Reggie Bullock talks journey from Kinston to the NBA - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Reggie Bullock talks journey from Kinston to the NBA

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KINSTON, N.C. -

Basketball star Reggie Bullock returned home to Kinston for one the biggest nights of his life, the NBA Draft.

Bullock says the journey hasn't been easy, but he wouldn't have it any other way.

"It was a tough experience. You know, you [were] faced with gangs and drugs and all that," said Bullock.

Bullock grew up near the intersection of Bright and East Street in Kinston. Though gangs, drugs, and crime were a part of life, Bullock says the community looked out for him.

"I know bad things happen, but there're really some great people around there. They kept me away from those things when I was younger, and I stayed focus with basketball. I know that side of Kinston loves me to death. The people around there respect me, and it's a great place to live," said Bullock.

Bullock says his grandmother, Patricia Williams, was the biggest influence in his life. Williams played the role of mother and father, after his father passed away when he was younger.

"She was my biggest fan. She was in my corner about anything that I wanted, and she definitely there in my life for me, It made me do well in school so I could perform on the basketball court. She was real big on if you're not doing well in school, she going to take you off that basketball court," said Bullock.

During high school Bullock's grandmother got sick and he moved in with his high school basketball coach, Wells Gulledge for a couple of months to focus on school and basketball.

At Kinston High School, Bullock helped lead the team to three state championship games and two state titles. Bullock also became the school's first McDonald's All-American.

After graduation, Bullock earned a basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Earlier this year, Bullock made the difficult decision to forgo his senior season at UNC and enter the NBA Draft.

Bullock was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the 25th overall pick.

Though he's headed to Los Angeles, Bullock says Kinston will forever be his home.

"Very few make it out and I just feel like me coming from the area, just making a name for myself and just putting on for the area. I got it tatted on my arm and that's where I basically grew up all my life, so I felt like it was only right for me to do it," said Bullock.

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