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#pounditThursday, January 27, 2022

Articles tagged: UCLA Basketball

Report: LiAngelo Ball, UCLA players had all shoplifting charges dropped

LiAngelo Ball

The three UCLA basketball players who were arrested for shoplifting in China last week were finally allowed to return home on Tuesday, and it appears as though they will be coming back to the United States with no blemishes on their official police records.

According to a report from Mark Dreyer of China Sports Insider, all of the charges against UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill have been dropped. The players were permitted to leave the country on Tuesday after being placed under a version of house arrest at their hotel for a week, and Dreyer reports that they were not officially deported or escorted to the airport.

U.S. president Donald Trump arrived in China for a two-day stay the day after the arrests took place, and he spoke with Chinese president Xi Jinping about resolving the case. Sources told ESPN’s Arash Markazi that Trump’s involvement helped expedite the process, though there was never any real chance of the players serving jail time.

The three players are fortunate to have avoided legal trouble after surveillance footage reportedly showed them shoplifting from three high-end stores, but they could still face disciplinary action from UCLA. The school has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday, during which Ball, Riley and Hill are expected to give statements. The three were already ripped on national television by one UCLA legend and are sure to face much more criticism.

Pac-12 commissioner releases statement on UCLA players who were arrested

LiAngelo Ball

The three UCLA basketball players who were arrested for shoplifting in China last week were on a plane home to Los Angeles Tuesday morning, and it sounds as though the case has reached a resolution.

In a statement, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott confirmed that UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were flying home from China and thanked the Chinese authorities for the way they handled the incident.

The three freshmen were arrested last Tuesday after surveillance footage reportedly proved that they had stolen items from three high-end stores at a shopping center in Hangzhou. Shoplifting is a serious offense in China and can result in up to 10 years in prison. The players had been on a version of house arrest for the past week at the hotel where the team stayed.

As Scott mentioned in his statement, U.S. president Donald Trump spoke with Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, during a two-day stay in China last week. All indications are that the players are going to get a slap on the wrist, though they have already been ripped on national television by one UCLA legend and are likely to face disciplinary action from the university.

LiAngelo Ball, UCLA players reportedly flying back from China

LiAngelo Ball

The shoplifting case involving three UCLA basketball players in China appears to have reached some sort of resolution, as the three freshman were reportedly flying back to the United States on Tuesday.

According to James T. Areddy of the Wall Street Journal, the three UCLA players — LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley — were spotted late Tuesday at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai checking in for a Delta flight that was bound for Los Angeles. That came hours after U.S. president Donald Trump said he had spoken with Xi Jinping, his Chinese counterpart, and had a “great conversation” about the incident. Trump told reporters that Ball, Hill and Riley were facing long jail sentences but said Xi “has been terrific on that subject.”

The three players were arrested last Tuesday after surveillance footage reportedly proved that they had stolen items from three high-end stores at a shopping center in Hangzhou. Shoplifting is a serious offense in China and can result in up to 10 years in prison.

While it sounds like the UCLA freshmen are going to get off with a slap on the wrist, the incident has been a major embarrassment for the players, their families and the university. UCLA legend Bill Walton already ripped the players on national television, and they are sure to face plenty more criticism when they arrive home.

Donald Trump says LiAngelo Ball, UCLA players facing long jail sentences

LiAngelo Ball

The three UCLA basketball players who were arrested for shoplifting last week remained in China as of Tuesday, and reports have indicated that they could be punished with anything from a slap on the wrist to jail time.

LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill are accused of stealing from several high-end stores at a shopping center in Hangzhou. Shoplifting is a serious offense in China, and U.S. president Donald Trump said Monday that the three freshmen are facing potentially long jail sentences.

Trump arrived in China for a two-day stay the day after the players were arrested, and he reportedly spoke with Chinese president Xi Jinping about the situation. While there has been talk that the freshmen could spend up to 10 years in a Chinese prison, it sounds like they are going to get off much easier than that.

LiAngelo Ball, UCLA players reportedly had shoplifting charges reduced

LiAngelo Ball

The three UCLA basketball players who were arrested for shoplifting in China last week remained in the country as of Monday, but their case could be nearing a resolution.

David Nakamura of the Washington Post reports that Donald Trump has personally asked Chinese president Xi Jinping for help resolving the case. The three UCLA freshmen were arrested the day before Trump arrived in Beijing for a two-day stay, and the U.S. president was reportedly assured that Xi will personally look into the case and make sure it is resolved fairly and in a timely fashion.

One U.S. official told Nakamura that the charges against the three players — LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill — have already been reduced.

The latest reports indicate that surveillance footage proves Ball, Riley and Hill stole from three stores inside a shopping center in Hangzhou. The situation was taken seriously enough that the players were prohibited from flying back to the U.S. with the UCLA team, and they have been placed under a version of house arrest at their hotel.

If nothing else, the shoplifting incident will end up being a huge embarrassment for the players, their families and the university. UCLA legend Bill Walton already ripped the players on national television, and they are sure to face plenty more criticism when they return home.

