Queens Men’s Basketball Adds Former College and Pro Standout Michael Jenkins to Coaching Staff

Queens University of Charlotte head men’s basketball coach, Grant Leonard, continues to bring in elite coaches with a track record of winning and professional experience as the Royals add Michael Jenkins to the coaching staff as the Director of Basketball Operations. The former NBA player and Winthrop standout joins the staff after previously serving as a player development coach and college basketball analyst in the Charlotte Metro Area.
“Mike is an elite person in every way, his work ethic, preparation, toughness, and character,” emphasized Coach Leonard. “He has found a way to exceed all expectations in every challenge he has faced in life and come out exceptionally successful. He is a rising star as a coach and we are very lucky to add him to our program.”
Prior to getting into coaching, Jenkins put together a remarkable playing career, including stints in the NBA, G League, and FIBA. Jenkins participated in the NBA Orlando Summer League with the Brooklyn Nets in 2014 before joining the Oklahoma City Thunder for their NBA Training Camp. With the Thunder, Jenkins played in all seven preseason games averaging 6.0 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists across 17.5 minutes per game.
Jenkins continued a professional career overseas competing in three different countries, including Italy, Russia, and Greece. For Umana Reyer Venezia in Venice, Italy, Jenkins guided the team to a #1 seed in the Lega Basket Serie A playoffs before winning the Basketball Champions League and earning the 2018 FIBA Europe Cup Champions title. The Charlotte native was also a member of the Basketball Club Nizhny Novgorod in Russia where he made the Round of 16 in the Basketball Champions League.
Before embarking on a professional career, Jenkins was a successful standout at Winthrop University where he was eventually inducted into the 2019 Winthrop Athletics Hall of Fame. The two-time Big South All-Conference selection led the Eagles to four Conference Tournament titles and was named the 2008 Big South Tournament MVP. Jenkins poured in 1,253 career points which was 10th most in program history at the time as he won 77-percent of the games he played in for the Eagles. Jenkins was the leading scorer as a member of the best team in Winthrop and Big South history in 2006-07. The Eagles hoisted an unbeaten 14-0 conference record, took down Notre Dame in the 2007 NCAA Tournament advancing to the Round of 32, and finished the season ranked No. 22 in both the Associated Press and Coaches Poll.
Jenkins began his coaching journey in 2019 as an Assistant Coach at Catawba Ridge High School in Fort Mill, S.C. Jenkins assisted in generating game plans, scouting, skill development, and building team chemistry while cultivating a winning culture during the inaugural season of the athletic program. Jenkins would serve as an Assistant Coach on D2 Unheralded, a premier team in the West Virginia region composed of the best Division II talent in The Basketball Tournament. The tournament was involved in a one million dollar winner-take-all single-elimination tournament which was televised on the ESPN family of networks.
Jenkins received a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from Winthrop University. The North Carolina native was an Athletic-Academic Scholarship recipient from 2004-08 and made the Dean’s List in 2006.
The Royals are set to begin their first season at the Division I level as a member of the ASUN Conference. Queens is coming off a season in which the Royals posted a 30-4 overall record while making their seventh straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament and third Sweet 16 game in the past five seasons. The Royals finished with their highest end of regular season ranking in program history, checking in at No. 4 in both the NABC Coaches poll and the D2SIDA Media poll. The 30-win season marked the fourth time in the last six seasons that the Royals have reached the milestone.