UCLA Basketball Players Detained in China Over Shoplifting Allegations Are Returning Home
15 November, 2017, 05:13 | Author: Valerie Burke
The players were reportedly seen boarding a flight from Shanghai to Los Angeles late Tuesday.
There has been no statement from UCLA about whether the three players will take part in the Bruins' home opener against Central Arkansas on Wednesday night.
News of the players' pending release comes two days after President Donald Trump made a personal plea to President Xi Jinping of China to assist in the case. "We also want to acknowledge UCLA's significant efforts on behalf of their student-athletes".
"We are all very pleased that these young men have been allowed to return home", said Scott. Ball, along with teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, will not have to return to the country for any further proceedings, and their future travel from/to the country has not been affected. Whether they will face disciplinary action is still up in the air.
They did not fly home with the team, and ESPN has reported that authorities have surveillance footage and that the players could be required to remain in Hangzhou for a week or two. UCLA is one of the top basketball programs in the country, and the Ball family has become well known in the sports world, including LiAngelo's outspoken father, LaVar Ball. The elder Ball played one season in Westwood and left early for the National Basketball Association draft.
The elder Ball has become a media personality by aggressively promoting his sons as future National Basketball Association superstars and had travelled to China on the trip to promote his Big Baller Brand shoe and apparel line.
Forwards Hill and Riley, both four-star recruits, figure to bolster 7-foot senior Thomas Welsh in the frontcourt.
LaVar, LaMelo and Tina Ball - the family's matriarch - all went to China to watch LiAngelo play his first game as a Bruin and promote the opening of a Big Baller Brand pop-up shop in Shanghai.
The UCLA and Georgia Tech squads were in Hangzhou for a side trip to the headquarters of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
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