Instead of preparing to play in their season opener in Shanghai this weekend, three freshman players on the UCLA men’s basketball team — LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill — went shopping… and shoplifting.
According to an ESPN report, the three players are reportedly out on bail after they were arrested in China. They stand accused of shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store near the team’s hotel in Hangzhou.
. His older brother plays for the Lakers and his father is the vocal CEO of the Big Baller Brand.
The Bruins are in China for a week-long team trip ahead of their season opener. The Pac-12 commissioner admitted that the players were involved in a situation and are cooperating with authorities.
Just days after touching down in Shanghai Sunday night, three UCLA freshman basketball players were reportedly detained by Chinese police. ESPN reports that nearly 20 Chinese police officers spoke with a number of players Tuesday, keeping them in a room for hours.
Video captured by ESPN shows Ball’s father, LaVar – who is traveling with the team in Shanghai – brushing off the incident as no big deal.
“It’ll be fine, it’ll be fine. Everybody is making a big deal, it ain’t that big of a deal,” LaVar Ball said.
“According to Chinese exit law, a case must be fully resolved before the suspects are allowed to eventually go home,” said William Nee, an expert on China for Amnesty International. “It could be days, it could be weeks, it could be months, theoretically speaking even years until they are allowed to leave China.”
The U.S. State Department is aware of the reports and told reporters that they are prepared to provide assistance to the team members if need be.
According to ESPN, the three UCLA players are now confined to their hotel in Hangzhou. Their team members are getting ready for their game Friday in Shanghai.
A shoplifting conviction in China can result in a three to 10-year jail sentence.