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LiAngelo Ball shoplifting incident to keep UCLA Bruins duo out for rest of season

By The Sports Xchange
LiAngelo Ball shoplifting incident to keep UCLA Bruins duo out for rest of season
UCLA Bruins head coach Steve Alford reacts to his teams play against the UAB Blazers during the first half of play in their third round game of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, March 21, 2015. File photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

UCLA freshmen Cody Riley and Jalen Hill will be prohibited from playing for the team the remainder of the season due to their shoplifting arrests in China, the university announced on Friday.

Riley, Hill and now-departed LiAngelo Ball were suspended indefinitely after their arrests when the team was in China for its season-opening game against Georgia Tech. Ball left the program early this month.

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Riley and Hill will be allowed to practice with the team and participate in meetings beginning on Dec. 26, but coach Steve Alford said they won't be allowed to suit up for home games or travel with the squad.

"Since returning from China, they have done everything asked of them and continued to work hard in the classroom and in their own personal workouts," Alford said in a statement. "I've told our players all along that actions have consequences, and the season-long suspension shows how seriously we take their misconduct.

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"Though they will not suit up for games or travel with the team, I look forward to their return after the Christmas holiday. I am confident that they will make significant contributions to the university moving forward."

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The shoplifting escapade created an international incident that eventually included President Donald Trump's help in bringing it to a resolution.

The 6-foot-10 Riley was expected to be an immediate contributor this season. The 6-8 Hill was viewed as more of a project.

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Ball was pulled from the program by his father, LaVar. Ball is currently slated to play overseas in Lithuania with his younger brother, LaMelo.

The Bruins host No. 7 Kentucky on Saturday.

RELATED UCLA players suspended after shoplifting incident

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