Moton, Magic and more

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 10:15 PM

This much we know:

N.C. Central basketball coach LeVelle Moton is not leaving the Eagles’ nest to coach at Florida Atlantic University.

That gig’s gone to former both NBA player and assistant coach Michael Curry, who replaces Mike Jarvis, who used to coach at St. John’s University.

Word on the street is Moton was getting courted by both FAU and Marshall.

I’ve got it from reliable sources that Moton at least had a conversation with somebody from Marshall and that NCCU after the NCAA Final Four was expecting a decision from him about his plans.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni apparently has been approached by Marshall, his alma mater.

However it shakes out, Moton’s name is in the mix with some heavyweights after this past season leading NCCU to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

It’s been a minute since Marshall’s been to the Big Dance.


Trade talk
I bumped into Moton on Tuesday at the Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy in North-East Central Durham.

The school’s namesake and Moton’s childhood hero, former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Earvin “Magic” Johnson, actually was in the building letting students know there’s nothing wrong with learning a trade if college isn’t for them.

Durham school board member Heidi Carter said she didn’t quite know how to feel when her youngest child told her that he didn’t want to go to college.

“That was hard for me as a mother. I expected my children would all go to college,” Carter said.
Carter said her son received some post-secondary training and got a job. He’s doing just fine, paying taxes like other working adults, she said.

“He’s an auto mechanic. He’s 20 years old, and he has a job taking care of MINI Coopers from BMW in Hollywood, Florida,” Carter said. “I think we need to do a better job in this country of lauding people who work in the vocational sector and who may not decide to go to college.”

The vocational track should not be viewed as an option for students who aren’t particularly smart — it simply is an option, just like college is an option.

The Bull City version of the Magic Johnson academy is located inside Holton Career and Resource Center, which also houses Durham Performance Learning Center.

Dan Gilfort is the principal of both Holton and DPLC. He said getting a return on what Magic invested in the students will require all of those folks in the auditorium to come back and help out in the days ahead when the famous basketball player and accompanying news cameras are long gone.


Magic on Tobacco Road

Magic said he was no stranger to North Carolina. He said he used to spend summers in Rocky Mount picking peanuts and tobacco when he was a kid.

Former North Carolina point guard Phil Ford is from Rocky Mount, and Magic said he used to see him schooling jokers on the playground down east.

Magic said he initially didn’t know who Ford was.

“I’m from Michigan,” Magic said.

Then somebody told Magic that Ford was headed to UNC.


Clean James

King James should be getting a crown from the King of Clean, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.

After Jeter this season makes his final lap around a Major League Baseball diamond, it will make good sense for him to surrender his throne to LeBron James, a global figure with filthy athletic skills whose personal life has very little dirt on the surface.

When’s the last time you’ve heard something bad about Bron-Bron?

It just goes to show that you can’t judge a man by the color of his skin — even if his skin is colored with tattoos.

There is room, however, to judge folks by the content of their tattoos.


On Broadway

NCCU football fans might not want to hear what’s coming out of the mouth of N.C. A&T football coach Rod Broadway these days.

Normally, Broadway is singing the blues, always talking about how bad his football team is and how the Aggies don’t have enough talent to compete.

Broadway wasn’t saying that the other day on Donal Ware’s “BOX TO ROW” radio show.
A&T is going to be good this season, Broadway said.

Penalties from past academic issues before Broadway arrived in 2011 crippled the Aggies.
NCAA sanctions from A&T football’s low graduation rate reduced both practice hours and the number of scholarships Broadway was able to offer.

All of that has been restored, and A&T this past Saturday for the first time in two years was able to have a spring football game.

Spring ball is where teams can make giant steps forward. The Aggies hadn't been able to benefit from that yet still won a good number of games, including last season when they beat the fool out of NCCU, 28-0.

Broadway made it sound like that rivalry matchup this year on Nov. 22 could be even uglier for the Eagles if first-year NCCU coach Jerry Mack doesn’t get his squad to come correct.

John McCann is @johntmccann on Twitter, or email him at