Three UCLA Freshmen Basketball Players Confessed to Shoplifting in China, Returns Home in Disgrace.

LiAngelo Ball Speaks before the Mic

The UCLA basketball organization has suspended indefinitely three freshman team members for their conduct overseas while traveling in China; the three players caught on camera stealing and or shoplifting at a store near their hotel.  

 

One day after returning home from China, where they were detained and accused of shoplifting, announced head coach Steve Alford at a news conference at the university on Wednesday.

 

The players Jalen Hill and Cody Riley and Li Angelo Ball (younger brother to Los Angeles Laker Lonzo Ball) during a block of free time the students stole items from three shops near their hotel on November 6 Police arrived at their hotel the following morning and interviewed the players and searched their bags. 

 

Once the items were recovered they were taken to the police station and was released after spending one day in jail they were released on $ 2,200 bail, all the players had to surrender their passports and agree with imposed travel restrictions.

 

The players were scheduled to play Georgia Tech at the Pac-12 China Game, and they were restricted to remain at a hotel in Hangzhou hotel for almost a week.

 

What some may call the imperfect storm each of these players may not have been released if not for Donald Trump’s visit to China at the same they were being detained for trial.

 

According to Donald Trump after arriving in Beijing as part of his Asia trip, he allegedly spoke to with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and requested leniency for the ballplayers and allow them to return home as reported by The Washington Post.

 

While in China the players were told by their coach to remain in the hotel and during which time they received a call from Whitehouse chief of staff John Kelly. 

 

Knowing the Trump administration, it was a good PR move for Kelly and Trump if Trump had not been in China I’m sure they would have been held up in Puerto Rico limbo. 

 

Trump told reporters he "had a great conversation" with Xi and went on to talk about the American students. "What they did was unfortunate. You're talking about very long prison sentences. "I want to start off by saying how embarrassed and ashamed I am for disappointing my family, my teammates, my coaches and the entire UCLA community," said Riley.

 

"I take full responsibility for the mistake I have made — shoplifting."

"I'm grateful to be back home, and I'll never make a mistake like this again," said Ball at the press conference Wednesday.

"What I did was stupid," said Hill, "there's just no other way to put it."

 Like a child seeking approval and attention, Donald Trump tweeted “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you, President Trump? They were headed for ten years in jail!     — Donald J. Trump

 

After Trump fished for compliments, the players thanked Trump, the same Trump who called for the death penalty for four black teens and one Latino who was accused of rape and assault of a Central Park jogger.  After spending years in prison, DNA findings exonerated them of the crime, and to this day Donald Trump has not apologized. 

 

There is some hope for the three according to their coaches the players may be able to return to the team as long as they show some attrition for but "at some point, they may be permitted to join team workouts, practices, and meetings, but that timeline has yet to be determined."

As for the three basketball players, they are lucky they did not go to Saudi Arabia where you lose a hand for stealing, three freshman players who are possibly bound for professional basketball stardom.

 

 Li Angelo Ball whose father is well known for his big mouth and putting his sons on a pedestal. "He'll be fine," Ball told ESPN.

 

"Everyone's making it a big deal. It ain't that big deal."  Any time a person shoplifts and is caught it is a big deal, when your child is arrested in a foreign land it is a big deal and the fact that you are so caviler about this matter it is a big deal.

 

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