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Memphis Tigers announce Rasheed Wallace will join basketball coaching staff

The Tigers officially announced Thursday that NBA veteran Rasheed Wallace will become an assistant coach for Penny Hardaway and the Tigers.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — UPDATE 8/26/2021 - The Memphis Tigers officially announced NBA veteran Rasheed Wallace will join Head Coach Penny Hardaway’s assistant coaching staff.

Wallace is a 4-time All-Star who won an NBA championship in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons, who were coached by Larry Brown, a fellow Tigers assistant coach.

“I’m excited about adding Rasheed to the program,” Hardaway said in a statement Thursday. “He is someone our ‘bigs,’ and our entire team, will learn a tremendous amount from. All of his experience in the NBA and knowledge of the game will be key to our success.”

“It was a surprise, but an honor and a pleasure, to receive the call from Coach Hardaway to join his coaching staff,” Wallace said in the statement. “I am extremely eager to work with the young men on the team, and I’m excited to cross paths again with Coach Brown and work with Coach (Cody) Toppert.”

RELATED: Star basketball player Emoni Bates commits to the University of Memphis

The Memphis Tigers has a combined 30 season of NBA playing experience between Hardaway and Wallace, and eight NBA All-Star appearances. Brown has had 1,098 NBA victories in 26 seasons as a head coach.

Hardaway has won 63 games in three seasons as Tigers head coach, the third-most among 50 head coaches hired before the 2018-19 season. 

The announcement came one day after five-star Emoni Bates announced his commitment to Memphis. The 6-foot-8 guard is projected as the No. 1 overall pick when he becomes eligible for the NBA draft after he turns 19 in 2023. His decision clinched the second No. 1 overall recruiting class for Hardaway going into his fourth season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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8/18/2021 - NBA veteran Rasheed Wallace has agreed to become an assistant coach at the University of Memphis, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The news broke Wednesday morning, the same day that 2021 five-star recruit Emoni Bates visits Memphis.

Hardaway completes his marquee staff with Wallace joining hall-of-fame coach Larry Brown and former Suns assistant Cody Toppert on his bench.

This is a reunion of sorts for Wallace and Brown, who won an NBA championship together with the Detroit Pistons in 2004.

Wallace and Brown replace Tony Madlock, who left to become the head coach at South Carolina State, and Jermaine Johnson, who spent one season with the U of M.

Last week, the Tigers also hired Robb Hornett as the program's strength and conditioning coach. Hornett assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Golden State Warriors.

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