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LiAngelo Ball arrested for shoplifting charges in China, could face serious consequences

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A bad situation is unraveling in China for the Ball family.

Melo Ball's 16th Birthday Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Crosswalk Productions

Lonzo Ball may be knee deep in his first season as an NBA player, but the middle brother of the Ball family, LiAngelo, is knee deep in serious legal trouble. Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley of UCLA have been arrested in China on shoplifting charges, as first reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.

Details of the incident have not been released, but the initial reports do not look good for the three Bruins. The program traveled to China ahead of their season opener against Georgia Tech in Shanghai.

The trio could face a sentence of 3-to-10 years if convicted on the shoplifting charges, according to an anonymous lawyer that spoke with Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports. Another attorney, William Nee, told Wetzel that the group may have to wait over a month before they have a chance to post bail.

Another bad stat for Ball, Hill and Riley? Chinese prosecutors have a 99.2 percent conviction rate, according to Nee.

We don’t have the full details of what exactly happened, but it’s obviously serious enough to cause Chinese authorities to lockdown the Hangzhou hotel to question members of both programs to determine who the culprits were.

Criminal legal troubles in foreign countries are no joke, and this group is about to face some very unpleasant music. Speculating on what, and why, is fruitless without the full picture. What’s clear is the Ball family has a serious issue to navigate, and LiAngelo’s future just took a big hit.