LaVar Ball says he will withdraw son LiAngelo from UCLA

Eric Sondheimer and Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

LOS ANGELES -- The father of UCLA freshman shooting guard LiAngelo Ball said Monday that he intended to withdraw his son from school over concerns related to the indefinite suspension he was issued last month for his acknowledged role in a shoplifting incident.

"He might as well be in jail," LaVar Ball, LiAngelo's father, told The Times. "I'm not going to let UCLA take the fire out of my boy by not letting him play for two months.

"We're going to do some other options. I'm not going to let him sit back and not practice."

UCLA coach Steve Alford could not immediately be reached for comment.

LiAngelo Ball and fellow Bruins freshmen Cody Riley and Jalen Hill have been barred from all team activities as part of their suspension for shoplifting from three stores inside an upscale mall in China last month during UCLA's trip overseas to play Georgia Tech in its season opener.

LaVar Ball said the team had also taken away his son's locker and meal card. Alford indicated last week that he expected a decision on the length of the players' suspensions to come in a matter of weeks.

"Waste," LaVar Ball said. "I'm not going to let them determine his future."

LaVar said he had not spoken with anyone about withdrawing his son from school.


"I'm taking him and I'm gone," LaVar said.

Asked if LiAngelo agreed with the decision, LaVar said, "My boy is loyal to me. I tried to let UCLA deal with the process and he should have been playing the next week."

LiAngelo's only formal appearance in a UCLA uniform came during an exhibition game against Cal State Los Angeles last month in which he scored 11 points in 16 minutes off the bench.

UCLA (7-1) next plays Montana on Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion.

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