RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)–“I don’ t like looking at my face anyway like it’s weird,” said Levelle Moton when asked how he feels about his mural in downtown Raleigh. 

Those are humble words for a nationally recognized basketball coach who’s now giving back to his community every chance he gets. CBS 17’s Randi Ayala spoke with Levelle Moton earlier this year after the unveiling of his new mural.

“I come from humble beginnings, and I lived in poverty over half my life so it’s hard to be out there stunting and flexing with your chest out when you grew up where every day you had to make a life-or-death decision,” said Moton. 

The long-time men’s basketball coach at North Carolina Central University grew up a block away from where he’s now getting a park named after him. He used to play basketball on this same basketball court when he was a kid. 

The city of Raleigh dedicated a mural to Coach Moton in December of last year. It features art within the huge letters that make up his name. It’s the same name that used to bring him embarrassment as a child. 

“I had a difficult name Levelle; it wasn’t popular. Moton: it wasn’t popular; so for the first couple of days of school, no one could ever pronounce my name,” said Moton. 

He spoke in depth about how he felt about a name that’s now recognized nationally. 

“My father left me when I was 4 so it wasn’t really a name I could feel proud of and be revered, so I told them let’s put my name up there because I wanted my kids to ultimately have something to look forward to and feel proud about,” said Moton. 

Moton has not only been a father figure to his own children, but also the young men he’s coached over the years. His name now has different ring to it. It’s a name that tells a story – a story Moton describes as the rose that grew from concrete. 

“Those dark days when we didn’t know what we were going to eat or we didn’t know how the rent was going to be paid or we didn’t know if the lights [were] going to be on…it was just us and we had to figure out a way,” said Moton. 

 Now he’s on a mission to help people in this neighborhood and beyond. Through his Levelle Cares Foundation, he’s giving back anyway he can. He hosts giveaways for kids and single moms throughout the year.

“We help children and families in at risk situations through the means of sports, education, stem, whatever it may be. We have a back-to-school community day where the entire neighborhoods of southeast Raleigh come out and we provide them with book bags, school supplies, give away free haircuts free shoes the young ladies get manicures and pedicures. We honor 150 single moms every year for their hard work strength dedication. We probably give away 60 thousand dollars’ worth of prizes,” said Moton. 

Now when Levelle Moton sees his name on the side of a building or outside a neighborhood park, the feeling is no longer is embarrassment but pride.

Levelle Moton park is located at 913 E. Lane Street. The city of Raleigh will have a dedication and statue unveiling at noon Saturday, April 30th.