Bonitta Best: NCCU’s Moton tells story in new book

07/14/2014 10:54 AM

07/14/2014 11:12 AM

They say timing is everything, and for N.C. Central’s LeVelle Moton, his time is now.

After leading the Eagles to a record-setting season in men’s basketball, including the university’s first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance, Moton’s autobiography will be published Sept. 2.

Moton wrote “The Worst Times Are The Best Times” with former News & Observer sports reporter Edward G. Robinson III.

The book details Moton’s life growing up in some of the roughest public housing projects imaginable.

Moton has talked often about his background. He was born in Boston’s Roxbury Projects, where many young black men didn’t reach their 18th birthday. One night his father went to the convenience store and never returned. Moton hasn’t seen him since.

Another night when his mother didn’t go to work due to illness, Moton’s aunt, who usually rode the subway with his mother, was brutally assaulted and set on fire by gang members in an initiation.

After the family moved to Raleigh’s housing projects, Moton found solace in the Raleigh Boys & Girls Club.

A portion of every book’s proceeds will be used to purchase books for the club. Moton and Robinson also want to eventually provide every club teen in the country with a copy.

“The Boys & Girls Club of Raleigh was an incredible gift to me as a child – a place to feel safe, stay out of trouble and be inspired to make things happen in my life,” Moton said at the Durham Sports Club. “It took a long time for me to come to the point where I could tell my story. I wrote this book to help do the same for other black boys with similar childhood experiences.”

To that end, Moton, Robinson, members of the NCCU basketball team and others will host the annual LeVelle Community Day Aug. 16 at the Raleigh Boys Club in Southeast Raleigh.

The free event will not only consist of food and games, but kids will receive a complimentary book and a free backpack of school supplies while they last.

“‘The Worst Times Are The Best Times’ is an honest look at growing up struggling with the world working against you and finding a way to the life you dreamed for yourself,” Robinson says. “As a journalist, I covered N.C. Central University’s basketball program and Coach Moton for years, and was struck by his determination, humility and friendship. It was a story I had to tell and an honor to work alongside him on this project.”

ACC basketball coaches Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams and Mark Gottfried provide book forwards.

The book, from MR Publishing, LLC, will also be available in digital formats for iPad, Kindle and Nook. Contact for more information.

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