UCLA basketball players arrested in China released but ordered to remain in hotel

UCLA basketball players arrested in China released but ordered to remain in hotel

The three UCLA men’s basketball players arrested for shoplifting on Tuesday in Hangzhou, China were released on bail Wednesday, according to reports from ESPN.

Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill are now required to stay at the team’s luxury hotel in Hangzhou until legal proceedings are completed, the report states. They cannot rejoin the team as it prepares to play its season opener against Georgia Tech on Friday at 8:30 p.m. PT in Shanghai.

Coach Steve Alford said the three players would not play against Georgia Tech.

The trio was accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to their hotel. According to the high-end fashion line’s website, sunglasses run from $435 to $1,990.

Police were called to investigate at the hotel Tuesday morning, searched UCLA’s team bus and questioned three Georgia Tech players who were later cleared, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ball, Riley and Hill were then taken to jail.

“We are aware of a situation involving UCLA student-athletes in Hangzhou, China,” UCLA said in a statement Tuesday. “The university is cooperating fully with local authorities on this matter, and we have no further comment at this time.”

The rest of the team was expected to visit Shanghai Disneyland on Wednesday. While on the trip, the team is accompanied by a group that includes athletic director Dan Guerrero, chancellor Gene Block and Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. This is the third consecutive year a Pac-12 team has opened its season in China, following Washington in 2015 and Stanford in 2016.

“We are very disappointed by any situation that detracts from the positive student-athlete educational and cultural experience that this week is about,” Scott said in a statement Tuesday. “Whether in the United States or abroad, we expect our student-athletes to uphold the highest standards. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Members of Ball’s family, including his father LaVar, mother Tina and younger brother LaMelo, are also in China. LaVar planned a press conference Tuesday, but decided against it under guidance from legal counsel, according to ESPN. When leaving a hotel, he told a reporter of LiAngelo, “He’ll be fine.”

“He’ll be fine,” LaVar said. “Everybody making it a big deal. It ain’t that big of a deal.”