A Hangzhou government spokesperson confirmed to AFP that three American citizens had been arrested on suspicion of shoplifting but referred further questions to police, who could not immediately be reached.
Only days after touching down in Shanghai Sunday night, three UCLA freshman basketball players were reportedly locked up. His brother Lonzo plays for the Los Angeles Lakers and his younger brother, LaMelo, is a top high school prospect.
Fortunately for the players, Chinese officials uncharacteristically moved quickly and released all three on bail.
According to a report by Bruins Report Online, the 3 UCLA players arrested for shoplifting on Tuesday could be in China for a month while dealing with the charges.
LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill will not play when the Bruins open the season against Georgia Tech at 11:30 p.m. Friday in Shanghai, their coach announced Wednesday. "The players questioned were respectful at all times". UCLA representatives, including Steve Alford, were at the police station for the duration of their time there.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) basketball players were "involved in a situation" in China, with police being summoned to the team's hotel to investigate the unknown matter, the Pacific-12 (Pac-12) Conference commissioner said.
Ball later issued a short statement, calling the incident "a very unfortunate situation that the Ball family and UCLA has to deal with at this particular time. Everybody is making a big deal, it ain't that big of a deal", LaVar Ball said.
ESPN said the players were arrested Tuesday after around 20 police officers descended on their hotel in Hangzhou near Shanghai, where the team had gone to tour the corporate campus of China e-commerce giant Alibaba, a sponsor of the game.
LaVar Ball is now in China, where he has reportedly traveled to Shanghai with the rest of the team and his family. "We will continue to closely monitor the situation". Their father, Lavar Ball.