Following a coaching legend like longtime Kingsway girls basketball coach Karyn Pickard is no easy task. With Pickard’s retirement, Kingsway had to find someone truly qualified to take on this job, and they have found that person in Felicia Jenkins.
Jenkins, who was an all-conference basketball player herself at Claflin University in Orangeburg, S.C. and later became an assistant coach, previously was the head coach for seven years at Benedict College in Columbia, SC and then acted as an assistant at Jackson State University. Jenkins was inducted into the Claflin University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.
She also has worked as a coach at Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright’s annual basketball camp. Her connection with Villanova runs even deeper than that. Her son, Kris, currently stars for the current top ranked NCAA team in the country. He hit the game-winning shot in the 2016 NCAA championship game for the Wildcats.
Felicia Jenkins was responsible for teaching Kris the shooting technique that helped bring this title back to Villanova.
Jenkins also will work at Kingsway as a paraprofessional, meaning that she will have the opportunity to touch the lives of Kingsway students on the court and in the classroom. Impacting young lives truly is what she looks to do during her time at Kingsway.
“Working with young people and helping them get to an improved level is my passion and purpose,” said Jenkins. “I take my new role here very seriously.”
“As for my goals, I want these ladies to be passionate about the game and give the sport as much as it can give them,” Jenkins continued. “I know this program can do great things at a state level. I just have to keep pushing.”
Not surprisingly Athletic Director June Cioffi saw the opportunity to bring Jenkins into the fold at Kingsway as one that could not be passed on.
“Coach Jenkins’ reputation precedes her,” said Cioffi. “She brings a wealth of basketball know-how to Kingsway. Her experiences at the collegiate level will allow for a smooth transition into the collegiate world for our young women that aspire to move on, which certainly is a goal for the athletic department.”
With Coach Jenkins coming on board, the expectations for the girls’ team will continue to climb. Jenkins is aware.
“The standards that I set for these young ladies as well as myself are high,” said Jenkins. “I will do everything humanly possible to help them attain every one of their goals on the court and more importantly in life.”
The girls’ basketball program at Kingsway continues to be in good hands.
By Christian Lynch