LeVelle De’Shea Moton has been a success story from the day he was born. Born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Raleigh, NC to a single mother, LeVelle underwent tough times in one of the city’s most notorious housing projects. It was in this environment LeVelle learned the importance of hard work and persistence in hopes of escaping the crime and drug instead neighborhood. To say he had a rough childhood is an understatement.
Embodying the rags to riches dream, LeVelle pulled himself up by his bootstraps as a youth to bemuse the National Pepsi Hotshot Champion at the age of 12. At Enloe High School, LeVelle became a McDonald’s All-American nominee while winning three conference tournaments, Wake County Player of the Year, All-State Selection, 30PPG scoring average with a school record of 51 points (vs. Cary High) and CAP 5 Player of the Year.
COLLEGE & PRO CAREER
In 1992, LeVelle chose to take his talents to North Carolina Central University. He capped his historic NCCU hardwood career by being named the 1996 CIAA Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, becoming the first Eagle in the school’s history to earn the honor. During his Junior and Senior seasons, Moton was voted All-CIAA South Atlantic Region First Team, and NCAA Division II All-American. Moton left NCCU as its all time winningest basketball player.
His achievements led him to a brief stint in 1996 with the Seattle Supersonics. Afterwards, Moton played professionally in Indonesia, Germany, Cyprus, and Israel.
In 2001, LeVelle returned to Raleigh, NC to pursue coaching at West Millbrook Middle School. In three years, Moton had led the Wildcats to two championships and a 49-6 record. In 2004 Sanderson High came calling for LeVelle’s services. The program was struggling and needed someone to restore its prominence. He quickly turned the program around by leading the Spartans to its most single season wins in school history and becoming a respected program once again.
In his three years at Sanderson, Moton led the Spartans to an overall record of 59-25 while winning back to back CAP 7 tournament championships and a final four berth in the NCHSAA Eastern Finals.
On March 25, 2009, arguably one of the greatest players in school history was elevated from Assistant Coach to the position of Head Coach, becoming the 17th to be named in that spot in the program’s history.
Close to 25 years after the magical run of the 1989 NCAA Division II National Championship team, and just 10 days shy of the fifth anniversary of the day of his official hiring, NCCU soared to its first MEAC Tournament Championship on March 15, 2014 following its 71-62 victory over Morgan State in front of a near-capacity crowd inside the Norfolk Scope Arena. The 2013-14 Eagles tied a school record in wins (28), won the most games in a season for any squad in MEAC history, and was the lowest seed for any league champion in the NCAA Tournament as the maroon and gray earned a 14-seed in the East Region. Moton’s squad finished 15-1 in conference play earning the school’s first Division I regular season title and won 20 straight contests, which set a new NCAA Division I level record for the program.
The following year, his sixth season as head coach at NCCU, Moton guided the 2014-15 Eagles to a 25-8 overall record, including a 19-3 mark during the final three-and-a-half months, as well as the school’s first appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. The 2014-15 squad made history by becoming the first men’s basketball team in school history to post an unbeaten regular-season conference record at 16-0 to repeat as MEAC regular-season champions. The Eagles were among the top five defenses in Division I, ranking second in field goal percentage defense (behind Kentucky), fourth in three-point field goal percentage defense and fifth in scoring defense. NCCU completed the campaign by extending the second-longest home win streak in Division I at 35 victories in-a-row (behind Arizona). Moton joined hall of fame coach John McLendon and national championship coach Michael Bernard as the only coaches in NCCU men’s basketball history to lead the Eagles to three straight 20-win seasons. As a credit to the program’s recent success, NCCU boasts the best regular-season conference record during the last three seasons at 46-2, a winning percentage of .958.
With the rings of a champion came the accolades as Moton earned MEAC Coach of the Year honors, MEAC Tournament’s Most Outstanding Coach award, and was named the BoxtoRow.com HBCU National Coach of the Year, while earning finalist spots in the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award (Top-Mid-Major Coach), and the Top Minority Coach honor, the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award.
The maroon and gray’s second season in the MEAC, Moton’s fourth, was the coming out party for the program. For the first time at the NCAA Division I level, the Eagles won 20 games finishing the year 22-9, and went 15-1 in conference play to earn the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. In fact, the program experienced only two losses in the calendar year of 2013. The 22 victories were the most since his freshman year of 1992-93 when NCCU finished 26-4. The 11-game winning streak was the longest since the 1995-96 campaign when NCCU won 16-in-a-row. Moton earned national praise by being named a finalist for the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award, and the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year of Award, along with Co-Coach of the Year in the MEAC by CollegeInsider.com.
In his third season in charge of the North Carolina Central University basketball program, Moton took his team to a place not since seen since the 2004-05 season when the Eagles finished with a winning record (17-15) and were seeded fifth in their first MEAC Tournament at the Division I level. Of the 215 schools that have reclassified to the NCAA Division I level, NCCU was one of 38 schools across the nation who finished their first official season with 17 wins or more. That puts the Eagles in the same company as (Air Force-1958, VCU-1974, Weber State-1964, George Mason-1979, UNLV-1970, James Madison-1977, and Northwestern State (La.)-1997) who also recorded 17 wins in its inaugural campaign.
