LaVar Ball, the father of NBA prospect Lonzo Ball, in attendance before the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft on June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. File photo by Jason Szenes/EPA
Freshman LiAngelo Ball, the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, and two UCLA men's basketball teammates were released on bail early Wednesday morning in Hangzhou, China, after being arrested the previous day for allegedly shoplifting.
Ball and freshmen Cody Riley and Jalen Hill remained at a luxury hotel in Hangzhou , a source told ESPN. The three athletes were questioned and arrested by police on Tuesday about allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team's hotel in Hangzhou, where the Bruins had been staying before leaving for Shanghai on Wednesday.
The trio is being required by local police to stay at the hotel until the legal process is complete while their Bruins teammates traveled to Shanghai for the team's season opener Friday (American time) against Georgia Tech, according to ESPN. They will not play against the Yellow Jackets.
"The players were treated with the utmost respect, kindness and professionalism at all times by the Hangzhou police," the source, who had firsthand knowledge of the release, told ESPN. "The players questioned were respectful at all times. None of this was confrontational."
Police arrived early Tuesday morning at the Hyatt Regency in Hangzhou, where both UCLA and Georgia Tech were staying ahead of their matchup in Shanghai. Three players were questioned from each team.
Ball, Riley and Hill were taken to the police station in Hangzhou, where they were kept for a number of hours, according to ESPN. UCLA representatives, including coach Steve Alford, were at the police station along with Ball, Riley and Hill before they were released around 4 a.m. ET Wednesday
Alford rejoined the rest of UCLA's team in Shanghai on Wednesday morning after the players were released. The Bruins practiced Wednesday before visiting Shanghai Disneyland.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said the conference was directing specific questions about what transpired to UCLA.
"We are very disappointed by any situation that detracts from the positive student-athlete educational and cultural experience that this week is about," Scott said in a statement. "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."
LaVar Ball, his wife Tina and son LaMelo had breakfast with the UCLA team in Shanghai on Wednesday morning. As he was leaving the hotel, LaVar Ball downplayed LiAngelo'a arrest, telling ESPN: "He'll be fine. He'll be fine. Everybody making it a big deal. It ain't that big of a deal."
LaVar Ball later released a statement about the allegations against LiAngelo: "It is a very unfortunate situation that the Ball family and UCLA has to deal with at this particular time. We will comment shortly."
LiAngelo Ball is the younger brother of Lonzo, who starred at UCLA last season before being the No. 2 overall NBA Draft pick by the Lakers.