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LeVelle Moton: More than A Coach... Actually A Pillar

By Keisha J Kelley

At nine years old, LeVelle Moton won a Pepsi Hot Shot Competition. Motons friends from the Boys Club hyped him up to enter the competition. The Pepsi Executive told him that he heard he was good and that whoever won would win A 2 Liter Pepsi. Determined to win the 2 liter, he entered the competition. The exec was right, Moton was good. In fact, he was better than good. Moton hit all five shots in the competition. Moton was not aware at the time that this was the local championship. The competition made him the best shooter in America. That perhaps was one of his most prized moments being that he was only 10 years old, won the Atlanta Regional ,shot at halftime at the Bullets vs Chicago Bulls game, and he was on national tv. To sweeten the deal, when he returned home to his hometown of Raleigh North Carolina, there was a big parade in his honor. Moton told his grandmother when he grew up he wanted to play basketball. He had aspirations of buying her a big house and a fancy car.His grandmother replied "the two most important days of your life are when you are born and when you figure out why. If you leave this earth and people remember you as a basketball player, then you done a poor job living". Moton tells Black College Experience that he spent his younger years in the Boys and Girls Club like most kids in the area growing up. Seeing the hardships his mother faced raising him as a child, Moton saw how hard it was for his mom to get school supplies, bookbags, and even haircuts for he and his siblings. Coach Moton knew he wanted to do more for his community. Moton quotes "A career is something you are paid to do; a calling is what you are laid to do." Coach Moton found his purpose beyond the basketball court and coaching athletes. The community that poured so much into him is the community he often finds himself giving back to today. Moton founded the LeVelle Moton Cares Foundation, which has sponsored many events in the Durham-Raleigh area including the LeVelle Moton and PJ Tucker annual community day. With this event, Moton and Tucker have been able to give away over 800 pair of shoes, have both barbers and hair stylists on site, and accommodate about 2000 kids. Coach Moton also hosts the Single Mother Salute, where 150 single mothers are honored for their hard work, dedication, and sacrifice as mothers. This event is a red carpet, get jazzy fly, formal event. Dinner is served and over $35,000 worth of prizes including cash cards, appliances, gift cards, vacations, vacuums, etc are awarded. In one instance there was even a minivan purchased for a mom who was trying to get her children back and forth as well as herself to work and she continued to have car issues. In Wake County, there is a Teacher of the Month Award, where Moton goes to the school system and honors a teacher that was nominated by his or her peers. The teacher receives a rose, a gift card, and a certificate of appreciation. A man with such a big heart and always wanting to do more, Moton also decided to do a food distribution in the city of Durham. The distribution started at 9 a.m., but he tells Black College Experience that the line was about four miles long around the block beginning at 7a.m. Because he knows the importance of education and also remembers the struggles he had as a kid, Moton decided to give ten families either a desktop or laptop to help with their school work and virtual learning. He says that only about twenty-two percent of Raleigh residents have wifi. Moton strives to reach the community in other ways as well. He has a tv show called The Connect, much like the late 80's early 90's talk show, Teen Summit,in which he addresses life and current issues in society. Due to Covid19, The Connect has been placed on hold but will hopefully return in 2021. A coach who started out with the hope of winning a 2 liter Pepsi in a hot shot Pepsi contest, grew to be a coach with a heart for people, a hope for the community, a love for coaching, and a passion for philanthropy. A man who always thinks he is not doing enough, when others proudly boast of his selfless acts and kindness. To many he is LeVelle Moton, spelled L-e-V-e-l-l-e M-o-t-o-n, head Men's basketball coach at North Carolina Central University. After writing his story, I think I will call him a pillar. A pillar in the community. A pillar to every life he has touched. For more information on Coach Moton, visit

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