The trio of UCLA Bruins men’s basketball players that were arrested in connection to a shoplifting incident in Hangzhou, China, will not be coming home with the remainder of the team, Arash Markazi of ESPN reports. LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill will remain in Hangzhou for what could turn out to be “a week or two” before any kind of a decision is made, a source told Markazi.
UCLA was in China for its season-opening game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, which took place on Saturday local time and late Friday night back in the United States. None of the three players appeared on the court, serving suspensions stemming from the incident.
A source familiar with the investigation says there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside of a high-end shopping center next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou, which includes Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 11, 2017
The case has drawn attention both for those involved (Ball), as well as the unique situation that the players find themselves in: being in a foreign country that treats a crime like shoplifting with severe consequences.
William Nee, a researcher of the Chinese court system for Amnesty International, believes that the trio could find themselves in a bind moving forward.
“I would say they could be in quite a bit of trouble if they have solid proof that they shoplifted,” said Nee to Yahoo Sports. “However, part of it will depend on whether their lawyers, the university, or the U.S. consulate can advocate and negotiate on their behalf.”
LiAngelo is the younger brother of current Los Angeles Lakers point guard and former UCLA Bruin, Lonzo Ball. His father, LaVar, was also in attendance in China, alongside the youngest brother LaMelo Ball, who is committed to the Bruins for the 2019 year.