Report: LiAngelo Ball, shoplifting UCLA players likely to face house arrest

LiAngelo Ball

LiAngelo Ball and his two UCLA teammates accused of shoplifting in China will reportedly avoid the worst punishment for their actions, but could still be punished for their actions.

A source told Ken Sugiara of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the three UCLA players — Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley — will face 20 days of house arrest and then will be barred from visiting the country again.

The house arrest could be served at the Hyatt Regency Hangzhou, which is where the Bruins team has been staying on their trip to China.

It’s not nothing, but 20 days of house arrest in a hotel is certainly a much better outcome for Ball and his teammates than the prison time they could have reportedly faced. This seems like about the best-case scenario for the players, although it remains to be seen whether they’ll face any repercussions from the school itself once they’ve served their time in China.

U.S. State Department offers help to LiAngelo Ball, UCLA teammates

LiAngelo Ball

The U.S. State Department is aware that LiAngelo Ball and two of his UCLA teammates have been arrested in China for shoplifting, and they’re ready to step in and help if called upon.

“We are aware of reports of three U.S. citizens arrested and subsequently released on bail in China,” a State Department official told TMZ Sports on Wednesday. “We stand ready to provide appropriate consular assistance for U.S. citizens. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.‎”

Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were arrested early on Tuesday morning in the city of Hangzhou and accused of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to their hotel.

The trio has since been released on bail, but ordered to stay at the hotel as the legal process, which could take upwards of 37 days, plays itself out. If convicted, the three could face anywhere from 3-10 years in a Chinese prison.

On Wednesday, UCLA head coach Steve Alford said the three freshmen will not play when the Bruins open their season on Saturday against Georgia Tech.

“The university came out with a statement, so I won’t have any further comment on this other than in answering that question — those individuals won’t play on Saturday,” Alford said via the Associated Press.

LiAngelo’s father, LaVar, was initially scheduled to hold a press conference to discuss the arrest on Wednesday morning, but cancelled on the advice of legal counsel.

Kanye West was ‘super-friendly’ with UCLA basketball team in visit

Kanye West

UCLA’s basketball players had a pair of surprise visitors to their summer basketball workout.

Kanye West and 2 Chainz made an appearance at the workout, and West, at the very least, was happy to greet the players.

A UCLA spokesperson told CBS Sports’s Gary Parrish that West had been playing in the gym before UCLA’s players arrived, and greeted them when they did.

“A lot of our guys listen to his music, so it was a cool thing for them,” the spokesperson said. “We sometimes get celebrities on our campus, and you never know how they’re going to be. But, honestly, Kanye was super-friendly with our guys. I was impressed.”

It’s no secret that Kanye loves his basketball. He does have a reputation for being a bit surly sometimes, though, so it’s good that the UCLA players got a cool experience out of it.

Pac-12 talks to UCLA about mascot mooning

Joe Bruin moon

The Pac-12 apparently had to speak to UCLA about the actions of the school’s mascot during Thursday’s basketball game against Oregon.

The Bruins came back to beat the Ducks 82-79 after trailing for most of the game. They had the help of their home crowd at Pauley Pavilion, as well as the efforts of mascot Joe Bruin.

During the final minute of the game, Oregon’s Jordan Bell was at the line to attempt his second of two free throws when Joe Bruin turned around, dropped shorts and pretended to moon the junior forward.

Despite Joe Bruin’s funny distraction attempt, Bell made the free throw. UCLA still won the game.

The Pac-12 ended up addressing the actions of Joe Bruin with the school, according to the LA Times’ Ben Bolch.

If the Pac-12 thinks that represents inappropriate mascot conduct, then I’d really like to know what they think of this old video of Oregon’s mascot.

Bill Walton gave pregame pep talk to UCLA rival Cal

Boston-Radio-Show-Hangs-Up-On-Bill-WaltonBill Walton might find himself viewed as an enemy among UCLA fans after turning on his alma mater by delivering a pregame pep talk to one of the Bruins’ opponents this week.

Walton called the UCLA-Cal basketball game for ESPN2 on Thursday, a game which Cal won 75-63. It turns out the Golden Bears had some motivation from Big Red.

From the game recap:

California raced out to a 13-1 start behind a pair of 3-pointers from Brown following a pregame pep talk from ESPN analyst Bill Walton and strong defense that forced UCLA to miss its first five shots and commit three turnovers before Hamilton made a floater to end the drought.

“He gives the best motivational speeches I’ve ever heard,” Brown said. “He just got me so pumped up for the game I think I came out and scored eight in a row. It was all Bill Walton right there.”

That’s Cal’s Jayden Brown, who had 16 points in the game, talking about Walton.

Walton is one of UCLA’s most famous basketball alumni along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He was a three-time College Player of the Year for the Bruins and led the program to two national championships. And here he is, one of the most prominent athletes in the school’s history, giving pep talks firing up opponents to beat his school.

Is this Walton’s way of expressing displeasure with Bruins head coach Steve Alford? We know Walton was hypercritical of Ben Howland during the coach’s final few seasons coaching the Bruins, helping to put the nail in Howland’s coffin. Between this and what Kareem said about Alford, UCLA seems to have made enemies out of what should be its greatest allies.