UCLA Basketball Players Arrested on Trip to China

Athletes+hold+Press+conference+after+release+%28Bloomberg
Athletes hold Press conference after release (Bloomberg

Athletes hold Press conference after release (Bloomberg

Athletes hold Press conference after release (Bloomberg

Kailan Chang and Edited By: Sophia Axiotis

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On Nov. 7, ESPN reported that three freshman basketball players were arrested in China for shoplifting. The players- LiAngelo Ball (according to ABC news, he is also the younger brother of Lonzo Ball, the point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers), Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill, were released on bail on Nov. 8, and were required to remain in their Hangzhou hotel until the legal process is over, which can take an unknown amount of time, according to ESPN.

The three players were on a team trip to China in the city of Hangzhou ahead of their team’s season opener game in Shanghai. The players were arrested on Monday after being questioned on suspicion of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store near their hotel, according to CNN. They later did not fly back to the U.S. with their team, and ESPN has reported that authorities have surveillance footage and that the players could be required to remain in Hangzhou for a week or two. The players did not play on their team’s victory over Georgia Tech on Nov. 12 in Shanghai, according to the Washington Post.

When LaVar Ball, LiAngelo Ball’s father, was asked by ESPN about Trump’s role in the situation, he replied “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

In response, President Trump tweeted: “Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!”

Trump tweeted again on Nov. 15: “It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!” This incident also brought back the president’s demand for football players to be more respectful while the national anthem is played.

Later that day, the three players publicly apologized in a press conference, their statements acknowledging their role in the international incident. And the UCLA Coach Steve Alford announced that they will be suspended indefinitely.

And, in an attempt to make peace with Trump, Ball had sent him a pair of Big Baller Brand Shoes, according to Sport Illustrated. TMZ Sports also reported that Ball had also unofficially withdrawn LiAngelo Ball from UCLA, and will not be returning to the institution.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/22/us/politics/trump-ucla-father-fool.html?_r=0

https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/11/30/lavar-ball-liangelo-china-donald-trump-big-baller-brand-zo2

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/us/politics/trump-ucla-basketball-china.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/11/13/trump-personally-asked-xi-jinping-to-help-resolve-case-of-ucla-basketball-players-arrested-in-china/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.da3942141c18

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-ucla-basketball-20171128-story.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/ucla-basketball-players-arrested-china-shoplifting-charges/story?id=50994342

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/15/sport/ucla-basketball-players-statements/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/18/politics/lavar-ball-donald-trump/index.html

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/15/sport/ucla-basketball-players-statements/index.html

http://www.tmz.com/2017/12/04/liangelo-ball-lavar-ball-leaves-ucla-basketball/

https://assets.bwbx.io/images/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/iagbHciEYbpA/v1/800x-1.jpg

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UCLA Basketball Players Arrested on Trip to China