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.
In 2019, the Eagles accomplished something that had not been done before in school history as it clenched a third-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance by winning the MEAC Tournament for a third-straight year. Moton was named Most Outstanding Coach of the tournament as the Eagles took down both top seeds of Norfolk State and North Carolina A&T on the way to the title. The Eagles achieved another top-three regular season finish and stayed true to their defensive principles as they finished second in the league by holding opponents to just 67.4 points per game and had a positive scoring margin of 4.8 points per game. They also led the league by holding opponents to just 30.7 rebounds per game and outrebounded the opposition by 6.6 boards per contest.
In 2018, the Eagles caught fire in Norfolk and went on a run to win back-to-back MEAC Tournament championships for the first time in program history, earning consecutive berths into the NCAA Tournament for the first time as well. Moton was named MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Coach as the Eagles won four games in six days, winning the conference tourney for the first time as a six-seed. NCCU again topped the MEAC defensively, allowing just 65.1 points per game, 33.3 rebounds per game, and 41.7 percent of field goal attempts.
During the 2016-17 season Moton led the Eagles to a 25-9 overall record and a 13-3 MEAC mark, and he joined rare company with John B. McLendon as the only coaches with four 20-win seasons at NCCU. NCCU captured its third MEAC regular-season championship and second MEAC Tournament championship within a four-year span to make its second Division-I NCAA Tournament appearance. The Eagles also made history with their first win over an SEC opponent with a wire-to-wire 62-52 win at Missouri. NCCU went on a 13-game win streak during conference play, the second-longest win streak in the Division-I era. The Eagles continued to pride itself on defense by being second in the nation in three-point defense, allowing just 29.0 percent made attempts. NCCU was also top-10 in field goal percentage defense (39.1), top-25 in scoring defense (63.4 points per game) and top-15 in scoring margin (11.7 points per game).
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.
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 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.
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.
He initially returned to his alma mater as assistant men’s basketball coach in July 2007.
The NCCU Athletics 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 Athletics 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), fifth in free throws made (363 of 467), eighth in assists (278), eighth in field goals made (569 of 1,159), 12th in scoring average (16.6 points per game), and 15th 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 broke 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. During his NCCU playing career, his teams racked up an 80-28 record, which included three 20-wins seasons.
After NCCU, Moton played four years of professional basketball in Indonesia (1996-97) and Israel (1998-99). Throughout his professional 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.
2018-19: MEAC Tournament Champions
2018-19: MEAC Tournament (Most Outstanding Coach)
2018-19: One All-MEAC Selection
2017-18: MEAC Tournament Champions
2017-18: MEAC Tournament (Most Outstanding Coach)
2017-18: Three All-MEAC Selections
2016-17: NABC District 15 Coach of the Year
2016-17: BoxToRow.com HBCU National Co-Coach of the Year
2016-17: MEAC Coach of the Year
2016-17: Finalist Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award (Top Mid-Major Coach)
2016-17: Finalist Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award (Top Minority Coach)
2016-17: MEAC Tournament Champions
2016-17: MEAC Tournament (Most Outstanding Coach)
2016-17: MEAC Regular Season Champions (13-3)
2016-17: Two All-MEAC Selections (Player of the Year)
2015-16: One All-MEAC Selection
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 Champions
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