Saturday, November 18

UCLA basketball freshmen fly home after one-week detainment in China


Jalen Hill, LiAngelo Ball and Cody Riley were sent from China back to the Los Angeles following arrests for shoplifting. They will arrive home in advance of UCLA basketball’s regular-season home opener.
 (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin staff, Michael Zshornack/Photo editor)

Jalen Hill, LiAngelo Ball and Cody Riley were sent from China back to the Los Angeles following arrests for shoplifting. They will arrive home in advance of UCLA basketball’s regular-season home opener. (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin staff, Michael Zshornack/Photo editor)


Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball are finally coming home.

The UCLA basketball freshmen were arrested Nov. 7 morning local time in Hangzhou, China. UCLA Athletics announced Tuesday that the three freshmen accused of shoplifting have boarded a flight back to Los Angeles.

All charges against the basketball players have been dropped, according to a report from China Sports Insider.

A UCLA Athletics representative wrote in an email Tuesday morning that Riley, Hill and Ball will share statements with the media Wednesday at approximately 11 a.m., followed by coach Steve Alford and athletic director Dan Guerrero. None of the participants will be answering questions.

“We take seriously any violations of the law,” wrote Chancellor Gene Block in an email addressed to the campus community. “Both Athletics and the Office of Student Conduct will review this incident and guide any action with respect to the involved students.”

This comes a day after the Washington Post reported President Donald Trump personally asked China’s President Xi Jinping to resolve the pending legal case. Xi assured Trump that the players would be treated fairly and expeditiously, the Post reported.

Riley, Hill and Ball were arrested on suspicion of shoplifting from three high-end stores in a shopping center next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou but were released on bail Nov. 8. Since then, ESPN reported they have been confined to their hotel but allowed to venture across the street to get food.

Both UCLA and Alford declined further comment following the Bruins’ season-opening 63-60 win over Georgia Tech in Shanghai on Saturday afternoon local time.

Wednesday’s media availability will take place on the morning of No. 23 UCLA’s (1-0) matchup against unranked Central Arkansas (1-1), a team that did not make the NCAA Tournament last season. This will be the Bruins’ first home game of the regular season.

The Central Arkansas Bears are coming off of a 99-51 victory over University of the Ozarks, but were also handed a 107-66 defeat at the hands of No. 25 Baylor on Friday.

The game will start in Pauley Pavilion at 6 p.m.

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Sports editor

Gottlieb is the Sports editor. He was previously an assistant Sports editor in 2016-2017, and has covered baseball, softball, women's volleyball and golf during his time with the Bruin.


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  • Publius

    “Cody Riley, Jalen Hill and LiAngelo Ball are finally coming home.”

    You’re missing an Oxford comma unless “Jalen Hill and LiAngela Ball” is the name of a single person.

    • OnlyTransplantsCallitLaLaLand

      If you read around, you can see their style (like AP style) doesn’t require an Oxford comma.

      • Publius

        Use of the Oxford comma may not be in their style guide, but it should be, not least of all because its use is the dominant rule in American English. And in any case, effective communication has not been achieved any time the communicator is calling attention to any unusual uses of words or grammar when communicating, and distracting from the underlying message.

    • Calven

      An Oxford comma is redundant since it would come before a conjunctive, but there are a few exceptions to that, I’m sure.

      • Publius

        The idea is the comma separates the two parts connected by a conjunctive, to demonstrate that the two parts are distinct. The comma removes ambiguity. In any case, the Oxford comma is the standard in American English.

        The Wikipedia page on the Oxford comma has an interesting example. With reference to a book dedication: “To my parents, Ayn Rand and God.” This would suggest that the dedicator’s parents are Ayn Rand and God.

  • Dre_loves_Trump

    What an embarrassment to one of the finest universities in the world… If they were white students from the biology dept having done this… they would have been kicked out school before landing on US soil.. Unfortunately these 3 can throw a ball in the hoop and are black and they’ll get a pass. What a sad world we live in…

  • Guido01

    CNN BREAKING NEWS: Trump interferes to deny three African-American youths opportunity of fair trial.

