UCLA's LiAngelo Ball, two teammates expected to remain in China

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 11, 2017 at 1:35 PM
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LiAngelo Ball, the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, and two of his UCLA men's basketball teammates who were arrested on shoplifting charges are expected to remain in Hangzhou, China, while the team flies back to Los Angeles.

The three freshmen -- Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill -- will not be on the team's flight back to the United States after the No. 21 Bruins' season-opening 63-60 win over Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday, sources told ESPN.

The players were questioned 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. They were arrested Tuesday and released on bail early Wednesday morning. The trio is being required by local police to stay at the Hangzhou hotel until the legal process is complete.

A source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told ESPN that the trio could be in Hangzhou for "a week or two." The source noted that there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside of a high-end shopping center, which houses Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo stores.

Bruins coach Steve Alford declined to discuss the incident after the team's win.

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 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.

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.

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