On Tuesday, November 14th, it was announced that UCLA teammates Cody Riley, Jalen Hill, and LiAngelo Ball would all be allowed to leave China, after they were placed under house arrest for several days. The three ballplayers were forced to stay in their hotel room after they were caught stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in China. Reportedly, these player’s release came after President Donald Trump intervened and requested their release after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Originally, UCLA was in China to play Georgia Tech on November 10th for the Pac-12 China Game. UCLA went on to play this game, but they were without Ball, Riley and Hill, since they were confined to the hotel at this time. However, UCLA still won the game 63-60 after solid play from Jaylen Hands and Kris Wilkes.
The release of these players couldn’t have come at a better time because this Wednesday will be UCLA’s home opener and second game of the season. All eyes will most likely be on Ball, to see if he can live up to the expectations put on him by his dad. Ball has a lot of doubters and has already gotten off to a rocky start, but the college season is long and if he plays the way his dad claims he can, he will be just fine when the NBA draft comes in June.