    • Dre_loves_Trump

      Good one buddy… oh so true and oh so sad…

  • Betweentheditches

    Keep these ballplayers out of Muslim countries. It is very hard to play ball with no hands.

  • Ima Conservative

    These guys shouldn’t be treated like heroes.
    They embarrassed UCLA, and they should be expelled.

    • KittyP

      No one is celebrating them. They are an embarrassment. If John Wooden were around, they’d be suspended from the team.

  • krmbjones

    Why so long for the university to make a decision on their fate? At the very least, they should have been booted permanently from the team immediately. Didn’t happen. School suspension? Didn’t happen. What can they say about it that surveillance videos of them stealing didn’t show? Foot dragging and preferential treatment for athletes is all I can assume.

  • Brian Cohen

    game time is 8pm

  • slvrsurfer22

    A suspension is in order, since shoplifting is a misdemeanor. They better show contrition and apologize for embarrassing UCLA. Community service is called for.

  • slvrsurfer22

    10 game suspension at least.

    • Calven

      More like a 30 game suspension, at least.

  • slvrsurfer22

    And no stupid statements from Lavar Ball.

  • RoycePowell

    No joy in Westwoodville on this one. The players, if they are allowed to stay in school, need some strong discipline. A total embarrassment to the UCLA family.

  • betty

    these three ucla basketball players who BROKE the law are free for one reason right now. daily bruin won’t print it, and neither will the ucla administration voice it. they were freed because president trump ASKED chinese president xi jinping to intervene so these law-breakers could return home quickly unscathed. now, the ball is in ucla’s court. what will ucla do???

    • KittyP

      Um, perhaps they haven’t said it because it’s pretty obvious. It’s common knowledge that Trump got them released. Now, what I want to see is discipline. They need to be suspended if not expelled. The administration needs to think, what would John Wooden do?

      • betty

        when someone does you a favor, don’t you thank them properly?

    • Dre_loves_Trump

      CNN is too busy on Russian collusion…. hard for them to let that go..lol

    • y_p_w

      What? You don’t think the days that the Pac-12 and State Dept spent dealing with this matter got them released?

      • betty

        pac12 did nada. state department website states: “The Department of State is committed to ensuring fair and humane treatment for U.S. citizens imprisoned overseas. We stand ready to assist incarcerated citizens and their families within the limits of our authority in accordance with international law, domestic and foreign law.” So, it was President Trump personally talking to Xi Jinping to get these three ucla players released quickly and unscathed. larry scott said he was grateful to their hosts, but failed to thank trump and xi by name. bad form

  • K.M. Wichizsky

    I believe they should have been kept in a Chinese jail and put on trial. Now they are being made out as heroes who got the attention of the US President plus a special favor from China’s leader. Wrong on so many accounts. The punishment now should be they lose any scholarships and have to do community service in China Town. Also, I would require they lose any on-campus residence for one year and have to practice extra hours.

  • Al De Veyra

    As a Bruin Alumnus, I won’t accept anything less than 1 year suspension from all basketball activities and community service. They embarrassed our country, our school and their families. We, the alumni, will be watching along with prospective future student-athletes and their parents.

  • Ima Conservative

    Lavar Ball said Liangelo would be “one and done”.
    What he meant is one game and done.

  • KittyP

    What would John Wooden do?
    He was a man of great integrity and honor, and he most certainly would not have tolerated this behavior from his players. That’s what the university needs to think about. Our great UCLA Legacy is at stake.
    As an alumnus, class of 95, class of Champions, we won the championship that year. Good times. So much Bruin Pride, we can’t let our beautiful tradition be tarnished by these fools. They need to go. They should lose any scholarships and be off the team.

  • Calven

    I think they should throw them off the team.