Three UCLA basketball players, including prodigy LiAngelo Ball, arrested for shoplifting during trip to China
Ball was detained with teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill
LiAngelo Ball, the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers NBA star Lonzo Ball, was among three college basketball players arrested in China on suspicion of shoplifting, US media reports said on Tuesday.
Ball, who is with the UCLA basketball team ahead of their season-opening game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday, was detained with teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, ESPN reported.
ESPN said the players were arrested after around 20 police officers descended on their hotel in Hangzhou, near Shanghai.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) November 6, 2017
Police quizzed players from both UCLA and Georgia Tech before leaving with the trio of UCLA players in a police vehicle, the report said.
UCLA did not confirm details of the reports on Tuesday, issuing a statement which said only they were aware of an incident.
“We are aware of a situation involving UCLA student-athletes in Hangzhou, China,” UCLA said.
“The University is cooperating fully with local authorities on this matter, and we have no further comment at this time.”
Georgia-Tech meanwhile issued a statement confirming that none of their athletes were involved.
— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) November 6, 2017
“During the questioning, it was determined that Georgia Tech student-athletes were not involved in the activities being investigated,” the statement said.
LiAngelo Ball is one of three basketball-playing siblings who have emerged on the national stage in the US in recent years.
Elder brother Lonzo joined the Lakers this year after just one season with UCLA.
Their youngest brother LaMelo Ball is at high school but is also being tipped for a professional career.
All three brothers rose to prominence in 2016 when they helped their high school team outside of Los Angeles go unbeaten.