His second year at the helm his squad showed the Eagle Nation how bright the future was as his squad racked up 15 wins and recorded the first non-losing season in nearly six years. His record against MEAC opponents during the regular season was 10-5 which would have placed the maroon and gray as the number two seed in the league tournament. He earned NCAA Division I Independent Coach of the Year honors.
Year No. 1 was certainly a challenging one for Moton, but the program took numerous steps in the right direction. During the 2009-10 campaign, Moton led NCCU to its first winning record at home (7-4), it’s first Division I winning streak (three games), and gave numerous big-time opponents trouble throughout the season, but the second year head coach is nowhere near satisfied.
The Eagles finished 7-22, which included wins against soon-to-be conference foes Maryland Eastern Shore and Savannah State. The seven victories represented the most since making the move to Division I.
By looking at the success of his playing career where, he racked up an 80-28 record which included three 20-wins seasons, Eagle fans are hoping his previous success translates to more marks in the win column.
He initially returned to his alma mater as assistant men’s basketball coach in July 2007.
The Hall-of-Famer joined the NCCU staff after serving as head boys basketball coach at Sanderson High School in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C. During his three-year tenure (2004-07) at Sanderson, Moton led the Spartans to an overall record of 59-25, while winning back-to-back Cap-7 tournament championships in 2006 and 2007.
A 1996 graduate of NCCU with a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration, Moton became the school’s third all-time leading scorer with 1,714 points during his historic hardwood career as an Eagle from 1992-96, earning the nickname “Poetry `n Moton.”
During his junior and senior seasons, Moton was voted All-CIAA First Team, NCAA Division II South Atlantic All-Region First Team and NCAA Division II All-America Honorable Mention. He was named the 1996 CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and was inducted into the NCCU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
Among NCCU’s all-time career leaders, Moton ranks first in 3-point field goals made (213 of 529), third in scoring (1,714 points), fourth in free throws made (363 of 467), fifth in assists (278), eighth in field goals made (569 of 1,159), 10th in scoring average (16.6 points per game), and 11th in steals (110).
As a junior (1994-95), he topped the CIAA and was No. 16 in NCAA Division II in scoring with an average of 23.5 points per game. His 87 made three-point field goals that year remains the school’s single-season record.
As a senior (1995-96), he placed second in the CIAA with 21.3 points per game and ranked among the conference’s top 10 statistical leaders in assists, free throw percentage and 3-point field goal percentage.
Moton played on three CIAA Southern Division Championship teams and made two trips to the NCAA playoffs, including an NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional Championship title in 1993.
After NCCU, Moton played four years of professional basketball in Indonesia (1996-97) and Israel (1998-99). Throughout his profesional playing career, Moton averaged 25.0 points per contest, and dished out a little more than five assists per game as a pro.
He was head coach at West Millbrook Middle School for three seasons (2001-04) before taking over the Sanderson boys basketball program in 2004.
Moton is a 1992 graduate of Enloe High School in Raleigh, N.C., where he was named Cap5 Player of the Year as a senior.
In December of 2013, Moton received his Master’s degree in Special Education with a focus on Learning Disabilities.
Moton and his wife, Bridget, married on June 28, 2008. They have two children Brooke and LeVelle Jr.
- 2014-15: NABC District 15 Coach of the Year
- 2014-15: Finalist Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award (Top Mid-Major Coach)
- 2014-15: Finalist Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award (Top Minority Coach)
- 2014-15: MEAC Regular Season Champions (16-0)
- 2014-15: Five All-MEAC Selections
- 2014-15: Third consecutive 20-win season (25-8)
- 2013-14: Tied School record for single-season wins (28)
- 2013-14: Set MEAC Record for wins in a season (28)
- 2013-14: Finalist Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award (Top Mid-Major Coach)
- 2013-14: Finalist Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award (Top Minority Coach)
- 2013-14: BoxToRow.com HBCU National Coach of the Year
- 2013-14: CollegeInsider.com (MEAC Coach of the Year)
- 2013-14: MEAC Tournament (Most Outstanding Coach)
- 2013-14: MEAC Coach of the Year
- 2013-14: MEAC Regular Season Champions (15-1)
- 2013-14: Two All-MEAC Selections (Player of the Year)
- 2013-14: Back-to-Back 20-win seasons (25-5)
- 2012-13: First 20-win season since 1996-97 (22-9)
- 2012-13: Three All-MEAC Selections
- 2012-13: CollegeInsider.com MEAC Co-Coach of the Year
- 2012-13: Finalist Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award (Top Minority Coach)
- 2012-13: Finalist Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award (Top Mid-Major Coach)
- 2011-12: First winning season since 2004-05 (17-15)
- 2011-12: Two All-MEAC Selections
- 2010-11: NCAA Division I Independent Coach of the Year