Three UCLA players were arrested on Tuesday in China for shoplifting ahead of the Bruins’ season-opening game against Georgia Tech, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman. Those players are freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill.
Ball is obviously the biggest name as the younger brother of former UCLA star Lonzo Ball and the older brother of UCLA commit LaMelo Ball. Riley and Hill each entered the program more touted than Ball as recruits. Riley is a 6’8 forward ranked No. 45 overall in the class of 2017 by ESPN, while Hill is also a 6’8 forward ranked No. 49 by ESPN.
One source told ESPN that nearly 20 police officers came into the Hyatt Hangzhou at approximately 8 a.m. local time Tuesday and spoke to multiple players from both Georgia Tech and UCLA. The players, according to the source, were kept in a room for hours and not allowed to speak to any of the coaches.
"They weren't messing around," the source told ESPN. "The kids were scared."
The Georgia Tech players were allowed to leave the room hours later, and the UCLA players were seen getting into a police vehicle around 1 p.m. local time, according to the source.
UCLA and Georgia Tech play in China on Friday. The Bruins open the year ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll.
UCLA is counting on its freshmen to play a big role this year after losing four starters from last season. The Bruins’ two McDonald’s All-Americans — point guard Jaylen Hands and wing Kris Wilkes — were not involved in the incident. UCLA will also be counting on big contributions from senior center Thomas Welsh and junior guard Aaron Holiday.
We’ll update this story as it develops.
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