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On These Courts

On These Courts

A Miracle Season that Changed a City, a Once-Future Star, and a Team Forever

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.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476710884 | 
  • March 2014
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About the Author

Wayne B. Drash
© Robert Johnson

Wayne B. Drash

Wayne Drash is a staff writer and senior producer for CNN.com. He was named one of the best online writers in America by the National Headliner Awards in 2012. Drash is also a member of CNN’s award-winning teams that have brought home Peabodys, Webbys, and Emmys for breaking news and feature writing over the years.

 

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