NCCU to honor 1989 NCAA Division II title team at halftime

Jan. 17, 2014 @ 06:45 PM

N.C. Central coach LeVelle Moton, with all due respect, just wants today’s game against his former coach to be about the basketball.

Delaware State coach Greg Jackson was NCCU’s head coach when Moton played for the Eagles from 1992-96.

Jackson’s hand was on Moton’s hall-of-fame career at NCCU that turned into a job playing professional basketball overseas.

Moton loves Jackson — really, he does. He said Jackson was a father figure whose touch impacts him to this day. For that, Moton expressed sincere gratitude.

But enough already, Moton said, especially after several seasons of him going against Jackson in Delaware State-NCCU games in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

“I think that storyline is just played out,” Moton said. “I’m not even going to tell my guys he coached me. I don’t even think they know. They’re so young, they don’t even care.”

NCCU (10-5, 1-1 MEAC) will be looking to get above .500 in the league when Delaware State (4-12, 0-4 MEAC) shows up at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium (4 p.m., NCCUEaglePride.com).

Adding to the potential emotions that tend to arrive when pupils reunite with their mentors is what figures to be a rather dramatic halftime at NCCU’s home court.

The NCCU basketball team that won the NCAA Division II championship in 1989 will be honored Saturday. Among those former Eagles expected at the ceremony is Cheney University basketball coach Dominique Stephens, who has decided to miss his current team’s game in order to huddle with his championship buddies.

Moton gets that, respects that and is not hating on one bit of that. But he didn’t say anything about using any of that to motivate his team.

“With the national championship team, our guys can’t get caught up in that because we ain’t won a national championship,” Moton said. “We’ll see ’em, we’ll hug ’em, we’ll salute ’em, but we’ll come out focused on winning a MEAC basketball game.”

“We’ve just got to keep our minds on one goal, and that’s to win a championship,” said NCCU’s Jordan Parks, coming off a 14-point performance in a 71-55 Eagles win over New Jersey Institute of Technology on Thursday.

Moton did have a little moment after the NJIT game. He was reflecting on Jackson’s influence.

“It’s scary sometimes. I catch myself sounding just like him,” Moton said.