Memphis is the newest school actively recruiting four-star Bronny James, a source told On3. James, a rising senior at Chatsworth (CA) Sierra Canyon School, is On3’s No. 38 ranked player in the 2023 class.
We wrote during Nike’s Peach Jam that Penny Hardaway was courtside, among the 150 college coaches and NBA personnel watching James play. Hardaway was impressed with the 6-foot-3 guard’s 15.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.5-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Ties to Penny
LeBron James has not been shy about saying he grew up a fan of Penny Hardaway. In 2019, after being seen dapping up Penny Hardaway courtside while playing the Memphis Grizzlies, LeBron told the media, “Penny was one of my favorite players growing up. I kind of idolized Michael Jordan, but I wanted to be like Penny.”
The two player’s careers overlapped in the NBA for a few seasons. It was the latter part of Penny’s career and the beginning of LeBron’s. They played head-to-head five times in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 regular seasons. LeBron is 3-and-2 against Penny.
LeBron James was also involved in Penny’s Fastbreak Courts. A proposed multi-use facility in Cordova, Tennessee that Penny announced in 2011 with the backing of Coke, Sprite, and Campbell Clinic.
It was recently announced that Hardaway’s son Ashton is transferring from Duncanville (TX) High to Chatsworth (CA) Sierra Canyon, where Bronny James will be a senior. The two are currently with their team on a three-game foreign tour in Europe. All three games are being televised and broadcast by ESPN.
Ties to Nike
Memphis is under contract as a Nike program across all sports through this coming 2022-23 season. Penny Hardaway is also one of history’s more iconic Nike-sponsored athletes.
In the 1990s, Penny Hardaway was recognized as the premier Nike athlete behind Michael Jordan. Still to this day, Hardaway’s Nike shoe line is thought of as among the best signature shoe series of all time.
As we reported on Tuesday, James is still in the embryonic stages of his recruiting process and has still not taken any visits yet. After gathering intel, I placed my expert pick in On3’s Recruiting Prediction Machine (RPM) for Bronny James to choose Oregon with a 55 confidence level.
While Memphis does not have a commitment in the 2023 class, they have issued a handful of offers. The Tigers have not offered James yet, but do not be surprised to see one come after James returns from his foreign tour.