words & images // Nick DePaula
We all have our starting points.
For Penny Hardaway, even after a journey that took him to Orlando, Phoenix, New York and everywhere in between, Memphis is still where it all began and still what matters most to him.
After a legendary high school career at local Treadwell High School, where he led the Eagles to a state title after putting up a ridiculous statline of 36.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 3.9 steals and 2.8 blocks per, he stayed home for college.
With the resurrection of his signature series slated for this fall, the Sportswear team and Penny worked hand in hand on each theme and each colorway that'll be releasing, and Penny wanted to kick things off with a tribute to where he first made his name.
With a red base nubuck upper and contrasting white wing, the "Red Eagle" Penny V takes inspiration straight from the high school gym where Hardaway put on a show as a unique 6'7" point guard.
There's a large Eagle painting along the gym wall that overlooks the Treadwell court, and the eagle's feathers and texture helped to drive the graphic pattern that's applied all throughout the shoe's eyestay, midsole and outsole.
You'll also notice Penny's bicep tattoos along the heel tabs of the shoes -- "Part II Heaven Cent" and "The Storm Is Over" -- along with his very favorite phrase along the sockliner, "Ballin Is What I Was Born To Do." On the opposite sockliner, "Penny V" is set within the Tennessee state outline, with Memphis receiving a special call out with a star.
Be sure to check out Issue 41 of Sole Collector Magazine at the end of this month for an in-depth look at the entire design process of the new Air Penny V and an exclusive look at Penny's feedback along the way.
The "Red Eagle" Nike Air Penny V hits Nike Sportswear accounts tomorrow.