UCLA players could be stuck in China for months, dad says

Posted November 10, 2017

LaVar was expected to address the media from his hotel suite Wednesday morning in Shanghai, but he said he was advised by counsel not to speak "due to the legal nature of the matter".

Lonzo Ball says he has not yet spoken to his family, including his brother, UCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball, who was released on bail in Hangzhou, China, after being arrested for allegedly shoplifting Tuesday afternoon.

(From left) UCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and Kris Wilkes pose for a picture before flying to China for Friday's opener against Georgia Tech in Shanghai. Additionally, William Nee, a researcher for Amnesty International, told Wetzel that suspects in China are regularly detained for a month or more before being indicted.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott also released a statement, saying UCLA was "cooperating fully with local authorities".

"I haven't talked to him yet", Lonzo Ball said after his Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Boston Celtics. According to Chinese lawyers who spoke with Yahoo Sports, the players could face 3-10 years for shoplifting under Chinese law.

"Whether in the United States or overseas, we expect our student-athletes to uphold the highest standards", it said.

News of the incident broke as US President Donald Trump landed in China, part of a trip to five Asian nations. "We stand ready to provide appropriate consular assistance for U.S. citizens". The official declined further comment, citing "privacy considerations".

The UCLA team was in Hangzhou to visit the headquarters of Alibaba, the e-commerce giant which is sponsoring Friday's game.

Asked if he was anxious about LiAngelo, LaVar said, "He'll be fine". Lonzo Ball starred at UCLA last season and is now a rookie with the Lakers.

He is already a third of the way there. Its first sneaker, the ZO2, raised eyebrows when it was priced at $495. Georgia Tech said none of its athletes were involved.