Basketball player LiAngelo Ball finally opened up on why he shoplifted in China, revealing he was influenced by his team mates. Ball was one of the three UCLA basketball players who were caught stealing at a Louis Vuitton store among others in China.
In a recent interview with NBC, Ball admitted that he was caught in the moment when other players from his team “started taking stuff.” “Me just not thinking and being with them, I took something too,” Ball added.
Ball explained that it was only when they had reached the hotel that he thought to himself that what he did was foolish. “We left thinking we would just get away, you know how kids think, I just didn’t realized until we got back to the hotel, I was like, that was stupid but I didn’t realize it was too late,” Ball exclaimed.
The UCLA basketball player recounted the experience that he deemed as “horrible” as Chinese authorities came to their hotel and arrested them. Ball revealed that they spent “a day and a half” in prison while Chinese officers took their clothes and made them wear whatever clothing the facility had to offer.
Ball recalled sitting inside a cell “for however long” along with other Chinese officers. “It’s just you and all the other officers, and they don’t speak English,” Ball added.
While Ball appreciated U.S. president Donald Trump’s intervention in their incident, his father Lavar wasn’t as grateful for the President’s efforts. “If he did it genuinely, do you really need to come up to me and say ‘Boy, you better thank me?’” Lavar explained.
However, Lavar did show President Trump some appreciation by sending him some sneakers. “I sent him three pairs, red, white and blue just to show him we’re patriotic,” Lavar added. President Trump traded barbs with Ball on Twitter in the past where he called him “very ungrateful.”
The U.S. President initially took credit for the release of the shoplifting UCLA basketball players and insisted that they would’ve spent years in jail if it weren’t for him. However, legal experts believe that it was unlikely for the UCLA students to face severe punishment for what they did.