According to reports, LiAngelo Ball is leaving UCLA after a shoplifting incident in China that garnered national headlines, created a circus-style clash between his father LaVar and the U.S. President, and also resulted in an indefinite suspension for LiAngelo.
LaVar apparently didn’t agree with the suspension, according to Bleacher Report, which has led him to pull his son from the school.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman has tweeted that LaVar told him his son is leaving UCLA and will be “exploring other options.”
LaVar Ball told ESPN he has pulled LiAngelo Ball from UCLA. "We are exploring other options with Gelo," LaVar said. "He's out of there."— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) December 4, 2017
As many know, LaVar also pulled his youngest son from his high school team due to a dispute with the coach and other factors. It is unclear what the plans for LiAngelo would be now, whether that be a transfer (which seems unlikely) or training to prepare for the NBA Draft.
According to Bleacher Report, LiAngelo still remains a student at UCLA for now, and no official announcement has been made by the school.
“Those close to the Ball family said "there's no need to break down a kid's spirit for making a mistake" as the reason LiAngelo is leaving UCLA,” the Bleacher Report article states.
Kentucky plays UCLA on Dec. 23 as part of the CBS Sports Classic. While LiAngelo was not expected to be a major contributor for the Bruins, his permanent loss does hurt their depth, and CBS surely would’ve loved more LaVar Ball-Kentucky coverage.
Hopefully the decisions made by the Ball family keep LiAngelo’s best interests at the center.