It’s been six months since N.C. Central’s men made their historic first trip to the NCAA Tournament. But for basketball coach LeVelle Moton, the train has yet to stop.
Luncheons, speeches, a book release, you name it, have filled Moton’s off-season schedule.
“More and more people want a piece of you. And when you’re from the area, it makes it doubly hard to turn people down,” Moton said Saturday by phone. “My wife said I’ve got to learn to say ‘no’.”
But the train, he says, is finally reaching its destination.
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Last Sunday, Moton hosted the first Single Mothers’ Salute dinner at the Hyatt Place Southpoint Mall to honor single moms. Moton released a short video on YouTube seeking nominations and the response was overwhelming. Over 100 single mothers were recognized. One received the Hattie McDougald Mother of the Year Award named after Moton’s mother.
“As someone who was raised by mostly women, I’ve seen the struggles, the pain that many single mothers go through to support their kids,” he said. “I wanted my mother to take vacations like everybody else, but she couldn’t do that. This is to give them their 15 minutes of fame, and we all want that.”
On Wednesday night at 7, Moton returns to his high school alma mater, Enloe High, for a special homecoming. The celebration is a special thank you to family, friends, mentors and everyone else who supported him over the years.
The finale is Oct. 4, when Moton will be presented the key to the city at the John Avery Boys & Girls Club 75th Anniversary Diamond Gala at the Durham Convention Center. The city of Raleigh presented him with a key last month.
“I told them (at the Raleigh city council) I grew up three blocks from there, and yet it seemed like an entirely different state. There was the projects on one side and the big white houses on the other.”
And there’s his book promotion. Moton said sales are going well for “The Worse Times Are The Best Times.” Both Wake and Durham county schools have expressed interest in getting the book into classrooms.
But come Oct. 10, it’s back to the real X’s and O’s when basketball practice begins.
Eagles enter conference season
The Eagles return from a bye week to begin their first MEAC season under new head coach Jerry Mack. NCCU hosts Howard Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Eagles finished the non-conference portion 1-3, with their only win against Division II Elizabeth City State. After a blowout loss to East Carolina, they lost closer matchups to Charlotte and Towson.
“We’ve just got to keep growing as a football team,” Mack said. “The guys are playing hard all four quarters. We just have to minimize the mistakes.”
Duke recruit makes bowl
Duke football recruit T.J. Rahming of Powder Springs, Ga., has been selected to the 2015 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The televised Jan. 3 game features the nation’s top 90 high school football players.