For the first time since returning from China after being arrested for shoplifting, LiAngelo Ball is speaking out about what happened.
Ball claimed that his teammates, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, were the first to shoplift, and he followed their lead, caving to the peer pressure.
“We all went out one night, went to the malls, went to the Louis Vuitton store and, uh, people started taking stuff, and then, you know, me just not thinking and being with them, I took something too,” Ball said on the TODAY show alongside his father, former NBA player LaVar Ball.
He continued, “And we left thinking we’ll just get away — you know how kids think. I didn’t realize ‘til I got back to my hotel, I’m like, ‘That was stupid.’ But by then it was too late. And then sure enough, the next morning, the police came and got us.”
After the arrest, Ball spend the next day and a half in jail, which he said was “horrible.”
“They take your clothes, you wear, like, whatever they have for you, a little jumpsuit or whatever, take your shoestrings and you just sit in a cement cell for however long. It’s just you and all the officers — and they don’t speak English,” Ball said.
But when he came back, he didn’t want to have to sit out another several months when UCLA suspended him. So, he and his father, LaVar Ball, decided that he would be leaving UCLA.
“Yeah, that’s the whole season, pretty much,” Ball said. “That’s just a long time of doing nothing. I’d rather be playing.”