Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
LiAngelo Ball, the middle son of LaVar Ball and the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, was among three players released on bail on Wednesday morning after being arrested on shoplifting charges in Hangzhou, China, according to ESPN.
Fellow freshmen Cody Hill and Jalen Hill were also arrested and released after allegedly stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton outlet, per ESPN.
The players remain confined to their hotel and won’t play in Friday’s Pac 12-China Game in Shanghai (11:30 p.m., ESPN).
While a Yahoo Sports report indicated the players could face 3-10 years in Chinese prison if convicted of shoplifting, another China expert told ZAGSBLOG the players may get “lucky” with their punishment because of President Trump’s visit to Beijing beginning Wednesday.
“If these players committed shoplifting crimes, they did it at a lucky time,” Zhe Sun, Co-Director of the China Initiative at Columbia University, told ZAGSBLOG.
“China will likely deal with this case in a different way to show goodwill to Trump’s visit.”
Keldon Johnson, the 6-foot-6, 215-pound small forward from Oak Hill Academy (VA), likely won’t sign a National Letter of Intent this week and could wait until next week or the spring, his father told ZAGSBLOG.
The NCAA early signing period runs Nov. 8-15.
He’s considering four schools: Kentucky, Maryland, N.C. State and Texas.
“No, not this week, I don’t think so,” his father Chris said Monday. “It might be a chance next week, but I really don’t think that he would do it this week. Possibly next week.”
He added: “It’s not too far-fetched that he waits till the spring. I wouldn’t be surprised because I just think that we have to be really, really careful with the situation at hand. At 18, I’m just trying to walk him through so we don’t make mistakes.