University of California, Los Angeles – UCLA’s freshman basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley are making headlines. The trio was arrested on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at the Hyatt Regency Hangzhou in China, and questioned about a robbery at a nearby Louis Vuitton location. According to a source, they were released at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday.
Ball, the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, plays guard and teammates Hill and Riley are forwards.
The UCLA Bruins are in China for its season-opener against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Shanghai. The three players have been confined to their rooms pending the investigation.
Margaret Lewis, a law professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey who researches China’s legal system, tells the Los Angeles Times, Chinese authorities have up to 37 days to decide whether to pursue official approval for a formal arrest.
The Chinese courts are controlled by the ruling Communist Party.
If the three are arrested, an investigation could take up to two additional months before prosecutors bring formal charges.
Ball’s dad, LaVar Ball, seemed unbothered and not at all worried. As he pushes his wife Tina Ball’s wheelchair, he tells the reporter, “I’m going to wait until I get more intel on what’s going on. He’ll be fine. Everyone’s making it a big deal. It ain’t that big a deal.”
LaVar Ball said, “I’m going to wait until I get more intel on what’s going on” before he comments on LiAngelo Ball’s arrest but said he’s not worried. “He’ll be fine,” he said. “Everyone’s making it a big deal. It ain’t that big a deal.” pic.twitter.com/E7QuMaMsNU
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 8, 2017
The players will not play in Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech.
China has a history of deporting foreigners suspected of having committed relatively minor offenses without going through the whole process. According to sources, sunglasses were stolen.