UCLA players quizzed over alleged shoplifting to remain in China: ESPN


(Reuters) – Three UCLA men’s basketball players detained in China over allegations of shoplifting this week will not be on the team’s return flight to the United States on Saturday, ESPN reported.

FILE PHOTO: Dec 16, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Chino Hills Huskies guard LiAngelo Ball (3) dribbles against the defense of Clark Chargers forward Jalen Hill (21) on the second day of the Tarkanian Classic at Bishop Gorman High School. Chino Hills won the game 91-87. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

The three students – freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill – will remain in Hangzhou for a week or two, ESPN said on Saturday, citing unnamed sources.

Ball, Riley and Hill were questioned about alleged stealing from a Louis Vuitton store during the team’s visit to Hangzhou, home of the game’s sponsor, Alibaba.

They were taken into police custody on Tuesday morning and released early on Wednesday, a source told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: Jan 18, 2016; Springfield, MA, USA; Sierra Canyon Cody Riley (2) on the court against Montverde in the first half of the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Blake Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

The players have been confined to their hotel in Hangzhou, and did not accompany the team when it traveled to Shanghai for its season-opener against Georgia Tech, which UCLA won 63-60.

Ball, the younger brother of National Basketball Association rookie Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers, declined to comment when reached by phone at his hotel on Wednesday. The others could not be reached.

FILE PHOTO: June 23, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; LiAngelo Ball, brother of newly drafted Los Angeles Lakers player Lonzo Ball in attendance at Toyota Sports Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Sources told Reuters that police had released the three on condition they remain at their hotel during the legal process.

Often China will deport foreigners suspected of having committed relatively minor offenses.

The U.S. State Department and UCLA Athletics officials have declined to say how long legal proceedings might take.

Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; editing by Alexander Smith

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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