Report: LiAngelo Ball, UCLA Players Could Remain in China for 'A Week or 2'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 01:  (L-R) LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball attend the game between the UCLA Bruins and the Washington Huskies at Pauley Pavilion on March 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill reportedly won't travel home with the Bruins from Shanghai following their victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday. They are expected to remain in China for "a week or two" after being arrested Tuesday on shoplifting charges.

Arash Markazi of ESPN.com provided the status update from a source, who also said there's video evidence showing the three players shoplifting from three stores in a Hangzhou shopping center.

"I'm certainly disappointed that we don't have three UCLA students here to compete in the game today, given that they were involved in an incident that's being investigated in Hangzhou," Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott told reporters before the game.

"It has provided a real distraction and unwanted publicity which distracts from what overall has been a tremendous experience and a tremendous week for the UCLA and Georgia Tech students."

There have been varying reports about the type of punishment the Bruins players could receive.

Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday they could serve 20 days of house arrest and receive permanent banishment from China.

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports previously stated they faced the potential of between three and 10 years in prison "if standard practices are applied" to the case and they were convicted of the charges.

Meanwhile, Markazi pointed out that Joseph Tsai, the co-founder of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, has been providing assistance to UCLA in trying to find a solution.

"Every young person makes mistakes, but the key point is how they will handle it after making the mistake," Tsai said. "I think sometimes things can be very complicated, and the last couple of days I've seen firsthand professionalism on all sides."

The Bruins return to action Wednesday night for their home opener at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles against Central Arkansas as part of the Hall of Fame Classic. The availability of Ball, Riley and Hill moving forward is unclear.

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