A Temple basketball standout was one of 28 people arrested and charged as part of a 2-day Atlantic City prostitution sting conducted by the city's special investigation unit on Pacific Avenue.

Owls star Khalif Wyatt, who was celebrating his 21st birthday according to his Twitter feed, was arrested and charged with engaging in prostitution and resisting arrest. Wyatt, who turned 21 on Sunday and will be a senior this coming school year, is from Norristown.

Wyatt has a court date set for Friday in Atlantic City municipal court.

"We have just become aware of the charges and are still gathering information at this point," Larry Dougherty, Temple's senior associate athletic director, said in a statement Monday afternoon.

Head coach Fran Dunphy did not return a call seeking comment.

In a statement released later, Wyatt said: "I apologize to my family, teammates, coaches and Temple University for the embarrassment that I have caused. I was in Atlantic City this past weekend celebrating my 21st birthday with friends and exercised very poor judgment by allowing myself and my friends to be put in a compromising situation. I intend to cooperate with the authorities during their investigation and the legal process."

According to Atlantic City police, Wyatt was arrested at 1:01 a.m. Sunday near a hotel at Montpelier and Pacific Avenues after he made an offer to pay for sex while on the street. Wyatt fled the scene when he saw a uniformed officer and was apprehended about 50 yards away.

Former Kennedy-Kenrick football and basketball player Duane Alford Jr., 22, also of Norristown, also was arrested and charged with engaging in prostitution.

According to police, undercover female police officers were utilized to pose as prostitutes. The operation was aimed at nabbing both females who "sell their services and the males looking to pay women for their services," the release said.

Wyatt was named to the all-Atlantic-10 second team following a season in which he averaged 17.1 points per game, fourth in the conference.

During Temple's 24-8 season, Wyatt was kept out of the starting lineup three times for disciplinary reasons.

In December, he was late to a film study. In February, he showed up late to study hall. And in March, Wyatt was late to a team meeting.

Wyatt was also suspended for Temple's season opener at Penn for playing in an unsanctioned summer league.

After the March incident, Dunphy said: "He's really a good guy, and he does not have a malicious bone in his body. On occasion, he thinks his time is more important than everybody else's. So it puts the control in my hands, and I have to do something. I was hoping we wouldn't get to this point, but that's what happened." n

Daily News staff writer Jason Nark contributed to this report.