words // Nick Engvall
Today former Orlando Magic superstar Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway turns 40 years old. As one of the most legendary players of the last few decades, in both the basketball and sneaker world, I couldn’t help but get lost in the past appearances of Mr. Hardaway in the Eastbay Catalog for this week’s Eastbay Memory Lane.
Penny’s footwear has lived on for many years due to great designs and colorways, but more so due to his likable personality and his own personal love for his sneakers. If you haven’t checked out our interview, Penny Hardaway’s Legendary Sneaker Series, it’s a must read for anyone, but especially for Penny fans.
Looking back at some of the catalogs that Penny or his shoes were featured in was a reminder as to how special he has been to the sneaker culture. Aside from Jordan shoes, Penny’s signature models are easily the most memorable images to me. The issue featuring the “Atlantic Blue” Penny II release, in which he was featured on the back cover, was one that I remember having taped to my wall as a teenager. The catalog from 1995 that had both the Air Max Penny and the Air Flight One will forever be a favorite in the photo catalog of my mind. The basketball card inspired t-shirt that was placed next to the only original colorway of the Air Max Penny that hasn’t returned as a retro is a blast from the past on a whole different level.
Hardaway’s signature line continues to be a major part of today’s sneaker world, and will so with the upcoming Zoom Penny Rookie carrying the torch for the next generation of fans. No matter how many colors or hybrid designs are to come, these old catalog scans will be the memories that sit right alongside the memories of spin moves, no-look passes, and the triple doubles of Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. Happy birthday Penny!