Basketball: LaVar Ball, unhappy that UCLA has suspended his son over China shoplifting incident, pulls player from school

LaVar Ball told ESPN he was withdrawing his son LiAngelo from the University of California at Los Angeles.
LaVar Ball told ESPN he was withdrawing his son LiAngelo from the University of California at Los Angeles.PHOTOS:AFP, REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - LaVar Ball said on Monday (Dec 4) that he will withdraw his son LiAngelo from the college basketball programme at the University of California at Los Angeles in protest at the player's suspension for shoplifting in China.

LiAngelo was one of three UCLA players arrested in China earlier this month and later released after the intervention of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He was later suspended indefinitely by UCLA over what became an international incident and led to a war of words been LaVar Ball and US President Donald Trump.

LaVar Ball, however, told ESPN on Monday he was withdrawing his son from UCLA.

"We are exploring other options with Gelo," he told ESPN. "He's out of there.

"I'm not sitting back and waiting.

"He wasn't punished this bad in China. We get back over here and the consequences were even stiffer than China. So basically they're in jail here."

LaVar said LiAngelo would not transfer to another school but would rather concentrate on entering the 2018 National Basketball Association draft.

LiAngelo is the younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, who joined the NBA powerhouse this year after playing one season at UCLA.