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Atlantic Cape Men’s Basketball Squad Receives Valuable Life Advice from Local Hoops Legend

10/11/2022 | Media Contact: David Zuba, Public Relations Manager and Copywriter | (609) 343-4933
Leonard Hayes and Atlantic Cape Men's Basketball team

MAYS LANDING — Leonard Hayes, Jr.’s basketball resume speaks for itself. A two-time All-State and honorable mention All-American player at Atlantic City High School after accumulating over 1,500 points. Division I player at Northern Illinois and All-Conference at St. Peter’s College. Enshrined into several Halls of Fame. Options to play professional basketball overseas following college. Yet, his basketball prestige was not the focal point of his message to Atlantic Cape’s Men’s Basketball team following practice in Jonathan Pitney Gym on October 6.

After speaking with his long-time friend, Atlantic Cape Men’s Basketball Head Coach Allen Ragland, Hayes, Jr. decided he wanted to impart some of his vast knowledge and experience from the hardwood, life and the business world to the young men under Coach Ragland’s tutelage. Hayes, Jr. made the drive from South Carolina this week to deliver his message of planning, mental toughness, adversity, perseverance, accountability, family and community.

He advised the men to formulate a plan, write it down and allow it to be their gateway to success. Hayes, Jr. also stressed mental toughness and perseverance not only on the court, but in the classroom too, and to learn from mistakes. He then challenged them to set their goals to a lofty height and to always push to be better instead of settling for meager expectations.

“You can be men of impact. I see leaders here,” Hayes, Jr. said. “Stimulate your mind, accomplish things in your life and impact your family and community because they both need you.”

Hayes, Jr. used his talents on the court as a pathway towards cultivating himself a successful business career with Prudential Financial for over 31 years where he was the Department Vice President of Global Business Operations. Planning and prioritizing his goals gave Hayes, Jr. the opportunity to ultimately succeed, advice that he drove home to the 13 men’s basketball players/students in attendance.

“My greatest successes came off of the court. I played ball secondly because I came for the education,” Hayes, Jr. said. “I did the work in the classroom and it gave me the confidence to succeed in the business world.”

A $500 donation was made by Hayes, Jr. to the Men’s basketball team and the funds will be utilized to help pay for out-of-state transportation costs.

“I feel that I have a passion and obligation to deposit my knowledge and experience in others, to help them achieve their goals and aspirations in life,” Hayes, Jr. added.

Coach Ragland gave deserving praise, “I watched him growing up and he’s my idol. I am nervous just being up here. He also entrusted me with his three kids.”

Hayes, Jr.’s call to be “the answer in your communities” is bound by his extensive volunteer and charitable work. He is the Founder and President of the League of Promise, a mentoring and academic support program that serves the youth throughout Camden County. He provides invaluable leadership and guidance as the Church Council Chairperson at Asbury Community Church. Hayes, Jr. has also been a youth sports coach for over 20 years.

For more information on Atlantic Cape’s Men’s basketball program, please visit

 Leonard Hayes and Coach Allen Ragland  Leonard Hayes speaks with Men's Basketball team

About Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive two-year community college serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. The college offers over 40 career, transfer and workforce development programs to more than 8,000 students annually at three campuses in New Jersey: Atlantic City, Cape May Court House and Mays Landing.