LiAngelo Ball, Two Other UCLA Players Detained For Shoplifting In China
LiAngelo Ball has landed himself in hot water.
LiAngelo Ball, UCLA Players shoplifting arrest news
LaVar Ball’s middle son — a freshman guard for UCLA — was detained alongside two of his Bruins basketball teammates in Hangzhou, China, on Tuesday for alleged shoplifting.
LiAngelo Ball — whose brother is rookie Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball — and fellow freshmen Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were released on bail Wednesday morning after being questioned about allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store adjacent to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou. The Bruins leave for Shanghai on Wednesday to play in an exhibition game there on Friday.
“We are aware of a situation involving U.C.L.A. student-athletes in Hangzhou, China,” U.C.L.A. said in a statement. “The university is cooperating fully with local authorities on this matter, and we have no further comment at this time.”
Coach Steve Alford said the trio of players will not play in Friday’s exhibition game.
Players from Georgia Tech, the school UCLA is set to play, were questioned but not charged.
“During the questioning, it was determined that Georgia Tech student-athletes were not involved in the activities being investigated,” the team said.
In China, theft is punishable by many days or several years in prison, depending on the severity of the offense.
LaVar Ball — who is in China and is being followed by a reality television crew for the Facebook show “Ball in the Family” — initially said he would “wait until I get more intel on what’s going on” before commenting on his son’s situation. However, he then quickly added that it didn’t seem like much cause for concern. “It ain’t that big of a deal,” said LaVar, the founder and CEO of sports apparel company Big Baller Brand.
LaVar Ball said, “I’m going to wait until I get more intel on what’s going on” before he comments on LiAngelo Ball’s arrest but said he’s not worried. “He’ll be fine,” he said. “Everyone’s making it a big deal. It ain’t that big a deal.” pic.twitter.com/E7QuMaMsNU
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 8, 2017
Pac-12 conference commissioner Larry Scott released a statement to voice his discontent with the incident.
“U.C.L.A. is cooperating fully with local authorities. We are directing all inquiries about the specifics of this matter to U.C.L.A. We are very disappointed by any situation that detracts from the positive student-athlete educational and cultural experience that this week is about. Whether in the United States or abroad, we expect our student-athletes to uphold the highest standards. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”
Basketball is incredibly popular in China, although most fans pay attention to the NBA rather than the NCAA.
The incident came just as President Donald Trump landed in China on Wednesday for an official state visit.
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 24: LiAngelo Ball #3 of Chino Hills High School shoots the ball during the game against Mater Dei High School at the Galen Center on February 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)