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LiAngelo Ball, two other UCLA freshmen arrested in China for shoplifting

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LiAngelo Ball, brother of Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Lonzo Ball, was arrested in China along with two other UCLA freshmen — Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

The Bruins are scheduled to play Georgia Tech on Friday as part of a Pac-12 preseason event, scheduled to air on ESPN.

The former Chino Hills star followed his older brother’s footsteps enrolling in UCLA, fresh off an 11-point performance off the bench against Cal State Los Angeles in a dominating 111-80 win to start the preseason.

LaMelo Ball, Lonzo Ball, LaVar Ball, LiAngelo Ball

Atiba Jefferson/SLAM Magazine

UCLA released a statement following the arrest, which read:

“We are aware of a situation involving UCLA student-athletes in Hangzhou, China. The University is cooperating fully with local authorities on this matter, and we have no further comment at this time.”

ESPN was told that nearly 20 police officers came into the Hyatt Hangzhou at approximately 8 a.m. local time on Tuesday, speaking to multiple players Georgia Tech and UCLA. Players were kept in a room for hours and not allowed to speak to any of the coaches throughout the interrogation, according to Goodman.

“They weren’t messing around,” the source said. “The kids were scared.”

G-Tech players were cleared of any wrong doing soon after and three UCLA players were seen getting into a police vehicle around 1 p.m. local time, according to the source.

LiAngelo Ball

Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times

Georgia Tech told ESPN that three of their players were questioned by local authorities at their hotel.

“During the questioning, it was determined that Georgia Tech student-athletes were not involved in the activities being investigated,” Georgia Tech said in the statement. “They have resumed their scheduled activities in advance of Saturday’s season opener versus UCLA in Shanghai.”

The two teams are still slated to play on Friday, though changes by the NCAA and/or the Pac-12 could come as more is revealed about this particular  event. The Bruins have a Hall of Fame Classic to follow, playing four teams in six days, starting with Central Arkansas and South Carolina State at the Pauley Pavilion.