LiAngelo Ball's punishment could be 20 days in luxury hotel

Jonathan Hernandez
November 10, 2017

The three UCLA basketball players who were busted for allegedly shoplifting in China could be stuck in the country for months.

SHANGHAI - Three UCLA men's basketball players - including LiAngelo Ball, the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball - were released on bail early Wednesday morning in Hangzhou, China, after being arrested for shoplifting Tuesday afternoon, just days before Friday's season-opening game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai, a source told ESPN.

"I haven't talked to him yet", Lonzo Ball said after the Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics.

The players, who were released on bail Wednesday, are reportedly not allowed to leave the hotel.

The UCLA Bruins are in China for its season-opener against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Shanghai.

The conference has been using the annual worldwide contest to boost the appeal of college basketball overseas in the hopes that the sport may someday rival the NBA - which has benefited from homegrown talents Yi Jianlian and Hall-of-Famer Yao Ming - in terms of popularity in China.

A UCLA spokesman did not confirm or deny the information, referring to the school's statement that it was cooperating with local authorities.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said the conference was directing specifics about what transpired to UCLA. "Whether in the United States or overseas, we expect our student-athletes to uphold the highest standards". "What was Two Balls thinking?"

"China will handle this case in accordance with law and protect the lawful rights and interests of the people involved". LiAngelo's trash-talking father, LaVar Ball, and younger brother, LaMelo, were in China with the team. As he was leaving the hotel, LaVar Ball downplayed LiAngelo'a arrest, telling ESPN: "He'll be fine". "He'll be fine. Everyone's making it a big deal. It ain't that big of a deal".

If convicted of grand larceny, the players could face a prison sentence of between three and 10 years, according to Chinese criminal law.

One such former pro is Devean George, who played in the National Basketball Association for 11 seasons, seven of those with the Los Angeles Lakers, who gave his reaction to Ball's situation.

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