Lady Bobcats find new leader for basketball team

Lady Bobcats find new leader for basketball team
October 21
13:21 2020

Glenn High School has been on the hunt for a girls’ basketball coach ever since Melvin Heggie resigned and took the same position at Quality Education Academy (QEA). After an extensive search, the Bobcats have chosen Vontreece Hayes to take over the program.

Hayes, former Northern Guilford basketball player and most recently an assistant coach for the Greensboro College women’s basketball team, is elated to have the opportunity to run her own program for the first time and looks to hit the ground running.

“I ended up getting a phone call from my mentor, Melvin Heggie, and he asked me if I was interested in possibly taking the program from him and I couldn’t turn that down, because it was an honor for him to even ask me,” Hayes said about how she initially heard about the opening. “I ended up connecting with the AD and I had my interview and maybe two hours later I was offered the position.”

Hayes first met Heggie while playing for the Lady Phoenix AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) basketball team. She also recruited several kids from this area while coaching at Greensboro College, so she feels she has come “full circle,” so to speak.

Coaching became a reality for Hayes while recovering from a devastating leg injury she suffered her junior year in college. During that time, she began to see the game differently.

“I sat down for an entire season and I saw the game from a whole different perspective,” Hayes said. “When you are playing and you’re watching film, it’s different from when you are actually sitting down and seeing it in slow motion. I began to understand the game from a different light.”

As a fifth-year senior playing at Greensboro College, Hayes’ Lady Pride basketball team won the USA South Conference title and earned a berth in the Division III NCAA basketball tournament. While there, she was invited to the “So You Want to be a Coach” program, sponsored by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

“I ended up going to the Final Four that year and they pick 60 college seniors to be in a mentorship program where they bring different people to talk to you and give you a feel what college coaching will look like,” she continued.  “That’s when I definitely said, ‘I want to do this,’ and a couple months later I became a graduate assistant.”

Hayes began her coaching career at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where she spent three years. She feels her time there, as well as Greensboro College, will bode well for her on the high school level.

“I am honestly going to run it the same way, only because I know that some of those kids want to go to college, so why not give them the free experience of what it will look like when they go to college,” Hayes said of her coaching style. “Right now, we are limited simply because of COVID and I am still getting acclimated with the procedure of high school, but my workouts are literally the same.

“I don’t want to do a disservice to these girls trying to dummy things down, because if they want to go to college, this is what they do. Of course, some of it is simplified, but literally the intensity, quickness and pace was the same as how I ran it at Greensboro College.”

For two seasons at Greensboro College, Hayes was the interim head coach due to head coach Randy Tuggle battling pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, Tuggle lost his battle with cancer and passed away from the illness in September, which was the motivating factor in Hayes resigning from her position with the school.

“A lot of things that I took from that opportunity, I think it definitely prepared me for this,” she said. “A lot of stuff I transferred over to this moment. I think the only jitters so far is the simple fact that it’s actually my program, so I need to make sure I am doing what I need to do, because no one will take my success more seriously than I am.”

Hayes will begin her tenure with somewhat of an empty cupboard, because several players from the team followed Heggie to QEA. Hayes has two returning players on her roster, so she will have to coach up new players and those coming up from the junior varsity team.

Hayes had to put together her coaching staff fairly quickly due to the season rapidly approaching. Za’Quondalee Greer, Jasmine Gill and Timber Tate will be her assistant coaches. All of these ladies have collegiate level playing experience, so they will have valuable knowledge to impart to their players.

Hayes feels it is important for her players to see a female on the bench to have someone they can relate to, especially since she has firsthand knowledge of what it takes to play on the next level. She not only teaches the game of basketball, but also imparts life lessons into her coaching as well.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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