LiAngelo Ball
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: UCLA guard LiAngelo Ball (15) looks on during an college exhibition basketball game between the Cal State Los Angeles and the UCLA Bruins on November 1, 2017, at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Last week, we alerted you to a big-name college basketball star, LiAngelo Ball, who was arrested along with two of his UCLA teammates after they stole merchandise during a trip to China. LiAngelo is the younger brother of NBA rookie Lonzo Ball of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Before I get into the details of LiAngelo’s crime, I partially blame his father, LaVar Ball, for the negative atmosphere he has created for his sons in recent years. Ball’s father believes that his sons are destined for NBA superstardom, and has invested a lot of time and money in them.

Lavar’s sons have been given a free pass in life, and have never been held accountable for their actions, which may partially explain LiAngelo’s decision to shoplift while in China.

Unfortunately for LiAngelo, his dad cannot simply talk his way out of the legal mess his son could face in China. The Chinese government has a near-100% conviction rate for all crimes, so LaVar’s son could face some serious jail time.

From Deadline:

China’s justice system moves slowly, but its conviction rates are high (as in 99 percent for shoplifting offenses) and the penalties are often stiff. In this case, the players could face up to 10 years in prison.

However, ESPN claims that the situation will likely take “a week or two” to be resolved. Ball is part of the fabled basketball family that includes father LaVar (whose Ball in the Family reality show airs on Facebook and who is regularly parodied by Kenan Thompson on Saturday Night Live); Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball; and high school basketball sensation LaMelo Ball, who is already committed to UCLA.

Ball, Hill and Riley are accused of allegedly stealing from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel in Hangzhou. LaVar Ball has been quoted in reports that the incident “ain’t that big of a deal.”

LiAngelo and his buddies created an international incident that will require our diplomats in China to negotiate for their release. The Chinese government will be playing “hardball” with any negotiations, even though jailing an American for a minor robbery could create some extremely negative publicity for the Chinese government.

LiAngelo’s father and UCLA officials can’t do anything for these young men either. All three players are still in custody and it could take a long time for their case to make its way through the judicial system in China. LiAngelo and his teammates should start getting used to life in China because they could be there for a long time.

At the same time, I have to wonder if there is anything more the United States government can do to clear up this international incident. President Trump recently met with the President of China during his 12 day trip to Asia, so it’s possible the president brought up the crime with his Chinese counterpart during their private meetings. If anyone can make a deal for the release of these three Americans, it’s President Trump!

Do you think that LiAngelo and his teammates will serve any time in jail for shoplifting? Share your thoughts below! 

Mentioned in this article:

More About: