back a lot of great memories," Hardaway said.
The event was part of the work of Heights Community Development Corporation. For the past two years, Jared Myers and his team have worked to recapture the pride of the Highland Heights neighborhood through beautification projects and strengthening neighborhood relationships.
"When the school closed in 2009, that was really a big blow to our neighborhood, so now that we have the opportunity for Penny to come back home to this community of the heights, it means the world the students and to this community," Myers said.
It's a void partially filled now by the outdoor basketball court behind Treadwell's gym, and the championship trophy brought home by Treadwell Elementary's boy's basketball team.
"Even though the high school is closed down, there's still an elementary and a middle school, and we need to be involved with the neighborhood and school," Hardaway said.
Hardaway is one of may former students giving back to the city and school that gave to him.