New series follows the former NBA All-Star leading his college alma mater and nation’s No. 1 recruiting class; First two of 12 episodes premiering Tuesday, Dec. 10, exclusively on ESPN+; Produced by UNINTERRUPTED and ESPN+; Available on ESPN+ on the ESPN App, ESPN.com and connected TV devices
Video Trailer: The Harder Way (For MEDIA VIEWING ONLY. Password: tigers)
The first two episodes of The Harder Way, a new series featuring former NBA great and Memphis basketball head coach Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, premieres tomorrow, Dec. 10, exclusively on ESPN+. Produced by UNINTERRUPTED and ESPN+, in partnership with OBB Pictures, the 12-part series takes fans behind the scenes as Hardaway leads his alma mater through the pressures and expectations of his highly anticipated second season as Memphis head coach.
Through a combination of archival footage and unprecedented program access, The Harder Way juxtaposes Hardaway’s standout career as a player and hometown hero in Memphis with his present coaching challenge, rebuilding a once-proud program that has fallen on hard times.
In addition to Hardaway and his assistant coaches, which include two-time NBA champion Mike Miller, the series explores how Hardaway’s young players navigate life as student-athletes, while attempting to live up to incredible hype. Memphis boasts the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class, including ESPN No. 1 overall recruit James Wiseman, as well as Hardaway’s son Jayden.
The Harder Way also examines the city of Memphis, with its complicated history and vibrant culture as a unique backdrop for a series about coming home, restoring hope and coping with great expectations.
Episodes 1 and 2 of the series will be available on ESPN+ tomorrow, with 10 more episodes to follow through the college basketball season.
Episode 1: All the Smoke
The basketball buzz is alive and well in Memphis as Hardaway prepares his young Tigers for the upcoming season. Expectations are high for a team composed almost entirely of freshman, and as faithful Tigers fans converge on the FedEx Forum for Memphis Madness – the annual public unveiling of the team – Hardaway calls for “all the smoke.”
Episode 2: High Stakes
With a highly-touted roster of one-and-done players, the Tigers host a preseason pro day workout for the team in front of nearly 100 NBA scouts. The team is shocked, just ahead of their second game of the season, to learn the NCAA has ruled Wiseman ineligible, calling into question his status for the rest of the season.
Memphis Men’s Basketball games on ESPN networks
Sat 12/14/19 - 3:00 PM - ESPN - Memphis vs. Tennessee
Sat 12/21/19 - 1:00 PM - ESPN3 - Jackson State vs. Memphis
Sat 12/28/19 - 1:30 PM - ESPN2 - New Orleans vs. Memphis
Thu 01/09/20 - 7:00 PM - ESPN/ESPN2 - Memphis vs. Wichita State
Sun 01/12/20 - 4:00 PM - ESPN2 - Memphis vs. South Florida
Thu 01/16/20 - 7:00 PM - ESPN - Cincinnati vs. Memphis
Wed 01/22/20 - 9:00 PM - ESPNU - Memphis vs. Tulsa
Wed 01/29/20 - 7:00 PM - ESPN2/ESPNU - Memphis vs. UCF
Thu 02/13/20 - 7:00 PM - ESPN/ESPN2 - Memphis vs. Cincinnati
Sun 02/16/20 - 3:00 PM - ESPN - Memphis vs. UConn
Sat 02/22/20 - 2:00 PM - ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU - Houston vs. Memphis
Thu 03/05/20 - 9:00 PM - ESPN/ESPN2 - Wichita State vs. Memphis
UNINTERRUPTED is an athlete empowerment brand founded by LeBron James and Maverick Carter. The company is built upon the radical idea that all athletes should have a platform to express themselves without intermediaries. From this premise, a mission was born: to empower athletes form all walks of life to communicate in an unimpeded way and to be More Than an Athlete. UNINTERRUPTED is upending the world of sports by working with athletes to tell unique, human stories from their point of view. Through content, apparel, events, partnerships and educational opportunities, UNINTERRUPTED is changing the way athletes engage with the public and empowering them to be known and valued for more than the sport they play.
ESPN+ is the leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service from Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ grew quickly to 3.5 million subscribers in just 18 months, offering fans thousands of live events, original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, as well as premium editorial content.
Programming on ESPN+ includes exclusive UFC and Top Rank boxing events, thousands of college sports events (including football and basketball) from more than a dozen sports at 20 conferences, hundreds of MLB and NHL games, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, Bundesliga - beginning in 2020, EFL Championship and Carabao Cup, Eredivisie), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, exclusive ESPN+ Original series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films.
Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) through the ESPN App, (on mobile and connected devices), ESPN.com or ESPNplus.com. It is also available as part of a bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported), and ESPN+, all for just $12.99/month.
Kevin Ota / email@example.com / 860-766-9581
Paul Melvin / firstname.lastname@example.org / 860-766-5069