UCLA freshman LiAngelo Ball may not see a basketball court for a while after he and two other teammates were told by Chinese authorities they cannot leave their hotel for allegedly shoplifting in the communist country.
Police instructed Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill to remain at their luxury Hangzhou Hotel until the legal process is done. The proceedings could take days, weeks, or even months, which means the younger brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball won’t be making his UCLA debut anytime soon.
The players were questioned about stealing from a Louis Vuitton store near the team’s hotel on Tuesday (Nov. 7). They were released from custody early Wednesday morning.
According to Margaret Lewis, a law professor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, China’s conviction rate is more than 99% and punishment would be based on many factors including merchandise value, the players’ cooperation and if they appeared repentant.
“I’m scared for him,” former Lakers guard Devean George told TMZ when asked about the case. “You gotta be real careful when you’re doing stuff overseas.”
George, who played 11 seasons in the NBA and won 3 rings with the Lakers, says he hopes Ball is innocent.
Take a look at the video above.