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LiAngelo Ball, UCLA teammates headed home after being detained in China

Rest easy, LaVar Ball. Your son is coming home.

According to the Wall Street Journal, UCLA freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill are being allowed to return to America today after being detained in China for shoplifting.┬áTheir release comes hours after President Donald Trump spoke with China’s president Xi Jinping, who promised the players would be treated “fairly and expeditiously.”

Last Tuesday, the trio was caught trying to steal sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China prior to UCLA’s exhibition game vs. Georgia Tech. They were released on bail Wednesday morning and have been held at a hotel since then. Now, they’re on a Delta flight home.

Statement coming from LaVar Ball in 3…2…1…


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

32 responses to “LiAngelo Ball, UCLA teammates headed home after being detained in China”

  1. Sentient Third Eye

    Wow…an actual case of the President of the US resolving an international incident instead of leaving it to an underling or a “special envoy”. Haven’t seen that happen in many years.

    1. J-Dub421

      He shouldn’t be involved in the first place. They were caught stealing and should be punished accordingly.

    2. Sentient Third Eye

      Agreed that they should be punished, but they also shouldn’t be punished by Red Chinese standards, which amount to a pretty severe form of torture. Steve Alford is a pretty straight shooter, so I expect some kind of significant discipline will occur still.

    3. blackmilk23

      And it’s the silliest thing he could have possibly involved himself in. You break a country’s laws you should face that country’s penalties.

    4. Kernel Sanders

      Why shouldn’t they be punished according to Chinese law? So if a Saudi Arabian national steals a loaf of bread from Kroger, the U.S. (or Fayette Co.) should stone him to death or cut off his arm? I know someone who was working in Saudi Arabia years ago and they were driving and hit a pedestrian (it was a complete accident). You don’t even want to know how difficult it was to resolve that situation — it involved some serious incarceration. Guess what, when you are in a foreign country, you abide by THEIR laws.

    5. truthteller

      Steve Alford doesn’t run that university. Lavar Ball does and he’ll make sure he gets little or no blow back.

    6. JusSayin

      It’s not like they were detained on some innocuous cultural misunderstanding or for something that is legal here.

      They were caught shoplifting $740 worth of merchandise.That is illegal everywhere. Its also almost 1/5 of the yearly salary of a Chinese citizen.

    7. Booby Petrino

      you guys are hard core. things aren’t black and white. So I guess you think Otto W (Can’t spell his last name) deserved the torture he got in North Korea for tearing down a sign?

      And everyone is assuming they are guilty…I guess innocent until proven guilty isn’t a thing in China so we should just accept that huh?

    8. J-Dub421

      Booby, they were on video stealing and were in possession of the stolen merchandise. Yes, they were guilty.

    9. Booby Petrino

      gotcha, J-Dub. I didn’t read that much into the story bc I try to stay away from all things involving the Balls.

      My point still remains about this not being black and white just bc it’s laws of another country. Again, what about the Otto situation where he was detained and tortured (and ultimately died from) for tearing down a banner. It’s illegal to tear down political banners in N Korea. So you all think he deserved it bc that’s how N Korea operates? No one should have stepped in and helped this man just bc he broke N Korean law??

  2. sincitycat

    Make American be hated again President Chickhawk

    1. Luether

      You must be a DemocRat…

  3. Cowboy

    I disagree with that, Sentient. If someone comes to the US and breaks our laws, they are punishable by our judicial system. When an American citizen enters another country, it is a de facto agreement to abide by their laws and judicial system. We would expect it in our end, why wouldn’t it apply to them?

    1. Sentient Third Eye

      As a general principle, I agree with that, but there are two extenuating circumstances that I think probably merit a different approach in this case. One affects the US reaction and the other affects China’s reaction. First, the punishment these guys are conditioned to expect in the US and the punishment they actually faced in China are so extremely different that it becomes a matter of them truly not understanding the severity of their alleged crime (the actual circumstances of which have never been established in any reporting that I have read). It is the duty of the US government to attempt to protect the natural rights of its citizens no matter where they are. Although that is not always possible (Otto Warmbier’s “crime” in North Korea, for example), but in this case diplomacy is all it took. Second, due to the profile of the players, a harsh hand here by the Chinese would likely prevent any future NCAA games in China, which is something they clearly want to avoid. For those two reasons, a more merciful reaction benefited by countries in this case.

