Crazy news coming out just recently, as LiAngelo Ball, along with two other UCLA players, were arrested for shoplifting in China according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. The other players were also freshmen: Cody Riley and Jalen Hill. Riley is a 6’8 forward ranked No. 45 overall in the class of 2017 by ESPN, while Hill is also a 6’8 forward ranked No. 49 by ESPN.
The Bruins were traveling in China for their season opener against Georgia Tech; while the team hasn’t yet made any announcements, it’s likely that UCLA will be without its heralded Class of 2017 recruiting class when it takes on the Yellow Jackets Friday evening. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, police were called to the hotel that the two teams were staying at in Hangzhou early Tuesday morning. Three Georgia Tech players—sophomore Justin Moore and freshmen Jose Alvarado and Jon Brown—were questioned and cleared by local police. The AJC reports that police inspected the UCLA team bus before more police arrived in response to the situation.
UCLA has not yet issued a statement on the situation; the Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, released the following statement in response:
“We are aware of the matter involving UCLA student-athletes and we are gathering more information. During the questioning, it was determined that Georgia Tech student-athletes were not involved in the activities being investigated. They will rejoin the team on Tuesday and resume their scheduled activities in advance of Saturday’s season opener vs. UCLA in Shanghai.”
If standard practices are applied, the three UCLA basketball players face between three and 10 years in prison if convicted, according to Chinese lawyers who briefed Yahoo Sports originally on the applicable laws. The sentencing guidelines could shift depending on the amount that the Chinese could prove was allegedly stolen. Authorities believe the players shoplifted from a Louis Vuitton store near the UCLA team hotel outside of Shanghai.
We will update the story as this develops, but wow….how in the world could you do this to yourself? Three star freshmen, probably NBA bound, and you decide to shoplift? You’re telling me that Lonzo can’t spot you $100 so that you can’t buy the stuff you need? This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever seen, and seeing how Lavar benched his other son LaMelo for being cocky on the court, you might see LiAngelo pulled right out of UCLA for making one of the dumbest decisions he will make in his entire life.
Let us know in the comments below what you think as the events unfold, as well as what did they try to steal? Shoes perhaps?