An HBCU is in the NCAA tournament – that’s an accomplishment, right?
Hailing from Durham, NC, North Carolina Central University, Head Coach Levelle Moton and his team defeated a number 1 seed in the MEAC tournament for the second year in a row; punching their ticket to compete for a spot in the NCAA tournament. This was the third straight MEAC title and fourth in the school history. Levelle Moton is just one of six D1 coaches to win 3 or more conference and regular season titles and three or more tournament titles at the same school in the last 5 seasons, but of course, that isn’t the viral story. Instead, a quote was taken out of context during an interview with SportsChannel8 has outshined the feat NCCU has accomplished,
“Some coaches will say ‘we’ll take on anyone. we’ll be ready.’ But I don’t want any part of playing Duke,” Moton said Saturday, via SportsChannel8. “Us playing against Zion would be like my 6-year-old son playing against me.”
On the outside looking in, one would think “why would a coach ever say that out loud?!” or even worse “how does his team feel about it?”
I reached out to Coach Moton to get his perspective on the viral quote and to clarify any misinterpretation regarding it. Here’s what he had to say.
To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t want to play anyone (laughs). I’d honestly like to get a three-week bye and gone ahead and win this thing, but I know that the road to April is tough and to do that, you have to beat the best, that includes Duke. Understandably, if you don’t know me, you wouldn’t understand the sarcasm in my tone or the joking manner the quote was said in but listen, you don’t accomplish what we (NCCU) has by being pessimistic – you have to have a dog in you. I challenge my players every day to do the impossible and look at what we’ve done in the last two years… we’ve defeated a number 1 seed and won the title. That doesn’t happen by not believing in ourselves and knowing we are capable of beating and being the best.
Regarding Duke, Zion is an amazing kid and player and Coach K is one of my dearest friends. I respect the program and K for what he’s done for the game and the ability to coach great kids. But I told my team “Put your big boy pants on and get ready. Don’t be scared” I challenge them to see what type of cloth they’re cut from. But honestly, who has stopped Zion? No one. Now we get our shot.
Give HBCU’s their credit and respect. Run a better headline.
Despite this little distraction, Coach Moton is concerned about one thing, winning
We fly out tomorrow and play Wednesday. Right now my concern is winning
NCCU faces North Dakota State Wednesday at 6:45pm. The game will be broadcasted on TruTV.
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