Memphis basketball legend Penny Hardaway will take part in 901 FC's ceremonial guitar smash ahead of its Tennessee Derby contest against Nashville SC on Wednesday night at AutoZone Park. | Photo courtesy Memphis 901 FC
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis 901 FC will welcome in-state rival Nashville SC to AutoZone Park for the first time on Wednesday night and has enlisted one of the Bluff City’s biggest stars to get the home crowd fired up for the occasion.
University of Memphis Men’s Basketball Coach Penny Hardaway is scheduled take part in the club’s ceremonial guitar smash ahead of the second Tennessee Derby of the season.
Hardaway, a Memphis native, was a four-time All-Star during his 14-year NBA career and has brought his alma mater back into the national conversation after just 16 months in charge, assembling the top 2019 recruiting class in the country – ahead of traditional powerhouses Duke and Kentucky.
The 47-year-old will be the latest in a line of sports celebrities with local ties to participate in the guitar smash, with Memphis Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant, University of Memphis Football Coach Mike Norvell and 901 FC owner and USMNT legend Tim Howard among those that have joined in on the act since the start of the club’s inaugural season.
Hardaway will be greeted by an already revved-up crowd that will be eager to see 901 FC avenge its 2-0 defeat to Nashville from their first regular-season meeting at First Tennessee Park on April 13th.
Add in the fact that Nashville will be moving to Major League Soccer next season – making this likely the only time the two clubs will meet in Memphis in USL Championship play – and that 901 FC is coming off its biggest win in its history, and this could be the rowdiest we’ve ever seen the Bluff City Mafia.
And for a group that celebrates the obliteration of guitars before every home game, that’s saying something.