Jaleesa Sams has been a part of the North Carolina A&T women’s basketball staff since 2012. N.C. A&T head women’s basketball coach Tarrell Robinson announced the promotion of Sams from the director of basketball operations to assistant coach on April 12, 2016. In her capacity as an assistant, Sams works primarily with the team’s forwards, recruits, produces scouting reports, coordinates film exchange and oversees team travel. Sams is also the liaison for team academic affairs.
In 2017-18, the Aggies frontcourt helped the Aggies rank fifth in the nation in offensive rebounds and rebounds per game. The Aggies were also 26th in the nation in total rebounds. Academically, center Alexus Lessears was named academic athlete of the year by N.C. A&T athletics department. Women's basketball had eight N.C. A&T scholar athletes in 2017-18.
Sams starred on the Aggies women’s basketball team for four seasons (2007-11) before serving as a graduate assistant for two seasons (2012-14) and director of basketball operations for two seasons (2014-16). As the director of basketball operations, Sams arranged team travel and served as an academic liaison. She was also responsible for coordinating team scheduling and purchasing team equipment.
Sams transitioned seamlessly into her future roles due in part to her time as a graduate assistant with the team. She coordinated film exchange for scouting reports and assisted in team travel and activities. Before joining the coaching staff at N.C. A&T, Sams was an assistant coach at Southern Guilford High School where she took part in player development, academics and fundraising activities.
During her collegiate career, Sams was a member of arguably one of the best teams in program history. During her tenure, the Aggies won three straight MEAC regular-season titles (2007-10) and were the 2009 conference tournament champions. N.C. A&T also made an appearance in the 2009 NCAA tournament and advanced to the third round of the WNIT the following season. Sams, a two-time All-MEAC selection, still remains fifth in rebounds (692) and 12th in scoring (1,172) all-time. Sams has obtained a combined four MEAC regular season championships as a player and coach at N.C. A&T.
Sams graduated from A&T in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in sports science. She received her Master of Education degree from North Carolina A&T in December of 2015.
As a high school player, Sams won Pennsylvania player of the year in consecutive seasons and was a three-time Lawrence County Player of the Year. A WPIAL champion and most valuable player, Sams posted 1,909 career points, second all-time in school history and was ranked 33rd in the nation at her position.