After N.C. Central University fired former head basketball coach of five years Henry Dicker-son, the search for a viable candidate was on.
Many applied but only one man survived: NCCU alumnus LeVelle Moton, who was announced as the 17th men’s basketball coach on March 25.
Moton attended NCCU from 1992-1996. He was named to the ALL-CIAA first team his junior and senior years and amassed 1,714 points.
Upon graduation in 1996, Moton played professional basketball for four years in Indonesia and Israel.
In 2004, he was inducted into NCCU’s athletic hall of fame .
Moton started his coaching career in 2001 as head coach at West Millbrook Middle School, where he stayed until 2004.
Moton then became head coach at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, a position he held until he was hired as assistant basketball coach at NCCU in 2007.
Moton, NCCU’s 3rd all time leading scorer, is ecstatic about his new job.
He described last month as one he would never forget.
“It’s an incredible feeling and I am still at a loss for words. I am just happy that God blessed me with a great chance,” he said.
Moton said he is honored to coach at his alma mater.
“It’s not about me,” he said. “The biggest accomplishment to me is to be a part of something greater than myself, and to be a part of this great coaching chain.”
According to Moton NCCU coaching has a great history.
“John McClendon coached here and he learned the game from the creator of basketball, Dr. James Naismith,” he said.
Moton came from what some would be considered a hopeless road. Growing up in the Lane Street Projects in Raleigh, Moton plans to draw from his past to help return prominence to the basketball program.
“I believe that adversity introduces a man to himself,” Moton said.
He said living in those negative situations gave him the drive to succeed.
“I am no savior. I don’t walk on water.
“Hard work, dedication, discipline and recruiting is what it will take to get the program back on track.”
One thing that will help on that journey is recruits.
NCCU has already landed one: C.J. Wilkerson, a 6-4 wing man from Clinton Junior College who was first-team all-region.
Moton described him as “a very talented and good kid.”
The Eagles struggled last year to find scoring from the inside and at times seemed to be overmatched by other teams’ depth.
The lone bright spot from last season’s abysmal record was freshman guard Jamar Briscoe, the Eagle’ leading scorer and go -to man at all times .
As for the Eagles’ schedule next year, Moton says that nothing is concrete.
“We don’t know for sure who we will be playing, but we are working diligently to finish the schedule. “We want to add five or six more games to complete it.”