The 3 UCLA basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China won't be flying home with their teammates this weekend.
If you missed the news earlier this week, 3 players from the UCLA basketball team, including famous freshman LiAngelo Ball (brother to Lonzo), were arrested in Hangzhou, China Tuesday on shoplifting charges at a Louis Vuitton store. They were eventually released on bail early Wednesday morning and have been staying at a lakeside hotel in Hangzhou since then while the team has been in Shanghai preparing for their season opener, which they won last night.
While no one knew what would happen to 3 players since they’re out of U.S jurisdiction, it turns out they won’t be flying home with their fellow UCLA team. In fact, a source close to the investigation told ESPN Friday night that the players could remain in Hangzhou for "a week or two." The source also noted that there is surveillance footage of the players shoplifting from three stores inside of a high-end shopping center next to the team's hotel, which included stores like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Before UCLA opened their season against Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday (Friday night here in the states), the Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott made the following statement about the UCLA controversy.
"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 said Saturday 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. It has also highlighted the value of our partnership. We've received tremendous support from our partners at FUSC [Federation of University Sports of China] and Alibaba. We've had a chance to apologize for the unwelcome attention it has brought. There's nothing new. We're monitoring the situation and staying in close contact with the students until the situation, and we hope the situation resolves itself soon.”
We’ll continue to keep you posted on the latest surrounding this story moving forward.