Milwaukee basketball recruit, facing charges in New York gun case, speaks

A Milwaukee college basketball recruit who is facing charges on 15 weapons-related felonies in New York state is now out on bail.

Sarion McGee was being recruited by Canisius College in Buffalo. FOX6 News spoke to the 23-year-old, his mother and the college about what's next.

"Sarion is a mentor. Sarion is a person who has a big loving heart," said Thea Cosey, McGee's mother. "He adores basketball. He adores his family."

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While McGee says he plans to go far – "to the NBA and just take care of my family" – his mother is going the distance for him. She makes the 10-hour drive from Milwaukee to New York now that her son is out on bail and court-ordered to stay in Erie County.

"I go see my son every Sunday and come back Tuesday," Cosey said. "He’s worth it. If it’s 50 hours I’ll drive it."

Sarion McGee

McGee was arrested on June 12 and had been held without bail until a judge set it at $100,000 on June 23.

Court documents say Canisius College public safety officers found high-capacity magazines and a shotgun in McGee's car, which was parked in the athletics lot, and that McGee told officers he was carrying two loaded handguns and more magazines. 

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A New York State Supreme Court judge questioned why McGee, who majored in criminal justice, either ignored or was not familiar with the state's gun laws when he moved.

"Mr. McGee, one thing is clear is that you are an extremely irresponsible gun owner," said Judge Debra Givens. "You shouldn’t be in this situation, and yet you are."

Sarion McGee

"Everything's going to be fine," he told FOX6. "I’m going to continue to keep pushing."

McGee is not commenting on the charges or the situation. His mother said the guns were purchased legally, and her son did not know the stricter gun laws of New York state.

"Just because you have a gun don’t mean you are a violent person. It just means you could be a person that wants to protect yourself," she said. "It don’t mean you’re out here robbing at hurting anyone. That’s not him. That’s not his character."

Sarion McGee

McGee's lawyer, Michael Seibert, also said the weapons and ammunition were purchased legally. He added that McGee had just moved to the area and had all his possession in his car because he had not been able to move into his assigned dorm room yet.

In a statement regarding McGee, Canisius College Director of Athletics William Maher said:

"The narrative that is surrounding the situation of his arrest for possession of guns is not reflective of our experience with the young man, or from others who our staff spoke to who have coached him. However, given the severity of the charges he is facing, he will not be a member of our program."

McGee said he is still going after his dream.

"Just because this situation, doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working," he said. "I’ll reach my dream. That’s going to send a huge message to a lot of people that’s in my circle."

Sentences on McGee's charges range from 3 ½ to 15 years in prison. Online court documents show he is due back in court Nov. 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.