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Submitted by WWAY on Tue, 06/17/2008 - 8:07am.

Nearly two weeks ago, deputies arrested NBA player and Whiteville native Chris Wilcox on gun charges. Now Wilcox is leading a basketball camp for local kids who still consider him a role model. "He ain't a ball hog. And he passes, he uses his teammates," said Wilcox fan Stefan McDonald. Tyshon Smith said, "If I get some height on me I can be like him." Wilcox was a phenom at Whiteville high school in 1998 and 1999. While visiting the area two weeks ago, the Seattle Supersonics power forward was arrested -- one count of aiding and abetting drunk driving and two of carrying a concealed weapon. It was his second gun charge in three years. Wilcox said, "You know, there's ups and downs in life you know, but at the same time, I definitely want to be a role model for these kids." But with this second run in with the law, is that still possible? Wilcox, for one, says yes. "If it would've hurt my credibility I don't think I would be in the situation I am now, and the kids wouldn't be here," said Wilcox. Basketball coach Glenn McKoy coached Wilcox at Whiteville. He says Wilcox is no different than hunters or fishermen who carry weapons, but since Wilcox is a celebrity, he needs to be more careful. "When you become someone that everybody's looking up to, and everybody knows you, then everything you do is magnified," said McKoy. Gun charges or not, Wilcox is still a pillar of this tight-knit rural community. Lawrence Flemming, a grandparent, said, "I think the world of Chris, and a man with that type of money, I mean riding around the way things are today, I'd have had one too." Wilcox wouldn't comment on the specifics of the incident, saying that he was here for the kids, and didn't want to draw too much attention to it. The Bladen County Sheriff's Office didn't return calls on the status of Wilcox's charges.

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