UCLA basketball players arrested for shoplifting in China released on bond


LiAngelo Ball is a younger brother of former UCLA star Lonzo Ball, now a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers. UCLA is in China for their season opener Friday against Georgia Tech in Shanghai.

UCLA men's basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were released from police custody on bail Wednesday morning. They were reportedly accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store that is next to the hotel.

The 40-year-old George made it known, via TMZ Sports, that it's something that should be taken seriously, and that he is scared for him, having committed something illegal in a foreign country.

"They weren't messing around", the source shared.

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.

Asked later in the day whether he was anxious about his son, LaVar replied, according to ESPN: "He'll be fine, he'll be fine".

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UCLA coach Steve Alford said Tuesday he will sit the three players for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech in Shanghai.

From there the process could stretch out much longer, and convictions are a near certainty in Chinese courts, which are controlled by the ruling Communist Party.

In a statement to PEOPLE, UCLA said, "We are aware of a situation involving UCLA student-athletes in Hangzhou, China". Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry, said the case had been reported to U.S. authorities.

In Beijing on Thursday, Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss trade, North Korea and a range of other topics.

LaVar Ball said Wednesday his son LiAngelo's arrest on shoplifting charges in China "ain't that big a deal", although the elder Ball also said he's lacking "intel" about the situation.