After being arrested in China earlier this month for shoplifting, three UCLA freshman, including LiAngelo Ball, have been suspended from the basketball team indefinitely.
In a news conference on Wednesday (Nov. 15), UCLA coach Steve Alford said all three players — which also included Cody Riley and Jalen Hill — may have a chance to get back.
“They will have to earn their way back,” Alford said, according to ESPN.
UCLA plans to review the situation, and in the meantime, they will not travel, suit up for road games or take part in practice.
If you haven’t been following, Ball and the two other players were arrested last week in China, after allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou. All three were released on bail early Wednesday morning.
President Trump — who was already on an Asia trip — spoke to President Xi Jinping of China about the incident, and the players were allowed to return to the United States.
Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2017
“These are good young men who have exercised an inexcusable lapse of judgment, and now they have to live with that,” Alford said.
In a statement, Ball repeatedly called his actions “stupid”, while also offering an apology. “I didn’t exercise my best judgment, and I’m sorry for that.”
“This does not define who I am,” he added. “My family raised me better than that.”
His older brother, Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers, said: “Nice to have him back. Obviously he made a mistake, but got to learn from it and move on.”