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Toppert joins Hardaway’s staff at University of Memphis

Former Albuquerque Academy players Cody Toppert, an assistant coach for player development with the Phoenix Suns , left, and James Borrego, coach for the Charlotte Hornets, greet Albuquerque Academy faculty, staff, alumni and students after the game in Phoenix in January. Toppert has left the NBA team to take a job at the University of Memphis. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal file)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — University Memphis coach Penny Hardaway has added more NBA experience to his staff by hiring former Phoenix Suns assistant Cody Toppert.

Toppert, an Albuquerque Academy alumnus, spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach and director of player development on a Suns staff headed by Igor Kokoskov. The staff was fired at the end of the season.

Toppert will be an assistant coach at Memphis. He replaces Sam Mitchell, a former NBA coach who left Memphis’ staff after the 2018-19 season to pursue a business opportunity.

Before joining the Suns’ staff, Toppert spent three seasons coaching in the NBA G League. He was an assistant with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers from 2015-17 and head coach of the Northern Arizona Suns in 2017-18.

Toppert played collegiately at Cornell from 2001-05.