    2. Kernel Sanders

      Oh I see. Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode when George Costanza gets fired for having sex with the female janitor on his office desk. His boss calls him into his office and proceeds to fire him. George’s defense is “oh was that wrong? I had no idea! Because if anybody had told me that wasn’t acceptable, then I sure would not have done that”. His boss pretty much replied with “clean out your desk and leave”.

      I’m pretty sure that “Gee I did not understand the severity of my alleged crime” is not a valid defense. The “actual circumstances” of the crime, from what I have read, is that these guys were caught on surveillance video shoplifting sunglasses and other items from a Louis Vitton store. Yeah, the one game suspension (I’m guessing) is really gonna teach Lavar’s son a lesson.

    3. 4everUKblue

      Lavar has done a stellar job raising these boys. Give him a Ferrari and teach him he can get away with whatever because he is a Ball. I think they should have punished according to Chinese law, any of us would have been.

  4. Smyrna_Cat

    I didn’t want to see Ball get jail time and am glad he doesn’t have to do that … but wasn’t he caught stealing? And is that the kind of “aliens” that Mr. Trump says are “terrorists”?

    Sorry, I don’t want to get into politics … just not sure why Ball deserves this level of presidential help while so many others don’t. Be fair to all.

    1. haroldhanson

      The president had already planned to meet with China, and people would bash him if he didn’t help out Americans in a situations in the same country he’s visiting. It’s politics. It makes sense why he did it. China could have easily done it as a sign of good faith towards the president concerning the issues surrounding the affairs they both are in.

    2. KTR2786

      Serious? That’s great PR. This was a political no-brainer.

  5. truthteller

    I’m sorry, that’s fine if they want to let them come back here, however, if they stole these items, they need to be prosecuted and face the consequences.
    You can’t just let people steal things and get away with it, that’s embarrassing.

    1. Luether

      They’re DemocRats…

    2. blackmilk23

      People won’t think it’s so diplomatic some rich Chinese man buys a hooker over here and we let him off as Quid pro quo

    3. 4everUKblue

      Luether the very idea you believe being a democrat or a republican makes you better, more honest or whatever is completely idiotic. If you believe that you are part of the problem.

  6. Willis talkin bout....

    It is both against the law and a sin to steal regardless of what country you are in. This whole situation just further promotes how other countries view the US. These kids knew what they were doing, knew that if caught they would be punished, yet they still stole like the self-centered entitled brats that our society presently churns out.. Had they faced the charges and punishment due to them maybe that would have been a better example to rest of the other brats who feel stealing is justified. Maybe the rest of the world may have viewed leaving them there to face it on their own with a little respect. If our Government is so concerned with how the Chinese punish criminals and uphold Human Rights, then why was our President even there to begin with?

    1. shepdog3720

      The better question might be, “Why was UCLA or Georgia Tech ever there to begin with?”

    2. haroldhanson

      Can you imagine punishing Americans severely while hosting their president at the same time? It doesn’t look too good, and it certainly wouldn’t put the Chinese president in a favorable view when it comes to any discussions between the two. I’d say their timing was very fortunate.

  7. Loserville Hater

    Well….Lavar did say that his son would lead UCLA in “steals” this season…..

  8. KTR2786

    Talk about black privilege. You can steal in a foreign country and have the “racist” President intervene on your behalf!

  9. Catlogic15

    I don’t understand why they would still be on the team. Common thieves.

  10. catdaddyd

    They were lucky Trump was over there or they would be facing severe punishment. Maybe these fools with stand for the national anthem and honor the ones who make this country great.

    1. JusSayin

      Basketball players haven’t been sitting for the national anthem. And Trump letting these 2 evade punishment is not what makes this country great.

    2. chessboxer

      I’m a veteran and the idea you need to stand for the anthem is nonsense. The freedom of speech and expression isn’t a freedom if you make everyone do the same thing and never let someone use the rights veterans fight for.