Who Is Nikki Ward? Jayden Hardaway Mother And Penny Hardaway Ex

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Given Coach Penny’s history of relationships, people express curiosity about the mother of his son, Jayden Hardaway.

Jayden Hardaway, the basketball player, is the son of the renowned basketball coach and player Penny Hardaway and Nikki Ward.

Nikki Ward and Penny Hardaway were together for several years before they separated.

Jayden Hardaway The Basketball Player
Jayden Hardaway, The Basketball Player (Source: Instagram)

Jayden Hardaway was born on July 16, 1999, to Penny Hardaway and Nikki Ward in Memphis, Tennessee, United States.

When he was five years old, Hardaway used to attend his dad’s games, and by the age of seven, he had already started learning how to shoot.

Attending Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Pinecrest, Florida, he later transferred to East High School in Memphis, Tennessee.

Moreover, Hardaway knew that his father played in the NBA. But he didn’t realize he was a global icon until middle school.

Later, determined to improve himself, he joined IMG Academy after high school.

Now, Jayden Hardaway plays for the University of Memphis basketball team, the Memphis Tigers men’s basketball.

Jayden Hardaway Mother, Nikki Ward

Jayden Hardaway is the son of basketball coach Penny Hardaway from his relationship with his former girlfriend, Nikki Ward.

From 1991 to 1993, Nikki Ward captained the number one competitive dance team in the nation at the University of Memphis.

Penny and Nikki dated for a few years, but they couldn’t make it last forever, ultimately deciding to separate.

Jayden Hardaway, the junior Hardaway, was also born during the period when Penny and Nikki were dating each other.

Jayden With Nikki, Penny And Step-Brother
Jayden With Nikki, Penny And Step-Brother (Source: Instagram)

Moreover, after their separation, Nikki raised Jayden as a single mother in Miami until the college athlete moved to Memphis in 2016 to join his father.

However, Nikki didn’t restrict him from going to his father to pursue his dream and supported her son’s decision.

Furthermore, Jayden’s mother would be frequently present at her son’s games, showing her support. Moreover, Nikki also maintains a good relationship with her ex and his family.

Penny Hardaway Life: Career, Relationships, Children

Anfernee Deon “Penny” Hardaway was born on July 18, 1971, to his parents, Fae Hardaway and Eddie Golden.

While his mother worked in Oakland, she left Penny with her mother, Louise. Contrary to his initial interest in football, Penny joined a basketball club during his teenage years.

Like his son Jayden, he played for the University of Memphis before being selected for the 1992 USA Developmental team.

Later, for his professional career, he played with the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, and Miami Heat before transitioning to a coaching career.

The 4-time NBA All-Star started as an assistant coach at East High School in 2015 and was promoted to head coach in 2017.

Currently, he works at the University of Memphis as a head coach, the position realized in 2018.

Penny Hardaway With Youngest Son
Penny Hardaway With Youngest Son (Source: CBS Sports)

The basketball coach was married to his high school girlfriend, Latarsha McCray, and welcomed two daughters with her, Layla and LaTanfernee Hardaway.

However, their marriage went south, and McCray filed a complaint against Penny for intimidation and domestic violence, leading to their separation.

Later, Penny started dating Nikki Ward, and from their relationship, they had Jayden Hardaway.

Subsequently, he dated Dionne Richardson and had a son named Ashton Hardaway, born in the mid-2000s.

Now, Penny is happily married to Mary McDonnell, and he has kept the details of his marriage life private.

Rosy Panta
Rosy Panta

Rosy Panta

Rosy Panta is a storyteller at heart, driven by a fervent curiosity to explore the narratives that define the sports landscape. Her writing transcends mere analysis, offering readers a poignant portrayal of the human experiences embedded within the world of athletics.


Cultural Commentary Engagement Initiatives


  • Rosy specializes in crafting human interest stories that illuminate the emotional, psychological, and societal dimensions of sports.
  • She offers incisive cultural commentary.


Rosy's storytelling prowess is enriched by her multifaceted background in journalism, sociology, and community outreach. Through her writing, she endeavors to bridge the gap between sports and society, fostering empathy, understanding, and solidarity among readers.

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