NCCU basketball coach helps son recover after burn

LeVelle Moton's shining moment as a coach was blacked out when his infant son V.J. suffered serious burns.
April 10, 2014 6:50:21 PM PDT
A touching picture shows N.C. Central University basketball coach LeVelle Moton cradling his injured son.

Moton takes his leadership role as a basketball coach very seriously, but his role as a father is his unquestioned priority. Those two jobs collided earlier this spring.

With just seconds left in the MEAC title game, Moton broke down. The enormity of what his team had accomplished and the path he'd traveled in his life were just too much to contain.

One of the brightest young coaches in college basketball, Moton prefers to work in the dark. Light and darkness were pushed together earlier this spring. The Tuesday after guiding his alma mater to its first ever NCAA berth, Moton's shining moment was blacked out when his infant son V.J. suffered serious head and facial burns after accidentally pulling a cup of hot coffee onto himself. That feeling of powerlessness was even more pronounced given Moton's profession - one that emphasizes authority.

At first, Moton refused to travel with his team, turning practices over to his assistants. But at the insistence of his wife and doctors, he headed to San Antonio solo. Still, the game itself was somewhat of a blur. He does remember the support he received from Iowa State fans - something that blew him away.

V.J. is doing well. For now he stays inside. For safety's sake, a floppy hat and some sunscreen are omnipresent. But he'll be okay. And for Moton, that's more important than any win.


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