NBA star, Kinston native opening up new business in hometown


KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Kinston native and New York Knicks basketball star Reggie Bullock is giving back to his hometown.

Bullock is opening up a hookah lounge in Kinston. He’s doing this as a way to give back to his community, but there’s also a bigger purpose.

“With all the new growth Kinston has going on and the new things that the mayor is working on, this is going to be a fantastic thing for Kinston,” said Chris Bratcher, lounge manager.

Bullock was a star at Kinston High School and the University of North Carolina and has played in the NBA since 2013. However, his roots are in Eastern North Carolina.

“He is from Kinston originally, so he wanted to do something to give back to the City of Kinston,” Bratcher said.

A hookah is a water pipe used to smoke tobacco that comes in different flavors. The basketball star’s business will be located off West Vernon Avenue. The lounge will also have a bar.

“There’s no hookah lounge here,” said Bratcher. “It’s popping right now. It’s very popular. It’s booming everywhere. Plus, people like to hookah. It seems like it’s a very mind-easing, relaxing thing to do.”

The name of the lounge, Mi Kiosha, has a special meaning.

“It came from his two sisters who were murdered, so in the process of trying to get back to the community, he decided to make this place and dedicate it to his sisters,” said Bratcher.

In a statement, Bullock said, “Kinston is home to me, and I want to invest in the community and do what I can to create opportunities for more positivity and inclusivity.”

Bullock also has plans to bring other businesses to Kinston, including a recording studio.

“He wants to do this for his community and just something to help the City of Kinston grow as well,” Bratcher said.

The hookah lounge will be open in the next 30 days if all goes as planned.

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