The three UCLA basketball players arrested Nov. 7 in China on suspicion of shoplifting have been released on bail. Sources say LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill—all freshmen—were accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to their hotel.
LiAngelo is the son of outspoken basketball dad and shoe company mogul LeVar Ball. He is also the brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball.
ESPN reported that police came to the team hotel in the city of Hangzhou early Tuesday morning and took the players into custody.
UCLA Coach Steve Alford said they would be benched. “The university came out with a statement, so I won’t have any further comment on this other than in answering that question — those individuals won’t play on Saturday,” he said in a statement.
The university also said in a statement that it is cooperating fully with the investigation. The Bruins open the season against Georgia Tech at 11:30 p.m. Eastern time Friday in Shanghai. Three players from Georgia Tech were also questioned about alleged shoplifting, but were not arrested, according to ABC News.
Details surrounding the arrests are still unclear. However, the senior Mr. Ball said via ESPN, “I’m going to wait until I get more intel on what’s going on,” and added, “He’ll be fine. Everyone’s making it a big deal. It ain’t that big a deal.”
Meanwhile at the UCLA campus, most students took a “wait and see” approach. I think we should wait until we know more about it. There are two sides to every story,” one student said. Another suggested that the students could be victims of racial profiling.
The arrests came ahead of Trump’s visit to China. The president had not commented about the incident at press time.