Memphis men's basketball coach Penny Hardaway spoke out Thursday, one day after rapper Young Dolph was shot and killed at a local cookie shop.
Memphians, Hardaway said, “have to do better.”
“We just as a people just have to do better … to get murdered like that, it just doesn’t sit well with me man,” Hardaway said on Instagram. “We have to do better. This is a guy that was coming back to give back to his community, and to give back to our community, from our soil.”
Young Dolph — his real name was Adolph Thornton Jr. — was shot and killed on Wednesday afternoon at a bakery in Memphis, his hometown. He was 36.
Hardaway is one of several in the sports world to speak out after Dolph’s death, including Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr., Jackson State coach Deion Sanders and more.
Dolph’s connections with Memphis ran deep, including with the Tigers’ program. He gave a surprise performance during their preseason “Memphis Madness” at the FedEx Forum in 2019 for fans, which kicked off Hardaway’s second season leading the Tigers. The musician also hosted an annual turkey giveaway and ran a nonprofit benefiting Memphis residents.
"I'm really hurt behind the situation," said Hardaway, now in his fourth season with Memphis. "A guy that came from Memphis, 901 born, in the city all the time giving back to his community … man I just don’t get it. Again, my condolences, my prayers.”