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'It's Everything. It's Personal' - NCCU's LeVelle Moton On Coaching In NCAA Tourney

LeVelle Moton
LeVelle Moton via Twitter
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Updated Saturday March 22, 2014:

LeVelle Moton's Twitter profile says it all:

"Basketball is what I do, not who I am. Child of God, Hattie Mac's Baby boy. Head Coach At North Carolina Central University."

Moton seemed destined to be the head coach at NCCU. He grew up in Raleigh, and lived with his mother in a housing project. He was a McDonald's All American Nominee at Enloe High School, was Wake County Player of the Year, and was selected for All State.

He was a standout for NCCU in the 1990's and he's been the head coach at the college for four years.

When the team made the NCAA tournament, he told reporters that he wasn't surprised. He'd devised the team's official calendar and it did not stop at the end of the regular season championships, or at the conference championship. Nope. His calendar took the team to the national championships. "We stopped at the NCAA Final Four championship.  That's our goal. Now we know it's a long shot, but at least we're in the party so once you get out there, there's no telling what will happen.  History has proven that."

LeVelle Moton talked with WUNC's Phoebe Judge before his team played Friday night.

LeVelle Moton does not seem rattled by the spotlight that the NCAA berth brings. "We're just business as usual. We're preparing like it's any other road trip. I'm a big routine guy. We're trying to make it as routine as possible. We've played maybe five or six of these type games where the opponents are superior just to prepare us for this moment," he says.

Even so, tonight's game is not just any game. It's a chance to show what his team, and his alma mater can do.

"It's everything. It's personal. I shed so many blood, sweat and tears for this university, both as a player and  a coach. This university is responsible for me growing into the man that I am now. I entered this university in 1992 as a 17-year-old kid and I left as a man. So I owe this university an awful lot."

Update Saturday 3/22/14:

The Eagles lost to Iowa State. Here's the N&O's recap:

The No. 14 seed Eagles ran their motion offense, found their shots and used their suffocating defense to great effect in the second round of the NCAA tournament. They held an early lead, trailed by just six at halftime, made great plays, and scared No. 3 seed Iowa State, but in the end, the Cyclones were too talented and too deep, pulling out a 93-75 victory at the AT&T Center.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/22/3722798/iowa-state-too-much-for-nccu-in.html#storylink=cpy
Read the entire article.

http://youtu.be/iwkNSJF22eM

Carol Jackson has been with WUNC since 2006. As Digital News Editor, she writes stories for wunc.org, and helps reporters and hosts make digital versions of their radio stories. She is also responsible for sharing stories on social media. Previously, Carol spent eight years with WUNC's nationally syndicated show The Story with Dick Gordon, serving as Managing Editor and Interim Senior Producer.
Phoebe Judge is an award-winning journalist whose work has been featured on a numerous national radio programs. She regularly conducts interviews and anchors WUNC's broadcast of Here & Now. Previously, Phoebe served as producer, reporter and guest host for the nationally distributed public radio program The Story. Earlier in her career, Phoebe reported from the gulf coast of Mississippi. She covered the BP oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. Phoebe's work has won multiple Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards. Phoebe was born and raised in Chicago and is graduate of Bennington College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
Eric Mennel prepares the afternoon/evening "drive time" newscast on WUNC. Previously, he was a producer for The Story with Dick Gordon. Eric has reported for All Things Considered, This American Life, 99% Invisible and other radio programs. He covered protests and security measures at the 2012 Republican National Convention for WUSF Tampa and NPR News. One day, he hopes to own a home with a wrap-around porch.
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